I first tried a YearCompass back in 2017 (for the 2018 year). It was the first time I truly planned out my goals and gave some forethought to the year ahead ... as well as reflect on the year that had passed. It was a really good exercise for me. I'm not a planner by nature, I have sort of just flowed with life as it comes; which has its advantages and disadvantages.

Anyway, last year I did not complete a YearCompass. I started one, but my job (a government contract) was in a monthly bridge situation, so it was getting renewed monthly while a recompete request was completed. Then there was a month of government shutdown (in which I ate through my savings ... thanks Congress ... but I'm not bitter). Then I lost my 12 year old dog in January. So, the beginning of the year was off to a rocky start. I decided to push back completing the YearCompass. Then it was suddenly October and I hadn't done it. Oops.

So I worked on it for 2020 this past weekend. I wish I'd done it last year, even with the uncertainties. It's a wonderful baseline for the year and serves as a guide for decisions throughout the year.

If you've never done one, I highly recommend it. Visit to download and/or print the latest one. Set aside a couple hours over the course of a couple days to sit down and fill it out. Day one will be the year that just passed. Day two will be the year ahead.

If you do it, I would love to hear what you think (you can hit me up over on Twitter).


I'm using the end of the year to refocus on my task list, my routines, and my “productivity”. Not really a resolution thing, just an opportunity for me to re-evaluate and decide on what's working, what isn't, and what I want to add or change. One of the things I tell myself that I want to do regularly is write or blog. I even set up my main blog again a couple years ago to help facilitate that. Yeah ... that went so-so.

So now I'm going to try to just free-form write a little more using It's a minimal interface, and I'm banking that it will help me sit down for at least five minutes and just write something ... regularly. Might be crap. Might not get read by anybody. But it will help me strengthen my writing, help me strengthen my thinking, and maybe help me reflect on stuff more often. All goals I have for myself.

Once I'm done writing this, I'm going to go back to planning and preparing for 2020. Time to revisit my goals and decide what to continue working on and what else to add to the list. I'll probably talk more about that in the next few days. :)