• Ann-Marie Brennand

2020: A year to remember, not to forget.

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

If you had told me in January 2020 that the world would be impacted by a virus and the UK would be put into lockdown, I would have thought you were bonkers. It sounds more like a - madcap plot from hit noughties show 24 than reality, but we are close to the end of 2020, and this has been a year like no other. New words have entered our vocabulary such as “Furlough” and “Circuit Break” is no longer just about an electrical current. “WFH”, “Black Lives Matter” and “Support Bubbles” have become some of the most frequently used words and phases of 2020 and all have been added to the Oxford Dictionary. And I would be a very happy woman if I never here the phrase “You’re on mute” again but, alas, I think it is here to stay for a while.


Many of us may want to wish 2020 goodbye forever and banish it from our memory, yet, despite all the negativity, there has been plenty of good that has come from this year as we have been forced to slow down and appreciate the small things in life more. Whilst I certainly do not want to re-live this year, I’ve learnt too much this year to forget all about it.


For example, I’ve learnt that whilst I can do my job from home successfully, I much prefer being around people as I really miss the energy I gain from others. I am really grateful for the Black Lives Matter movement for giving me a good shake and slap around the face to see the inequality around me and helping me understand what my white-privilege actually is. It has encouraged me to read books and watch documentaries which I previously would not have selected, be brave and have conversations which I would previously have avoided and be a better friend and colleague.


So now, as we approach the end of this year, it a great time to reflect. “Why bother reflecting on this year of turmoil?” I hear you cry. Reflection is an important part of personal development, it allows us to learn more about ourselves, increases self-awareness and emotional intelligence. It requires us to have a really honest conversation with ourselves - which can be tough, but the tough conversations are always the ones most worth having.


To help with your reflection I’ve given you some pointers below:

  • To start you off use the suggested questions below. Copy & Paste them and write the answers down.

  • Add a calendar reminder for December 2021 to re-read these - you may be surprise reading back in a year how far you have come.

  • If you are comfortable, share your reflections with someone close to you - they can act as an accountability partner and remind you of your reflections over the year ahead.


Reflection Questions:

  1. What are you most grateful for?

  2. What are you proud of?

  3. What have your learnt?

  4. What do you want to develop?

  5. What do you want to let go off?

  6. What have you avoided this year that you will tackle next year?

  7. What have you missed and what have you not missed?

  8. What do you want to continue to do?


I hope that you find this process beneficial and rewarding, feel free to drop me a message on LinkedIn to let me know how you found this process.



With thanks to Kerri Newton and Roxanne Ahmed. I am truly privileged to work with these two brave women who have taught me so much this year and have inspired me to be a better person. I will be forever grateful for your honesty.

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