Right on time to kick off this year, time to do a small wrap up of the year that past, the end credit of an annual stream of consciousness.

Talking about the blog, I must admit I don’t feel the urge to write that regularly. However, in 2020, I set a goal of writing a stream of consciousness each month to ensure some regularity and to go hand in hand with my gratitude journal habit. So let’s start this wrap up.


It’s been almost a year that I joined Bankin’ and discovered the French startup ecosystem. There I had the chance to encounter wonderful colleagues from whom I learn a lot every day. Even if, with the strike still ongoing in France since beginning of December, I miss them quite a bit working remotely, they’re still present every day through Slack and I’m looking forward to see them back.

The work had its challenge. I had the chance to build an UX vision from the start, and while I’m already proud of what we achieved, I feel a lack of structure in the way I can handle things and I’m looking forward to lay some better foundations for our product process in 2020. But for 2019 I had the chance to :

  • Gather all our users feedbacks in one single place
  • Ensure that all feedbacks are tagged by expressed need
  • Give a full visibility and hierarchy of our user needs
  • Did 30+ user interviews accross France and give an overall picture of our users
  • Build the first Bankin’ persona based on user behaviors
  • Worked on several product improvements with the team
  • Deployed several user metrics (NPS, UEQ & UMUX Lite)

For 2020, on top of the structure, I also aim to inject more positivity in the way I see things and try my best to adopt a non defensive way of seeing things at work.

Health & Spirituality

2019 was a major change on this path. I gained a lot of weight, which led me to encounter a lot of problems with my self esteem and self image. And I couldn’t handle seeing any photograph of myself.

Thanks to Aadam from Physiqionomics, I started working on myself since september. In the space of 5 months, I went from 88kg to 73kg and still working on it. I’m now working out at least 3 times a week through weight training, and doing some cardio on the other days. I’m feeling more and more at ease with myself and started accepting again photographies of me 🙂

For the first time in my life, this weight loss is done in a healthy way, through meal prep and sport, and not dangerous cutting off food or bad health behavior.

Brainfood & Mental Health

Since February, I’m also seeing a hypno-therapist with whom I’m working a lot on curing past scars. This really helped me even if it’s for the long haul, but the benefits keeps on showing and I’m feeling really lucky to have found her. I’m still seeing her once a month and it’s always a great gift to myself.

I kept on journaling but only for the gratitude part, this helps me end the day on a positive note and give me a great way of seeing the time that has passed (thanks to this app).

This year I wasn’t able to finish my goal of books reading, but managed to reach around 40 books still. It was mainly due to changes in the way I traveled to work (by bike now) and also by the fact that my new life changes took quite a lot of energy to set in motion. Still aiming for 50 books next year, and will do my best to carve a bit of space to read.

I stopped publishing new things in my newsletter for several reasons. First I grew tired of self-development books and wanted to read more fiction, to dream, hope, whatever. Second, I discovered that self-help books put all the toll on the individual and while I think people have a lot of responsibility in their life, you can’t always “look at the bright side” when bad things happen to you, and sometimes society has its problems too. Thirth, I discovered that when I wrote I couldn’t express myself exactly how I wanted and always felt that there was something missing about what I wrote and that I was able to say more things when I was talking than writing. So perhaps I’ll start a podcast, perhaps not regarding the amount of podcasts already existing now, but we’ll see where this project goes.

In 2019, I had the chance to keep on developing a great group of friends on whom I really can rely on when I need and with whom I’m able to talk on a deep level (or get drunk and do stupid things, can’t lie). I’m still happy also in my love life and looking forward to have a place of our own in 2020 🙂

The Road Ahead

I’ve just finished setting my goals for 2020 on 4 axes :

  • On the economical side: try to spare more and build a good security net. I achieved being debt free in 2019 and started aiming toward this, so it’s on the track.
  • On the brainfood side: aim to read 50 books (and at least 5 biography), attend some meet ups and write 12 streams of consciousness. I’ll aim also to attend more cultural events. Get rid of the toxicity of online networks by decluttering my feeds or learn to get rid of bad people (mute, block, whatever).
  • On the health side: keep on working out 3 times a week, aim to feel good in my body, meal prep every week for lunch and also aim to declutter all my rooms and get rid of the things I don’t need or feel attached to.
  • On the work side: try to find that makes me vibrate and feel alive, and try to learn how to develop a side of myself that feel at ease at work and empowered by my work. Try to learn also to see what I have accomplished and not only what’s left to accomplish.

So that’s a first step to kick off this new year, and I’m looking forward to keep on building up things for 2020.

Simon Vandereecken

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