Nerdful Mind Logo

A Time To Reflect — Nerdful Mind #102

December 26, 2021 by Simon Mannes

A new year is not the time for New Year’s resolutions.

Instead, it's the perfect time to reflect. A time to pause. To be grateful. And a time to take a step back and see the big picture.

Around new year’s eve, I have fewer meetings and obligations, so I have more time to think.

I love my year’s end retrospective. It’s one of the few times a year I actually truly understand what I have done. It is my way of saying goodbye to the past year, and plan the path ahead.

Here's how I did my last year's end retrospective.

I took a few cups of tea to think about the following questions. For each one I noted what went well, what didn’t go well, and what I want to focus on next year:

  • What big events happened this year in my life?
  • How did I take care of my body and mind?
  • How did my life go, work and business-wise?
  • How did the relationships with my closest friends and family develop?
  • What about my other friends and my community?
  • Which hobbies did I spend time on?
  • How well did I connect with my emotions?
  • How have I grown as a person?
  • How did I do financially?
  • Which habits did I develop this year?

And some questions where I can just list my answers:

  • What were my proudest accomplishments?
  • What were my biggest challenges?
  • What am I grateful for this year? What am I grateful for generally in my life?
  • What are my major goals for this year?

You can take these questions as ideas for what you want to examine in your own life.

“Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things – then better yourself.” — Sonya Teclai

Some of these questions took inspiration from the wonderful “Year in Review” from

Reading Recommendations

Not-to-do list: a conscious way to break bad habits

“The good old to-do list is a staple of most productivity systems, used to keep track of tasks and manage your focus throughout the day. While to-do lists are powerful, a complementary method can further increase our productivity: the not-to-do list. As the name indicates, it consists in listing all of the behaviors you want to avoid.”

How Important Is Alone Time for Mental Health?

“While loneliness has serious negative health consequences, alone time can have a number of important mental health benefits.”

RESTful API Designing guidelines — The best practices

“Facebook, Google, Github, Netflix and few other tech giants have given a chance to the developers and products to consume their data through APIs, and became a platform for them. Even if you are not writing APIs for other developers and products, it is always very healthy for your application to have beautifully crafted APIs.”

This article covers some basics of API design. And although I find the part on versioning debatable, it still provides good guidelines.

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Acceptance is easier when you are grateful for what you have.

Take 5 minutes today and write down as many things you are grateful for as possible. What do you appreciate?

If you do this for a few weeks, you'll notice patterns of what makes you grateful (and you'll be happier).

End Note

If you enjoy this newsletter, please share it with someone you know. Just forward them this email.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! 💫


PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!