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Closing out a Year: The Year Compass Method

A therapeutic release of 2020 and a fresh slate for 2021
Picture of the San Francisco skyline during apocalypse during the wildfires this year. (photo credit )
yeah enough chit chat i just wanna see the good stuff →
Gym memberships, book purchases, and budgeting spreadsheets. These things all enjoy an immense spike in interest around the holiday times due to the infamous new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, that most of us (~80%) don’t achieve our resolutions (in fact, Strava even did a , they dubbed “Quitter’s Day,” that most people will give up on their resolutions.
So if resolutions don’t work, what does? I always make time to do some reflection at the end of the year to close out and start the new year on a fresh plate. I prefer a long-form reflection compared to a simple new year’s resolution because it helps form the necessary context of what my life has been like recently, which can provide the proper backdrop for where I should take it next and where I need to prioritize. This also serves as a healthy safe space to vent about all the unfair events and injustices that haven’t been given the necessary room to breathe.
I imagine 2020 will be an especially unforgettable year for all of us (even if we wanted to). With the whiplash of mentality from the endless doom-scrolling, the upending of the normal and comfortable way of life, and the muffling of celebration-worthy changes, it’s been a long, long year. Because of this, it feels particularly important to give it the proper sendoff and enjoy a cathartic process of emptying out all the regrets, fears, and uncertainties that haunted us.
All credit for the questions and the material for the written reflection comes from the awesome folks at , which I discovered a couple years ago and have used ever since. If you decide to copy this document to make different versions, remember that their material is licensed under a (which means you can share and modify it as desired but credit must be given, and it cannot be used for commercial purposes).


Some places indicate for you to draw if it feels better. My preferred method is to draw on my iPad or a sheet of paper and then insert a screenshot. Otherwise, you can also embed a Miro whiteboard or a Figma file. Feel free to play around and do whatever feels best!
I recommend a fresh teapot and some chill lo-fi beats to accompany your journey.

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