a pat on the back for 2011


I was stumbling through the world wide web one evening, and came across Benny’s article on reviewing the year (Benny is the owner of a very uplifting and inspirational website called Get Busy Living). It reminded me of the performance reviews I used to do att work: listing out our achievements, accomplished targets, improved aspects… in hope to get a higher year end rating so as to get a bigger bonus in April.

I have not really done a review for my personal life, however, so decided to give it a go. I’ve always been the kind of person who’s harsh on myself, perfectionist to say the least, and so hardly give myself any credit for my own accomplishments. I tend to focus on what I have not done, making myself feel very bad for “wasting” time watching TV or lounging.

Sometimes though, we need to give ourselves a pat on the back for the littlest thing to keep encouraging ourselves.

So this time round, I decided to concentrate on what I have done for once.

end of year review, goals for 2012, accomplishments, pat on my back

I had a good think about the questions on the review, and in the spirit of needing to congratulate myself, I spent more time on pondering what I had accomplished over what I have to quit doing. Accordingly, to fit this scheme of thinking, the following are my answers on only part of the review proposed.

Three personal developments I have made in the past year are:

  1. Exercising again
  2. Not jump to the worst conclusions all the time
  3. Aware of when my mood starts to sink and try to do something about it


Smartest decision I made last year:

Stay alive


Biggest risk I took last year:

Making myself stay alive when all I wanted to do was escape from life. Perhaps this is not so much a risk in the conventional sense. Yet in the mindset at that moment when I was sat on the window sill, ready to jump out, and dying seemed like the only sensible way out, it sure felt like it was the biggest risk possible to take to stay alive another second.


One sentence that sums up this past year:

Transition into serenity by making peace with myself, my thoughts, and my emotions.


10 greatest things that happened in the past year:

  1. Stayed alive
  2. Got engaged
  3. Got a puppy
  4. Exponential growth in the number of bears for my collection
  5. Started tai chi and Chinese calligraphy lessons, thereby finding my own method of meditation
  6. Rediscovered my passion for writing
  7. Got my blog redesigned – and it’s AWESOME!!!!
  8. Got off anti-depressants
  9. Started eating breakfast
  10. Made new friends


I am most proud of these three accomplishments from last year:

  1. Again, that I stayed alive, which I suppose – after all, this is crucial to everything else happening
  2. Moving my @ss out of bed and maintaining some sort of social contact with the world
  3. Letting go of my obsession for title and the corporate ladder


The above is just part of the annual review questions. However, the questions I have omitted here are not ignored; they will be merged with another article I’ve half done writing. Nevertheless, for the benefit of everybody reading this and hoping to write their own version of an annual review, the other questions are:

–       If I could do things again last year, I would do these three things differently:

–       Three things I need to do more of in the next year are

–       Three things I need to do less of in the next year are:

–       One year from right now, I want my ideal day to look like this:

–       Three great lessons I’ve learned from last year are:

–       Three things I need to stop completely doing in the next year are:

–       Three reasons I didn’t achieve my goals from this past year are:

–       Three goals I want to achieve this next year are:

–       Three reasons why I want to achieve these goals are:


I also suggest that you have a look at Benny’s and also Chris’ articles about this subject. Benny generously provides a free worksheet to download as guidance for your review, and Chris encourages you to look at the different aspects of your 2011 with a few different articles.

That’s all folks this time – no particularly deep analysis or message, just a little pat on the back for being me.

Till next time.

Be me. Be natural.

17 Responses

  1. […] Noch at Noch Noch […]

  2. Benny says:

    Congrats on your 2011. Being alive is the most important thing. We are glad you’re still here! Eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day so I’m glad you started doing that this year.

    I hope your 2012 is even better. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you this year and look forward to more!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Benny – I’ve not actually appreciated why breakfast is the most important meal of the day until my friend said to me one day, “Noch, if you go to sleep at 11pm, and wake up around 8am, but don’t eat anything until lunch, it means your body has gone without any nourishment for more than 13 hours straight! so that’s why you need to eat breakfast and get the energy you need for the day…”!
      THat was my ah-ha moment!! 🙂
      I’m glad you don’t have my same bad habits from the sound of it. Take care and all the best for 2012 too. I have loved reading your blog this year and look forward to more in 2012

  3. Noch, I am so proud of you. I know something of this road you have been on. I know from personal experience how depression can color our outlook or cast a pall over our naturally buoyant spirit. Well done, Noch, well done.

