2020 Year in Review

It’s the end of a very crazy year. Crazy in bad ways and in good ways.

It’s time to reflect on it. Something I feel is important no matter who you are.

Tim Ferris has a way of reviewing the year, he finds it more important than coming up with resolutions. You can read about it here

I find it interesting, so I’ll break down the main concept for you here:

Create 2 colums in a notebook, piece of paper, spreadsheet. Whatever works best for you. Label one POSITIVE and the other NEGATIVE

Go through your calendar, photos or blogs etc from the last year. For each week find people, activities or commitments that triggered a peak positive or negative emotion. Put that thing into the respective column.

Once you have done that for the last year, ask yourself. What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks.

For the positive ones, work out how to get more of those items in your life next year. Start planning now.

The ones in the negative list now get put into another list called NOT TO DO. Put this somewhere you can see it, and make sure not to do these things that can cause you stress, make you miserable, cause problems in your life.

There we go, a nice and simple way to look at the past year.

I also like to look at my projects over the last year and write down what went well, what didn’t and what I can do in the future.

So this is the 2020 end of year break down for each one.

WebSam Website

Lets kick things off first by talking about this website.


  • I simplified the look of the site and gave it a bit of a makeover.
  • I set up a newsletter sign up form
  • Got a bit more clarity on what I want to do/have this site about


  • Blog posts dropped off the radar midway through the year
  • I got some business cards made for this site, better than the last ones, but I don’t like them. Will redesign at some point.

Future Plans
I’m going to write and schedule more blog posts, even if it is just 1 per month. These are going to be less random, and more informational for people that stumble across them or people that are wanting to work on their niche idea.

Giant Pumpkins NZ


  • I was really consistent with my blog posts this year, a goal I set myself and something I worked hard towards doing.
  • More people got seeds off of me, and took up the challenge of growing a giant pumpkin


  • Covid meant there wasn’t many events on this year, including our local one
  • I dropped the ball on creating YouTube content this year compared to previous years
  • I’m not really growing this year, not properly anyways

Future Plans
I want to continue with the blog posts, and get better at batching content well ahead of time. I’ve come up with an idea for YouTube which I think can be batch made, increase interaction and be evergreen.

I do however really need to be growing in a bigger area. This should happen at some point next year.

The Great Pumpkin Carnival


  • We had the great support of the same people that have been helping us for many years now
  • The team worked quite well and were working towards the goal of having the event held in a different location
  • We were quickly as easily able to deal with the cancellation of the event, and create an online competition for people to enter
  • I’ve been busy creating content and scheduling for next year. My goal which I am working towards is to bulk shedule 3 months worth of basic content ready to go from the 1st of Jan


  • Covid of course canceling our event

Future Plans
I’ve got some new tools to help with creating content, and managing information. I’ll do a blog post on one of those tools in the future. I feel like we all know what we are doing.

With it being such a niche event, it is hard to get more people involved, and I wonder if it will stay as it is, or evolve into something else over time.

Op Shop Directory NZ


  • I finally got around to rebuilding the website this year. Making it easier to manage and update.
  • I had 2 different offers around the website this year, neither of them led anywhere due to various reasons, but it was good to know people were interested in this project.
  • I got new business cards and I really like them, I have been known to stare at them from time to time


  • Just that it took me so long to sit down and sort out my stuff and get it updated
  • I thought someone would have brought me a coffee via the site by now. I decided to remove the google ads from the site as I personally don’t like sites with them

Future Plans

  • I plan to publish the monthly email newsletter and grow that to a decent number
  • I want to get some of the shops to take part in the upgrade options available to their listings
  • I want to help out some small op shops in some way
  • I want to connect with more op shops in person



  • We stayed on track for The Chris and Sam podcast, publishing super consistently throughout the year.
  • There was some big spikes in downloads which was great to see, even if we have no idea who is listening
  • Fine tuned the systems and processes I do to produce the podcast


  • I never did anything more with the other podcast projects floating around in my head
  • Due to Covid Fieldays in person was cancelled, so we couldn’t interview anyone there this year

Future Plans

  • To play around with this podcast idea I have for a short form podcast
  • Invest in some new equipment to help with future plans

Everything Else


  • NZ Secret Santa carried on this year, I didn’t realise until late in December. I don’t really use or even look at Twitter anymore. They had to change the name though, as the people that have that account have done nothing with it, which is s shame. Secret Santa NZ is the name it was this year.
  • I got a whole bunch more of lifetime deals this year. Most of them are really good and I use them a lot. Some others it might be 50/50 on just how useful they are. But I have built up my tech stack.
  • I feel like I have been better at creating content this year, well for some things. Not others. But maybe I should say I have better processes that work for me now
  • My best friend, who also happens to be my girlfriend moved in with me. Which involved a massive Rd trip. Looking forward to more exciting stuff next year.
  • I was in a TV ad, my own one, for Skinny. It was as cool thing to do.


  • I didn’t get my hands on a metal detector. While I really do want one, I just can’t justify throwing money at it right now like I can with camera’s or other tech things. Maybe because it can only do one thing and not be used for anything else? Not sure. Still work in progress.
  • Same can be said about the metal detecting website. I actually thought it was live with 1 blog post, but in fact it’s not live and I didn’t finish the blog post. Need to organise more of that this year.
  • Had to deal with a death in the family which was pretty full on.

Future Plans

  • The plan in 2021 is to move into a new place. Hopefully one that has space to grow pumpkins, if not that, just space for all of the stuff we have, and room for everyone.
  • Connecting with more people. Need to get out a bit more, and just say hi.
  • Need to sort out health things, getting checks, keeping on top of things and just moving more.
  • I’m going to plug away at this book idea I have, in fact as I write this I can see the chapter headers right now. It won’t be a long book, and I think it will be good for a very certain type of person.
  • I am going to cull more Facebook groups and pages, and reduce the amount of time I aimlessly scroll social media.

So there we go, a lot of stuff in there.

While 2020 was crazy for a lot of reasons, it was also really good. I felt like I achieved things, and on the whole I want to say it was really good.

How was your year? Was it good, bad or otherwise, and are you looking to 2021? What’s your biggest thing you are looking forward to in 2021? Let me know in the comments.

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