top of page

Year-end Reflections on 2020 Goals

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Not sure how it happened, but 2020 in quarantine flew by. What I thought was going to be max 2 weeks working from home, now turned into over 9 months. The world is not as we know it, but somehow, time moved on and people adapted.

When I made these 2020 resolutions back in February, I (obviously) didn't know that this was how the year was going to progress. Regardless, I made a promise to myself so I hustled and tried to achieve. Though one thing that hit home for me is that while achieving goals are important and it gives you direction in your life - it's not something you should beat yourself over if it's not achieved in the timeline or method you originally envisioned. Life does not unfold the way you plan, so be gentle with yourself and, instead, learn how to enjoy the process instead. That being said, I'm going to jump right into my reflections on how my 2020 resolutions went!

Note: purple = comments from mid-year review | blue = comments from year-end review

1) Build my personal brand and share my experiences to help others. Achieved!

I did start my Youtube channel and website, and trying to post consistently at least once a week. I'm still trying to figure out my brand, but I've decided to focus on personal finance, career, and work life balance in the meantime.

I've grown my channel to 350 subscribers after posting 29 videos! While I've been on and off, and it would have been great if I had grown my channel even more, I also have to take into consideration that I've not put in my all. It was hard to find a balance of posting weekly, as it would typically take one whole day (ie. summarzing content, filming, editing, uploading, etc.) to post one video. Though it may sound as an excuse because busier people seem to find time to post even twice weekly, I'm trying to find a schedule that is realistic and something I can stick to. One thing I discovered along the way is that a lot of people are very interested in career content and what a tax manager at a Big 4 has to say about her experience. I thought I would focus more on career topics in the new year.

2) Become more financially independent by investing in stocks and/or real estate. Achieved!

I did buy my first property (in time for my 28th birthday!) and I've started investing somewhat consistently in my Questrade account. Instead of trying to make quick bucks, I'm investing in the long run and focusing more on value investing.

I'm still pretty proud of the property I've purchased, as it had been perfect during the pandemic. It definitely gave me a piece of mind to have my own space and work area, as well as easy access to necessities and lots of nature. I've been very fortunate to have secured housing right as the pandemic started. In addition, I've also learned so much about investing this year. It's one of those things where you know you have to get started but may be too scared to. I've had some good runs and bad runs, but overall feel like I'm getting a grip on things.

3) Build my career by obtaining another designation: a US CPA. In Progress

My plan was originally to study over the summer. I'm just about to order the review books right now! I've also taken on reduced hours at work, so now I have a a three day weekend to focus on studying for the exam :)

I've purchased the review book and am currently on page 363 out of 517. I also need to work through practice exams for a month. I've bitten the bullet and booked the exam back in October and was initially set on writing the exam for end of January. However, taking into consideration 5 different time sensitive priorities going on the first half of 2021, I've decided not to beat myself over an aggressive timeline, and move the exam to end of March.

On another note, I've also somewhat impulsively decided to start Tax In depth level 1, which is a program highly recognized for senior tax roles. It was a two folds reason for me - a way for me to revisit Canadian tax while I was away in Korea, as well as increase my marketability, while it is paid by the firm. I also didn't realize how much commitment was required of this program, but I'm getting a handle on juggling this along with self-studying for my US CPA reciprocity exam.

4) Expand my knowledge by reading at least one book a month. Achieved!

Since it's July 1st, let's see if I had managed to ready 6 books in 2020:

(i) Principles by Ray Dalio (audiobook)

(ii) Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell (audiobook)

(iii) Think and Grow Rich: Original Version by Napolean Hill (kindle)

(iv) Beat the Bank: How to win the mortgage game in Canada by Paul Meredith (kindle)

(v) 3 Months to No.1: The 2020 "No-Nonsense" SEO Playbook for Getting Your Website Found on Google by Will Coombe (kindle)

(vi) The Intentional Accountant: Your Roadmap For Building a Next Generation Accounting Firm by Darren Root (kindle) - still reading

(vii) Warren Buffett: 43 Lessons for Business & Life by Keith Lard

(viii) The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (audiobook) - still listening to it

(ix) Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (audiobook)

(x) Straight Talk, No Chaser by Steve Harvey (audiobook)

(xi) Becoming by Michelle Obama (audiobook)

(xii) Man's searching for meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (audiobook) - still listening to it

(xiii) Grit by Angela Duckworth

(xiv) Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss (audiobook) - still listening to it

(xv) Rich Dad's Who Took My Money? by Robert T. Kiyosaki

(xvi) Daring to Trust by David Richo (audiobook) - still listening to it

(xvii) The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy (audiobook)

(xviii) A Promise Land by Barack Obama (audiobook) - still listening to it

Hmm.. I realized I have quite a few unfinished books, though it seems I've (almost) managed to read a book per month. My goal is to finish the four books I've started over the next little while.

