Review your year like you review your games!

Hello ChessMood Family!

Here we are at the end of another year! This is the time of year many of us reflect on how the last year has gone, and plan for the next year to come. I feel it is important to do this every year, not because we want to completely change who we are, but because we should look at what we did right and wrong over the last year to make the next one better. (We do this in our chess games to improve, and just makes sense to do it in our lives as well!)

2020 has been a wild ride for many of us. For me the year started with tremendous promise. (See my 2020 post here https://chessmood.com/forum/main-channel/2020-vision ) I had just come off a big year in 2019 of major life choices and changes and was ready to go to the next level. But then "life" happened...

I have found life rarely goes as planned, but it is much easier to adapt when you have a plan (Just like chess!). In January I made a deal that would land me a promotion with a raise, a bonus, and the freedom to travel monthly for chess tournaments. To say I felt on top of the world would be an understatement. I was set to get the bonus in February and the promotion in May, but then the world caught fire...

My bonus kept getting pushed out for reasons beyond my control (I finally ended up receiving it in July!) and with the global pandemic, the promotion has been pushed indefinitely... 

Since my long term goals weren't really effected by these work situations, it really didn't bother me much, outside of the inconvenience it caused for planning during that time. 

Also in January, I planned out a full schedule of chess tournaments I planned to play in 2020. In total it would of been close to 200 rated games. Alas, this also didn't happen, and also through no fault of my own. This bothered me more then my work situation, as it did impact my long term goal, but since I didn't have any control, I have kept the right mood and focused on what I do have control over. Early in the year, Coach Avetik recommended that all of us use the time we have while locked down to improve our game, as many others out there will not, and it will help us take a giant leap forward, and so this is what I have done instead of playing tournaments.

I made 2 significant changes to my chess study this last year that have helped accelerate my understanding of our game. The first is I started meeting with  Coach Nicolo regularly, and the second, I found a dedicated study partner to meet almost every day in Abhi. These 2 have pushed me to grow to new heights of chess understanding, and have greatly improved my confidence at the board, as well as my results!

This year didn't come with out a few personal growth opportunities as well. I have found this year I am easily distracted. Not only while playing chess (Though this happened frequently as well) but in all areas of my life. I noticed I had 11 chess books on my study table, and all of them were only partially read. On my nightstand I also had several personal growth books not completed. There are several ChessMood courses I have also not completed as well.

I also found this year that had lapsed in my care for my own health. I used the pandemic to justify eating poorly and to stop other physical activities, and as a result reached a point that it needed to be addressed right away. Before anyone gets concerned, just know I have already addressed this over the last 10 weeks and I am well on my way to better health. (I have lost 45 lbs, or over 20 kilograms, already)

So this year has been a roller coaster, as I am sure it has been for many of you as well. Some of my major goals set at the beginning of the year were not hit. I didnt hit 2200 FIDE ( I only played 5 FIDE rated games, so I dont have a rating yet), I didnt play 200 rated games ( I only played 9 OTB rated games total) and I didnt teach 100 new people to play chess (I taught 15 new players before the club was shut down for the year) I did, however, send more then 1000 people to ChessMood (and a few of them even joined!) as well as beating Coach Avetik in a game of chess (Although I won on time in a losing position during a simul, so not sure if this counts LOL)

Looking forward to 2021 (I am sure all of us are ready for 2020 to be over haha!) I have decided to take a different approach to goal setting this year. I have decided to focus on the things I can control in my work instead of being focused only on the results. I am not saying the results don't matter, but I realize that if I do the work, the results will follow.

I once heard you will hold your self more accountable to your goals if you put them down in writing and share them with the world, so here is my list of goals for 2021:

1. I will review and complete all video courses in ChessMood as if I was brand new to the site.

2. I will complete ALL of the books I have started before starting any new ones (16 books total)

3. I will eliminate possible distractions from my work and study to improve my concentration.

4. I will continue my health journey by continuing to lose weight and improve my sleep so I have enough rest.

5. I will seek out my coaches weekly to continue my growth

2021 will be a great year! I look forward to another trip around the sun with all of my brothers and sisters here at ChessMood, and I hope you all have a plan for the year to come as well!

Right Mood - Right Move

GM Jay

Hunan Rostomyan

Hunan Rostomyan 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing Jay. Congrats on progress and good luck with further growth in chess and life.
Jay Garrison

Jay Garrison 1 year ago

Thank you Hunan!
GM_Avetik Grigoryan

GM_Avetik Grigoryan 1 year ago

Jay Garrison

Jay Garrison 1 year ago

Thank you Coach!
Ovi S

Ovi S 1 year ago

Great to hear and thank you for sharing Jay!

Staying healthy is very important to me....nothing is possible in life with poor or bad health.

So I wish you and everyone here in the Chessmood family good health in 2021 so we all can achieve our goals (COGRO)!



Jay Garrison

Jay Garrison 1 year ago

Thank you Ovi!
Richard Dickinson

Richard Dickinson 1 year ago

Hi GM Jay

Thanks for sharing your 2020 review here and for our brief chats during the webinars.

Best wishes for 2021 & take best care


Jay Garrison

Jay Garrison 1 year ago

Thank you Richard!