There are probably a few unique sweeping statements someone could make about 2020, but not many. A lot has already been said about this year.

What do I think is more intriguing?

Your personal and organizational 2020 reflections.

Every individual, family, and organization has felt the pandemic’s impacts. That dramatically multiples the personal learnings globally to document and take forward.

What are your personal self-reflections for 2020?

2020 Personal Reflections

In light of that, here are twenty reflection starters to prompt documenting your learnings from Pandemic Year 1. To make this as low-stress as possible, I’ll spare you the numerical expectations I originally wrote down for how many of each reflection to try to identify. You get to pick how many items you include in any reflection.

Relative to 2020, what were . . .

  1. Things that you learned that were over-rated?
  2. Things and people you realized that you’d previously under-appreciated?
  3. Ways that you became a better leader?
  4. Areas that you discovered where you are more vulnerable than invincible?
  5. Things that were okay to do this year that you need to give up in 2021?
  6. Things that you had to surrender in 2020 that you don’t see returning . . . ever?
  7. Events and issues that your February 2020 emails suggested were mega-important that were completely forgotten by the end of March 2020?
  8. Lasting blessings you received?
  9. Things you are certain that you’ll do again when the pandemic is over?
  10. Things and people that made a huge impact on you—even if virtually?
  11. Little surprises during the year?
  12. Ways you innovated like crazy?
  13. Ways that work-from-home made your life better?
  14. Most ridiculous tech flubs you witnessed?
  15. Words you hope to never say again after the pandemic?
  16. Things during the year that made you more ready to succeed in 2021?
  17. Best things you let yourself off the hook having to do?
  18. The best decisions you made?
  19. Words to describe 2020 for you, your family, and your organization?
  20. Situations you would have better prepared for in 2019 if you had understood the pandemic’s future impact?

Here’s another idea: first record one item for each reflection. Jot down those twenty learning, then see where you want to go deeper.


I hope there’s never another year quite like you. – Mike Brown

Innovation strategy to go beyond the pandemic