Another self retro – continuing the path of becoming a multi self retro

I read the tweet by Stephan Kämper about his blog post A Double Self Retro On Its Way To A Multi Self Retro. And then of course also read the article, as well as the articles by Bruce (the legend) and Chris Armstrong and of course also there retro articles Personal Development 2020 Retro and All my life I’ve been good but, now what the hell….. and I liked them a lot. All of them.
And since Bruce in her article explicitly invited others to participate, I decided to join the party.

What is this and why did you agree to do a double multi self retro?

The end of the year, and especially the time between Christmas and the beginning of the new year, always has been a moment where live is less stressful, I step back, take some days off and enjoy time with the family. What better occasion could there be, to do a retrospective?
I was thinking about a self reflective blog post for a while already, but didn’t really feel motivated enough to do it, but reading and enjoying those from others made me want to write my own.

What did you think your goals were when you started the year?

I’m usually not setting personal goals or making any resolutions for the new year.
Beginning of last year was quite different. I had started a personal coaching with Deborah Preuss to finally overcome my procrastination. That coaching was still ongoing when the new year started. So overcoming procrastination was clearly a goal set.

Also, I wanted to become a „real“ conference speaker, especially at Agile Testing Days (#agileTD). After having spoken at some smaller local events, and even being lightning speaker at #agileTD twice, I now wanted to „the real thing“.

I got a first tattoo on my right forearm in November 2019, and wanted to get tattoos all over the arm.

How did your goals change through the year?

Not so much actually. My financial plans changed, so I only got a second tattoo on the right forearm.
After this whole pandemic thing started, I wanted to somehow survive that and manage working from home with a certain discipline, which worked out pretty well I think.

How did you recalibrate in the year, when things changed?

I started working from home in mid March. I quickly figured that needs some discipline.
Working from home for me has one huge advantage: It saves me about 2.5 hours of commute per day. So I had a lot more time for doing things I like: Spending time with my (closest) family, learning, reading, …

I also started participating in the #100DaysOfMove challenge, and now I’m doing sports nearly daily. Not sure that is caused by the pandemic, but it for sure was a mayor change for me.


Highest point of the year

Getting accepted as speaker at Agile Testing Days!


Lowest point of the year

No specific low point. But the last weeks I’m feeling more and more exhausted. For me this pandemic could be over yesterday. I’m more emotionally touched by things I usually wouldn’t care much about.
I’m usually not a winter blues person, but these very short days with only very little sunshine are killing me this year. Bought a daylight lamp ~ 10 days ago, that seems to boost my mood and motivation a lot.

Which item of clothing have you worn the most?

Hoodies. Not a specific one, but I have at least half a dozen of them, since they’re my prefered types of clothing.

Have you discovered any new tools?

I discovered Bullet Journaling, which helps me a lot overcoming my procrastination.


I had a 32″ curved screen on my wishlist since like forever. Working from home finally gave me the justification to get one. A really great investment. I can handle 4-6 windows on one screen, allowing me to switch between them easily or monitoring them at the same time.

Best coping mechanisms

Actually, none. Whenever there was something „bad“ caused by the pandemic (well, luckily nothing really bad happened to my loved ones or me), I told myself of how much I benefit from all the extra time because of not having to commute.

Did any songs help you cope with the year?

No song in particular.

TV shows that helped you cope

None. Although we got Netflix in March, and spending quite some time watching various shows and movies.

Who is your favourite new friend of 2020, and why is it Mira?

After the example given by many others from the testing community, this is the tweet that it all started.


Shortly followed by:


I didn’t reach out to Mira to become her learning partner, the tweet was just an idea. But we exchanged some DMs, and started to have calls every second week, and it’s fantastic!
Sometimes discussing prepared topics and sharing experiences, sometimes talking about things going on in the community, tweets & articles we read, and sometimes just chit-chat.
It always feels a bit like conference spirit.

Who is your favourite new friend of 2020, and why is it Stephan?

I met Stephan long time ago at Agile Teting Days, don’t recall when exactly, but both of us are going there for about a decade now, so potentially it’s quite a while ago.
This year brought that friendship to a new level, since he did such a great job in moderation my #agileTD session.

Who is your favourite new friend of 2020, and why is it Chris?

I met Chris during one of the wonderful online testing meetups organized by Alex, Bart & Huib.
And what should I say, how can’t you become friend with another „Back to the Future“ fan who has the same nickname as you?!

Who is your favourite new friend of 2020, and why is it Bruce?

Unfortunately, that’s friendship still to be made. But following each other on Twitter is a good starting point I think.

What’re you hoping to Get Done next year, even if it’s another 2020?

Staying healthy.

Still being committed doing bullet journaling and some sport everyday.

What have you learnt about yourself this year?

I can overcome procrastination!

Having the right tool(s), I can change my habits quite succesfully and build new ones.

Any regrets?


What have you enjoyed?

Lots of family time, online conferences, being a conference speaker.

What advice would you give to past you from January 2020?


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