There are still a few books I've started but haven't finished yet. Though, I must say that I've kept up with one book a month (ie. 18 books less 6 books in progress).

5) Work on my relationships with family and friends to build a stronger bond. Achieved!

I have to say I've been slacking in keeping in touch with everyone. I had made the effort to call my mom while she was in Korea, and only made the effort to a few friends. I will continue to work on this.

While in Korea, there was a lot of time spent by myself and new friends I made there. Though, after returning to Canada, I was able to spend more time with family and reconnect after being apart for a few years. It's good to have that home base and to be close to family, especially during the pandemic. I've learned that my siblings matured so much and are so independent, I was pleasantly surprised.

I also met someone who I ended up being in a relationship with. I would say this is the first time in 3 years since I was last in Canada. It's been a minute, so it took a lot of reflections, effort, and patience to get over the hurdles but I'm glad to say that majority of it has been overcame.

6) Build my network by meeting like-minded people and those with similar goals as me. In Progress

This one was hard given the current circumstances. I'm going to continue working on this as the quarantine starts easing.

I've recently reached out to a couple of people, such as my highschool/uni friends and acquaintances, since it would have been my HS' 10 year reunion. I also reached out to my past colleagues to see how they are doing on linkedin. It wasn't earth shattering, but at least I tried and made that touch point. Not sure how else I can network online during the pandemic, as I envisioned myself going to events and shaking hands with people to achieve that genuine connection. I'm going to think about this one and hope that in 2021, the situation gets better so people can actually get out and interact with each other.

7) Work on my well-being, both physically and mentally. Achieved!

Working on my body and mind is especially important during these unprecedented times. I have taken up daily meditation using the Calm app - it is part of my morning routine now. I have also taken up daily journaling before I go to bed - though, I have to say I haven't been as diligent in writing nowadays. I will try to be more consistent as it gave me the chance to reflect on the day.

As for physical health, I'm trying to lose my "quarantine weight" as we speak (I even made a video about it). My goal is to just eat healthier, eat smaller portions, and exercise regularly. When the weather permits, I go out for walks, as well as do some HIIT and strength training at home on my yoga mat with some dumbbells. My biggest roadblocks are sometimes the cravings I get for sweets, which totally sidetracks my diet. Also, wine is my biggest guilty pleasure, gotta ease out of that one too.


Starting quarantine and by mid-June, I had definitely gained weight and felt not my best. I've always maintained 54kg for a few years, even dropping to 53kg - but to have gained almost 2kg to 56kg by mid-June was definitely a wake up call. I'm proud to say that I tried more intuitive eating and to stick to a somewhat heathy meal plan of oatmeal in the morning, salad at lunch, and protein+veggies at dinner. I also try to do portion control and swap out junkfood for healthier alternatives. I also worked out 3 times a week, doing strength training to build muscle. I also made it a habit to go for 30 to 60 minute walks when the weather is decent (sometimes 0 times a week, or sometimes 5 times a week - totally weather dependent). I also signed up for a gym pass for a month and got excited to lift heavier weights than the ones I had at home! I definitely saw results from that one month! While I dropped weight very gradually, I'm now ranging in the 52kg mark. I guess that's 4kg lost in 6 months? Pretty proud of myself :)


I realized that my work benefit plan covered therapy sessions, and after a little push from a friend, I decided to find a psychologist and work on my mental health. At first, I told myself I'm going to focus on (i) being motivated and goal orientated (ii) articulating feelings and emotions, and (iii) if there are childhood experiences that are affecting my current behavior in a negative way. While working on them, I found a whole slew of other priorities/issues to talk about. It was just nice to talk to someone about literally anything without judgement, and get "professional" feedback/advice, as well as other ways of thinking that makes certain actions so much more effective. I would say this was the biggest takeaway in terms of mental health as I've been taken 12 sessions on a weekly basis.

I also continued to use the calm app in the morning. Though I'm still nowhere near achieving perfect zen, I feel myself getting a better grip on my distracting thoughts.

One thing I'm been slacking off on is the journaling, but I hope to incorporate it effectively in the upcoming new year.

Overall, there were some ups and downs, but I've come out of this year grateful and happy.


I will be posting my 2021 resolutions next!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year :)

Best wishes,


57 views0 comments
bottom of page