My Yearly Review of 2020 – aka The Year of the modern Plague
What was your 2020 like?
First off, happy new year, mate! I hope you came well into 2021. I hope this year will get much better than the Rona-raped 2020. It can hardly be worse.
I admit that the plague-headline idea might be a bit clickbaity, but when 2020 will get described best in one word it’s COVID. This disease showed us how one tiny particle can turn all our interconnected lives upside down in no time. Plus it raises a lot of questions on all sides of the discussion – but that’s another magazine’s topic.
What I write here about today is my 2020. Of course, COVID was also part of mine – how could one get around this – but it wasn’t the biggest change at all! My goal is to be as open with you and share my life, as well as what happened at my blog’s core.
First, before overusing and abusing the terms of “I,Me & My”, let me ask you what you 2020 was like? I’d like to hear that. Write me a comment with which content you’d like to share:
What was your greatest achievement of 2020?
What did you learn this year?
Was there any deeply-memorable moment?
Or just use this as a reminder to ponder on yourself about the former year. Go through this exercise and see if there was anything you could’ve done better, in which areas you want to progress, but also give yourself a big imaginary (or real) tap on the shoulder for what you’ve achieved!
Change is the only Constant in Life.
What happened on my Blog?
The first Overhaul
In September while in quarantine I found the time to completely overhaul my site – the overall design, the technical stuff, as well as my approach to how things should work.
I hope the design got a bit cleaner while keeping my branding alive. At least that was my goal. The Blog’s first darker draft seemed a bit overladen to me. I think now it looks more elegant and the focus is on the written word – what do you think?
In terms of technical changes I completely overhauled my SEO, changed Yoast1 to RankMath, and cleaned up my Categories, Tags, URLs, Media Library. Moreover, I started to take Pagespeed more seriously and integrated WPRocket with Asset Cleanup and AMP to really get the quickest load times for every visitor without sacrificing design or functionality. It’s an awesome topic which I could nerd on endlessly about, as much more happened, but let’s go on here.
When it comes to structuring, I thought a lot about Emailmarketing and Affiliatemarketing. I wanted to clarify my message and give you the best experience possible without being the *** marketing his own stuff penetrant. While I truly believe in its use, I always hate sites myself which are full of popups, ads, and the like. There is a small line to walk to promote healthily or risking being tagged as a spammy ***.
As all of this took up much of my overall time I haven’t been very active on Instagram – that’s a thing I wanna change in 2020. Plus, I wanna give YouTube a try, because I love that medium, but always shed away from it for lack of speaking practice of the English language.
Growth is inevitable
Within 2020 this Blog went from ~1.000 monthly Views last January to above 5.000 at the end of it. That’s a trend I am really proud of. Although I didn’t make much money from the blog yet, I think this is proof of my work being appreciated or at least wanted. That’s better than any money else way.
In fact, I made in 2020 around ~300€ with this page. This must be roughly an hourly salary of 0.20 cents. Yay! I am mentioning this because I truly believe, if you’re solely in to make bank you are missing the long-term benefits and inevitably lose motivation early. Yet I’ve been paid in knowledge – SEO, Webdesign, Coding, Science, Sports, and the like – I didn’t even think about acquiring a few years ago. Nonetheless, my dream is to work on this baby full time, not 30 hours a week after my 30-hour job.
Anyways, if you want to hear more from me about the Ins ‘n’ Outs of blogging put it in the comments down below! I really love that topic, but it stands in stark contrast to my original topics.
What changed in my Personal Life?
Moving to Canada
On August the 31. I touched Canadian ground for the first time, in the aftermath of the Corona crisis. Originally I planned to go here at the end of April, but that virus annihilated these plans fast.
After a few ups and downs of replanning the trip, which also went overboard I finally made it. But trust me the first moment I truly believed it was as I left the airport in Montreal and no border official chased me.
As you can imagine, moving here changed a lot, but paradoxically at the same time not that much. What I mean by that is, that people tend to be the same everywhere. Same same, but different as the Thais beautifully like to say. The only thing hard to keep up with is your routines in the midst of the storm.
Currently, I am working in British Columbia around 2 hours off Vancouver at a Ski Resort called Sasquatch Mountain. It is a great time over here, and I experienced a lot – especially the cold, snowmobiles and skiing.
Last November I chose to prioritize Handstands within my training. I started with around 4 sessions a week and purchased the Push Program by HandstandFactory to get competent guidance. In retrospect, this program was awesome and saved me lots of unnecessary minutes spent with stupidly falling over again, and again, and again.
