23 Dec Annual Review 2015 and Looking Ahead to 2016
As the year comes to a close, it’s a perfect time to stop and reflect. For the past few years, we’ve really enjoyed the practice of doing an Annual Review because it helps us celebrate our victories, recognize areas for improvement, and start taking steps toward fulfilling our dreams.
During our recent stay with Jedd’s brother in Honolulu, we took a day to go through the Annual Review process, which we’ve adapted from Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review and the Live Your Legend Goal Setting & Action Workbook.
Here’s what we did:
Looking Back (together):
- Reviewed our calendar and compiled our highlights from 2015
- Reviewed our 2014 goals and evaluated what went well and what didn’t go well
- Journaled reflections for questions 1-9 in the Goal Setting Workbook
- What are you most proud of in the last year?
- If there were a newspaper headline describing this past year for you, what would it say?
- What unfinished business did you want to resolve before the year’s end?
- When were you most excited about life in the past year?
- What would you have done differently in 2015
- What new dream for yourself did you achieve?
- Where did you let fear hold you back from a goal you had?
- What was boring to you this year that you hope to change for next year?
- What new and inspiring people did you meet in the last year? Who do you want to get closer to in the year to come?
- Listed our Areas of Attention, the core areas of life where you want to get results (Health, Continued Learning, Marriage & Relationships, Spirituality, Service, Work, Travel, Saving & Giving). Listed habits we’d like to focus on in the New Year.
- Came up with quantifiable, measurable goals and outcomes we want for each Area of Attention. Also identified a strong, motivating reason “why” we want to achieve each one.
- After some time thinking on all these things alone, we regrouped to share our thoughts and help each other refine our ideas.
- Divided our individual goals into smaller steps we can take to work toward them, and identified people who can help us with specific aspects of them.
- Set timelines and deadlines for goals based around other things scheduled on our calendar
Wrapping up (together)
- Compiled a list of goals we have in common or want to accomplish as a team
- Brainstormed a few ideas for our 3-5 year plan
- Created a focus and a theme for the upcoming year
We covered a lot of ground, and have had a few follow-up sessions already to further refine and clarify our goals, so I won’t go over everything that came out of our Review. But here are some of the key points:
2015 was the Year of Being Digital Nomads. We met our financial goals, maintained our health, and visited a lot of friends and family around the world, proving to ourselves that this unconventional lifestyle is viable and enjoyable. Looking back on everything we got to experience this year, it feels like we’ve gained a lifetime of memories. Here is a video recap of some of our trips in 2015:
Here are just a few of our goals for 2016:
- Continue to exercise 6 times per week
- Visit a new continent together (South America)
- Don’t add any new work commitments to our plates unless one is dropped
- Generate online income that can replace at least one freelance client by the end of the year
- Continue to tithe and put the full allowed amount into our Roth IRA savings
- Do a quarterly “marriage review” or check-in
Our focus for 2016: Being both productive and balanced.
2016 is the year of “launches”
We are intentionally becoming less nomadic for the bulk of 2016 in order to get a few different things off the ground. The big one is the Wayfinding Academy, a new non-profit college we’re helping to start up in Portland, Oregon for Fall 2016. To be more present as we launch the school, we’ve committed to being in Oregon for about 70% of the year. If you’re wondering whether this means we’ll be “settling down,” we don’t think so! We’ll be in Ecuador for the first part of 2016, and our intention is to be back on the road by the end of the year, continuing our “location independence” for the foreseeable future.
I (Michelle) am also launching a new site, BloggingAbroad.org, which I shared about in a recent blog post. This project ramps up January 1, and I will continue to build it out through the year. Meanwhile, Jedd is helping to launch a few side things related to WDS this year. Hence: the year of launches.
Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter to follow along with us. You can also check out Jedd’s version of our Annual Review update, with a few more of the personal details, on our personal blog: coming soon.
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