The End of 2020

I usually start my year-end review around my birthday in November. I take a look at what I’ve accomplished and what I’m looking forward to in the coming year.

This year I am particularly grateful that the pandemic has not caused me much difficulty. My work routine is basically undisturbed. Our finances have not suffered. My loved ones are safe. And I actually like Zoom.

I’m also thankful and quietly astonished that my health is good and my body is strong and pain-free. Fitness has never been a high priority for me and the fact that my joints work and I’m not on medication makes me shake me shake my head in wonder. New Goal: I want to support this trend and not just coast with fingers crossed.

I achieved a number of goals in 2020 both professionally and personally. Notably I was asked to participate in several online summits and I’m currently working with colleagues to create a virtual retreat that you’ll be hearing more about in the coming weeks. We also made some home improvements that make me happy.

As many of you know, this year I was certified as a Designing Your Life coach and am adding those valuable tools to my practice. The authors of Designing Your Life and Designing Your Work Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, propose an alternative to New Year’s Resolutions. Their argument is that resolutions are a list of objectives, like a sales quota. They can quickly become “anchor problems” where there is only one form of a solution inside your problem statement and, when that particular solution isn’t forthcoming, you get stuck. Here’s what they say:

Life is not a list of outcomes. Life is living, being alive. Alive means growing and learning and discovering and engaging (i.e.: not being among the 69% disengaged). The best part of this new year is all that space and room in it to pursue interesting questions and discover ideas, people, and possibilities you knew nothing about on New Year’s Eve. That’s where the thriving is to be found.

What if you swapped your resolutions list for a list of questions that you’re curious about? Like these:

  • Why am I so attracted to the phrase “Think Global-Act Local” and what are different ways I could actually do that at work?
  • How did those two superstar managers at work get to be such amazing mentors? What do they know and do that I could try this year?
  • How could I experiment with different productivity apps to find one that fits me well enough that I might even use it regularly?
  • Why is everyone at work so jazzed about the new morning meditating sessions anyway? What might be in it for me?

If the notion of a New Year’s Curiosity List intrigues you but you’d like some support setting it up for yourself let’s have a conversation.

If you’re interested in a more formal year-in-review strategy, here is some advice from two people I admire- Cathryn Lavery and David Allen.

As this year ends, I wish you all a joyful and peace-filled holiday season and a new year loaded with hope and curiosity and safe connections with loved ones.

Originally published at on December 15, 2020.




lives in a medieval palazzo in Italy, sings with a jazz orchestra, & hosts the podcast I Always Wanted To.

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Liz Sumner

Liz Sumner

lives in a medieval palazzo in Italy, sings with a jazz orchestra, & hosts the podcast I Always Wanted To.

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