Nonetheless, what I noticed is that the handstand takes time and dedication. Train it for years for around 4-6 times a week and you will nail it. Before choosing to put my overall focus on Handbalancing – away from Calisthenics as a main – I wasn’t anywhere near holding a handstand despite following the ‘kickup and pray’ approach for some time. Currently, I am quite there yet. 10s holds are reliable, what I work on for now is the consistency of the kickup and longer holds overall.
As stated above in retrospect I’m really proud of getting the handstand reliable. When training it I feel that I suck anyways, but if I look back a year ago sticking a handstand was beyond my imagination. Handstands can be very frustrating when only 1 out of 5 sessions feels really great, but you gotta put in the work anyways.
So, that’s progress, even if it’s hard to see at the particular moment. Let’s see where it will be in another year.
Two years ago I’ve discovered the Investment-World and went down that hole. In Germany, even stocks and bonds are quite unpopular and looked upon as gambling. Of course, it can be if you are huge into futures, forex, options, and the like, but most of the time it’s not when sticking to safe basic instruments. Here in Canada these basic instruments are more commonly used and even recommended saving for retirement. I find this mind-shift amazing and really like this mindset.
I don’t wanna brag with money or any of that bullshit, in fact, I’ve paid my learning money due for sure. My point is – the journey is fun! It is all about making decisions, sticking to your goals, adjusting to the market, and paying for your decisions. Or making bank. Plus I think it is crucial for everyone to learn how things work in the financial sector – at least on a basic level.
So my achievement here is to step over my own misconceptions and nowadays even trying out professional instruments like options, futures, certificates, and other derivates.
Living abroad (and keeping up with everything)
Last but not least the biggest success was moving to Canada in early September. Not forever, but for around a year.
Man let me say, this was a struggle. Fucking COVID. Originally I wanted to leave on the 1st of April. Didn’t work well. Fortunately after only 2 other failed attempts it worked to catch a flight and not being sent back home again by a border official in September.
Before getting here I was really afraid that I couldn’t keep up with my Blog and training schedule. Fortunately, where’s a will there’s a way and it worked out quite well. I can’t work out as much as at home in my stable environment, but that’s fine for the given moment.
As of now I made many connections and really learned to love the Canadian openness. I think we in Germany are very direct and can be hard to get in contact with at first. I found that especially our language is a very information-oriented language. English is more talkative, social-minded and folks smalltalk a lot.
8 Months to go let’s see how it ends.
The two Hardest Moments 2020 had in store
Leaving everything behind and starting anew
Canada is a great experience, nonetheless, it was also scary at first to leave everything and everyone behind. I felt like a failure giving everything up, just for the dream of living abroad and of leaving Germany. It felt like running away from myself to drown my ego in fast-paced experiences. In fact, I wanted to run away from society at least the crushing burden that comes with its conformity bias. I want to stand on my own and not follow the outlined ways.
Nonetheless, these decisions come with a crushing burden and self-realization. You are responsible for everything in your life. It is definitely not the easy dream some think and I admire folks who make it look that way. You really got your act together!
Hell must be as cold as it is here
Did you ever experience -30 °C below?
I didn’t until now. I think the hardest winter in Germany was around -15 °C when a Siberian wind hit us. But fuck, that is nothing compared to -30 °C while the Torontonian wind blows harshly through the wide columns of the concrete jungle.
What is beautiful is all the snow and the fact that coldness doesn’t inhibit social life. Of course, you turn inwards, but Canadians seem to not care about out that much. When at Germany the temperature hit -10° the streets were ghosted.
Funnily to see that Covid wasn’t to find anywhere, isn’t it?
My opinion on COVID is that it is a joke. It can be fatal, as influenza can be or MRSA, or the millions of other germs around. Moreover, there are and were far more catastrophic diseases – we are quite lucky that it is only COVID and not Smallpox 2.0.
We quarantine the strong to save the weak, although the other way around would be more useful. It is ‘just’ Corona – a modified flu. I get it that too many hospitalizations would be catastrophic, but there’s still no need for these tremendous regulations forced upon each of us. Even worse, most of them don’t seem to work. But that’s a topic for another discussion.
I hope this little insight into the person behind the blog and my experience of running a blog and an online business was interesting.
Until next week then, or in this format next year!,
Sorry Yoast – never thought that would happen though!