January 6, 2020

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

I’m trying something new this year… Doing a “year in review” James Clear style to understand where I want to focus my goals for 2020.

Each December, James (the author of Atomic Habits) asks himself three questions:

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. Finally, what did I learn?

There are a few other questions I want to explore, including goals for this year (2020) and even what I want to do over the next decade.

2010 was a long time ago, my friends.

I never could’ve imagined back in 2010 what the cusp of 2020 would look like, nor would I have wanted that information back at age 16 or 17. Back then, I wanted to go into psychology at the University of Denver. I decided to pursue Mechanical Engineering at WSU Pullman relatively quickly towards the end of 2010.

We underestimate how much we can do in 10 years and overestimate how much we can do in just one.

Recap of 2019 Goals

In December 2018, I published my goals for 2019. I distilled them into 3 distinct goals, with some ancillary ones as “bonuses.”

Achieve a Healthy Weight

I started 2019 around 175 pounds and ended 2019 around 170 pounds. While this wasn’t the 30-35 pound loss I wanted, I’m glad I didn’t gain weight and instead focused on keeping to my low carb protocol without going off the deep end with such a long plateau.

Earn $12,000 in Side Income

I earned close to $3,000 in side income in 2019. Most of it came from virtual assistant work, and some of it came from writing on Medium. I’m proud of that extra $250 a month and I know it’s a step in the right direction to increasing that side income as time goes on. Even though I didn’t reach $12,000, I still did the work that reached $3,000, and that’s better than giving up because I’m not reaching $1,000 a month right off the bat.

Photo by Webaroo.com.au on Unsplash

Publish My Book

I wrote the bulk of my book in November 2018 and June 2019. Then, I had an author friend do a developmental edit on it, and the story had to change. I was open to all criticism, and the new version of it is much better than the original. However, that also meant a rewrite, and a second edit to review the changes. I’m in the middle of the rewrite, and the second edit will happen in 2020. But the point of this goal was to make progress after so many years wishing for publication and not doing anything to get there. It’s not published, but it’s 1000% closer to publication than it was a decade ago.

So I Didn’t Achieve Any of These…

The point of goals like these isn’t necessarily to actually reach them—it’s more about who I become in the process of striving toward them. Hitting those targets is a cherry on top of the kind of person I turn into in their pursuit.

Answering the Questions

Let’s dive in…

What Went Well This Year?

I either maintained or slightly lost weight. From January to December, I lost about 6.8 pounds, but didn’t have a net gain.

I stayed consistent with blog posts from January through October.

This is Type 1, our podcast, launched on September 3rd and we’ve been consistent with recording and releasing episodes every Tuesday.

I tried out different forms of exercise and didn’t beat myself up when I ended up not liking them long term. (Running, rock climbing, and jiu-jitsu.)

What Didn’t Go So Well This Year?

The last 2 months of 2019 did not go well. You can read the full story in this post. The short version is that my Dad passed away unexpectedly in early November. My only remaining grandparent, my 93-year-old maternal Grandma, took a non-injury fall on December 8th and passed away 3 weeks later in hospice. She was ready to go.

Photo by Brandon Holmes on Unsplash

What Did I Learn?

I learned a lot about myself in 2019—what I’m good at, what I’m not so good at, and how I handle grief. Turns out, I’m handling it, and it’s okay to not be okay.

I also learned that I need to stop being in such a hurry to reach all my goals.

2020 “Goals”

For many things, I’ll draw from my 101 in 1001 list, but mostly these are the goals upon which I’m placing my focus for 2020—if not longer.

Personal (Self)

  1. Manage my mind. Do thought work and dive into Self Coaching Scholars with all my being.


On episode 21 of This is Type 1, which released on January 7th, Jessie and I talk about setting Diabetes Goals. My Diabetes Goals for 2020 are these:

  1. Stay below 5.5% A1c
  2. Publish 52 episodes of This is Type 1
  3. Fill out my expiration tracker and set up backup/emergency kits for all relevant places
  4. Bonus: Stay below 200 mg/dL, allowing for only 10 excursions.


  1. Reach 1,000 email subscribers
  2. Have the blog pay for itself (~$120/month), not taking VA income into account. This may look like creating and releasing products, eBooks, running ads, starting some kind of membership or subscription model, or any combination of those.
  3. Present at 2 or 3 conferences for my day job this year.


  1. Rewrite my book, The Blood of Renova. I shut down my author website in December 2019 to save hosting costs while I focus my energy on other things, and on getting the book publishing-ready.
  2. Draw 100 things in Affinity Designer on my new Microsoft Surface 7 tablet.

Word of the Year


Release the need to be right. The desire to say unnecessary things at unnecessary times.

Release my grasp on the things that hurt me—the rope whose friction burns the more tightly I hold on. The thoughts that drive negative feelings, which put me in places I don’t want to be.

Release the worry, the anxiety, the tension, the stress, the anger, the frustration to God because I’m a weak human who cannot hold all of these on my shoulders without collapsing. 2019 has weighed on me for too long, and it will continue weighing on me until and unless I share it with Jesus.


2020 Decade Goals?

A 10-year plan is not something to take lightly. It deserves a lot of thought and intentional work to decide and hone in on the things I truly want to accomplish over the next 10 years.

And let’s be honest… Ten years from now, I’m not going to recognize the person I am today. Especially if I do the daily work in Self Coaching Scholars and really make an effort to understand who I am, who I want to be, and managing my thoughts in a way that makes those things happen.

My “ONE” Thing

Everything comes back to this ONE thing, which is managing my mind. Self Coaching Scholars is my primary self-investment commitment in 2020, and hopefully for many years to come. Doing the work on my brain to manage my thinking is how countless people have changed their lives, and how I’m going to change my life too.

About the author 

Colleen Mitchell

Mindset & accountability life coach, writer, podcaster, and full-time analyst in the power industry. I'm passionate about showing people that how we think determines our realities.

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