    What a crucial decision you made simply to ekep on living. To stay in the game. You have SO MUCH to give. I have personally experienced the unique warmth of spirit you bring to this world, your own unique presence. Stay strong.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Chris – they always say to reap the experience from those who have been there before, and I will take your word that this tunnel however long, will day lead to light. thanks for reaching out to me this year and offering to share your experience with me. it’s much appreciated and gives me strength to live another day, to write another day… I thank God for all the kindred spirits He has placed in my life, esp as I struggle through the trying times – and you are certainly one of them! Noch

  4. Justin Mazza says:

    Hi Noch,
    It’s good to reflect back on the past year and see how we have progressed. Sometimes we are so close to ourselves that it is hard to see how much we have grown.

    #9.Started eating breakfast. I skip breakfast too, gotta stop doing that. 🙂

    Take care…


    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Justin – you are so right, sometimes we need to take a step back and some breathing space, and give ourselves full credit for our development! And yes – eat breakfast!!! (without sounding like a mum!)
      2012 will be great and wish you every success in your aspirations and goals
      Noch Noch

  5. Brandon says:

    Hey Noch, great piece you have here.

    Reflecting on the year can really put the next year into perspective in terms of what needs change, improvement and so on.

    ~> “Moving my @ss out of bed and maintaining some sort of social contact with the world” —- This is definitely something I need to improve on. 🙂

    thanks for this post.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Brandon – yup, reflections give us a benchmark to know ourselves more ,be more aware of our thoughts and emotions and as you say, outline the things we want to work on from this point onwards. And I hope for 2012, you will also “get your @ss off your bed” and make the social contact you need to, but all in good time 🙂

  6. That’s a good list Noch. Very unique to you, and yet something that we can all relate to! I think it’s a great idea to tally up the year and give gratitude.

    Your particular list should serve us as an inspiration. It expresses courage and hope. It offers us a unique peek into the human drama that is this life.

    This has been truly a special year for me. And yet, I cannot help but to feel that what made it so special, was the opportunity to be a part of something much greater than myself! 🙂

    Happy Holidays to you Noch, and thanks!

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Vlad, I like how you say that you are part of something much greater than you. I think we sometimes forget that our individual efforts when added up with all other individual efforts becomes more than the sum of its parts. And without everyone of us, it just isn’t complete. And therefore we need never belittle ourselves and our efforts. Thanks for embracing life, and teaching us to embrace life with simplicity and zeal! looking forward to more human dramas in 2012 where we can continue to grow and learn about ourselves

  7. In this world it is not easy staying alive. You never know when your life can be taken from you. I do not know you, but I am happy your alive also.
    Times get rough and that is when we have to be strong. Sometimes I feel like I can not handle things, but I tell myself that I am strong. I have been told that the mindset we have will determine our accomplishments. Our minds are powerful, and if we believe then anything is possible.
    Everyday is a struggle to get my ass out of bed. Some days go better than others, but I keep fighting the curse that is laziness. Give all that you can and good things are bound to happen, atleast that is what I tell myself.
    Anyways, I would give you a pat on the back. Keep up the good work!

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi William – nice to meet you here and thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the pat on my back – and thanks for appreciating my mere existence 🙂
      You are right, it’s in the mindset. I’ve taken so much medication for my depression but one day, it just suddenly dawned on me that biological remedies can only go so far if I don’t decide to take matters in my own hands. That day the determination arrived is the day things started to get better. It goes up and it goes down like you say, but we remind ourselves there is strength within us. May God be with you also. Thanks again for leaving a mark in my life via my blog, and I hope you will visit again
      Noch Noch

  8. […] the same mistakes, and to identify areas that need change. This is also the reason why we need to reflect on the past year as 2011 comes to an […]

  9. […] Noch wrote about staying alive, getting engaged, and getting a […]

  10. […] My blog has grown and I am proud of its development down the meandering path in the last 24 months since it’s inception. Sometimes I need to stop criticizing myself for everything I have not done and congratulate myself for what I have achieved. […]

  11. […] There are many things to learn still, but I can say to some degree of satisfaction, that my writing has improved over time, and that the writing’s main aim, which was a different form of therapy recommended by my doctors, has helped me elucidate a lot of suppressed thoughts and emotions, and supported me in my quest for improved self-awareness to be true to myself. Some way to go, but I’m happy of my progress. […]

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.