Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer, manager and consultant

30 questions to ask yourself

This time last year, Anna Loseva posted a list of 30 questions to ask yourself on New Year’s Eve. I thought this idea was so good I set a reminder to answer them, so here goes:

1. The best moment of the year.

This is a hard one to choose – I’ve had a pretty amazing year. Having said that, I think it was probably meeting my best friend’s new baby for the first time 🙂

2. What inspired me the most this year?

The amazing trainers and teachers I’ve worked with throughout the year. I’ve learnt so much from everyone, including remembering what it’s like to be fresh to the job again.

3. The major news of this year.

Becoming the Director of Studies at IH Bydgoszcz in August.

4. Anthem of the year 2015.

Even though it came out in 2013, I only discovered it a couple of months ago:

5. The most important people in my life.

As always, my friends and my family, but especially some of the new babies who have entered the world this year. There have been a lot of them!

6. What was most difficult for me to do this year?

Saying goodbye to Sevastopol again, this time with no prospect of going back any time soon. And hearing about the ongoing problems there, currently including daily power cuts. Thinking about all of my friends who are going through it, and hoping it ends soon 😦

7. What colour was this year?

Erm…not really sure about this kind of question! Possibly blue, but only because of all the blue skies I was lucky enough to experience from February until July as I was in a lot of hot places. Here are some examples from Crimea:

Karadag, Koktebel, Mayak and the mountains of Crimea
8. Which event of the year would I choose to remember forever?

The end of the first week of teaching at IH Bydgoszcz, when I realised that I could do the job and it would all be OK 🙂

9. Which word did I use most often?

Probably ‘amazing’. Because it was.

10. My most ridiculous purchase of the year.

A double bed. Mostly ridiculous because of what it signifies – a complete change in my lifestyle and hopefully being a bit more settled. That and how much I spent on it!

11. I shouldn’t have experimented with …

Saying yes to two writing projects at the same time. Not good for the work-life balance!

12. This year was wonderful because …

I got to live the dream, travelling to Thailand, Palma, Barcelona and Sevastopol, and now living in Bydgoszcz. I made new friends and had a huge range of amazing experiences that will stay with me forever. My health improved once I became more settled, and I can now eat considerably more than this time last year, including enjoying all the Christmas food I missed out on in 2014.

13. Which inner problem did I solve successfully?

Not sure if this counts as an inner problem, but probably the doubts I had about whether it was the right time to take on a DoS job, or whether I needed more experience behind me. It was, and I didn’t: I love it 🙂

14. Who did I hug at night?

‘Bydgoszcz bear’, a gift I was given on my first visit to the city in January, and who has sat by my bed ever since.

15. Whose wedding did I have fun at?

No weddings this year, unfortunately. It was all about the babies instead!

16. What was my average salary this year?

Enough to finally get some savings behind me, for the first time in my career!

17. Did I have a conversation that turned everything upside down in my head?

Maybe not one that turned everything upside down, but certainly a couple of life-changing ones (only one of which is mentioned in that post!)

18. What new project did I start in 2014?

My two biggest writing projects so far: watch this space to find out more!

19. If I could become a superhero for just one day, what would I do?

Fly around the world and give all of my friends big hugs, especially the ones who most need them when they need them, instead of months later when we finally get to meet up.

20. What am I dreaming about now?

A family. And a more permanent home.

21. What do I consider to be my most important achievement?

Having built up enough of  a reputation to be asked to speak at the Innovate ELT conference in May 2016. 🙂

22. This year until this moment in one sentence.

A rollercoaster of emotions.

23. The latest message I’ve sent.


Yep, that was it.

24. A quote that is most suitable for my year.

Difficult to pick just one, so here are three:

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson

“The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” – Shirley MacLaine

25. Did I achieve everything I’d planned for this year?

The last couple of years haven’t really involved a plan. Things have changed frequently and they’ve brought me to where I am now. I’ve pretty much given up on planning my career – just waiting to see where it takes me 🙂 Lots of ideas, but not much that’s specific!

26. How many new friends did I make this year?

A difficult one to count – lots!

27. Who did I help this year?

Erm…Being completely immodest, I hope I helped CELTA trainees, teachers and students at IH Bydgoszcz, friends, family, randoms on facebook, Twitter, my blog…oh, and cancer research scientists.

28. Where did I travel?

To many more places than I expected, all but one of which I had no idea I’d go to this time last year. What a difference twelve months can make! I feel incredibly lucky.

29. Which projects am I putting off till next year?

The ones I haven’t had time for this year!

30. What do I want to achieve next year?

Ideas brewing for a course, a book, a reinvention of my Infinite ELT Ideas blog, and quite a few things at IH Bydgoszcz. And one or two other things which I won’t write about here…

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for inspiring me Anna 🙂

Comments on: "30 questions to ask yourself" (14)

  1. Great – have to make a note to answer these next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year Sandy! Keep up the great works you have started. You are a tremendous friend to lots of people. Big hug, Marian xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great reflections! Happy New Year,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this! I am definitely going to do this too because I think it has been a pretty crazy year too 🙂
    And I can confirm you can add newbie teachers to your list of people you’ve helped, as you and your blog have helped me tonnes!
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joanna Malefaki said:

    Nice! I am gonna write one too but next year. Have a lovely 2016 Sandy!


  6. […] today, I found Sandy Millin’s blog post posing a list of 30 questions to herself to sum up her 2015, and I thought the idea was so fitting to what has been a crazy year for me, that I thought I would […]


  7. Thanks, Sandy. Happy new year, in some hours.


  8. […] do I consider to be my most important professional accomplishment? (directly from Millin, et al […]


  9. […] ELT bloggers, such as Rachel Daw, Sandy Millin and Anna Loseva have written posts which sum up their year in ELT in 2015. Inspired  by them, I […]


  10. […] yet? On the assumption it isn’t, below I follow the excellent example of the spectacular Sandy Millin, the awesome Anthony Ash, and the rarified Rachel Daw (plus the heavenly Hana Ticha, […]


  11. […] came across this set of questions in posts by Rachel Daw and Sandy Millin (see the original post in which Anna Loseva explains how she came up with the questions here), and […]


  12. […] a year ago. You can find the post here. Rachel’s post is here and Sandy’s is here. Just as I was editing this post, Vedrana wrote her 30 questions to ask. You can find that one […]


  13. […] much bigger and became a great blogging challenge. I really enjoyed reading the responses by Sandy, Vedrana, Matthew (there are parts 2 and 3, I think!), Anthony, Rachel (and looks like many more […]


  14. […] 2015 – 30 questions to ask yourself […]


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