Before you invest too much time in this post, make sure you've read the first part of my annual review process, otherwise a lot of this isn't going to make any sense!

Now we get into the nitty gritty of the annual review, and the part I enjoy the most—planning out my 2016!

This part of the process takes a lot longer to do and has taken me almost 2 weeks to nut out, with the ability to be flexible with how it all pans out being key to my own success and sanity.

NEW: Watch the video version instead!

While I'm still following Chris Guillebeau's plan, I don't really like the spreadsheet aspect of it. It's not very visual — I like to visualise my goals — but it is helpful for my initial planning. I won't refer to it again until this time next year, because it just doesn't inspire me to keep on track.

What does inspire me is my vision board. This year, I've decided to create my vision board in Pinterest. Each morning, I look at it to keep me on track towards my goals. I'll continually keep adding to this, and if you want to make your own, just make sure you edit the pins to include the goal it's associated with (see image below as an example).

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What I do love about Chris's process is that he has several categories that he creates goals under, rather than just trying to set a whole bunch of random goals. This worked well for me in 2015, so I'm going to follow this for 2016.

Before we jump into my goals for 2016, lets recap my results from 2015 first. This will give you a better sense of how things went for me.

2015 Results

The results below are based on each individual category. Each overarching goal has a ton of mini-goals as well, so while the below might look ‘bad', in terms of my mini-goals, I actually didn't do as bad…

Writing Goal: Create a business around self publishing (coaching, teaching and writing)

I was only able to partially achieve this goal. I was able to create a business around my books and consulting with other authors on helping them get their books launched, but I didn't quite hit the mark when it come to creating a solid business.

That will be rectified in 2016 through the launch of my new site (in partnership with my pal Steve Windsor) More details on that below.

Friends & Family Goal: Improve communication skills and visit family often

Again, I was only able to partially achieve this goal. While we were living in NZ in the first half of 2015, we were able to visit my family often, but once we left and headed to Thailand, that wasn't an option.

And I was really slack in keeping up with communications with my loved ones. Which is actually not like me, but given all the drama that went on once we left Thailand and headed to Canada… my head was all out of sync and my heart was breaking…

Travel Goal: Move to Canada

If you've read the first part of the annual review, you'll know that this wasn't achieved. I'm not going to rehash things here, because it still hurts, but you'll find out more about our plans below.

Health Goal: Lose 15kgs and exercise 3-4 times per week consistently

This was partially achieved. I maintained my weight rather than lost it but I did exercise 4-5 times per week for the last half of 2015. I have lost 2kgs in the last month though, so this is a good sign! It's due to me updating one of the mini-goals associated with this overarching goal… I'll explain more below.

Learning Goal: Learn Spanish and how to create Sketchnotes

I didn't even attempt either of these, so obviously they weren't achieved. I find that my learning goals tend to fall to the bottom of my list, so for 2016, this is going to change.

Financial Goal: Manage income and outgoings and reach 6-figures

I partially achieved this goal — I reached 6-figures in June but this dropped off in the last half of 2015 due to all the travel and living issues we had. I also managed my income and outgoings because I hired someone to do this for me! It's not my forte, so I find it's best to outsource things I don't like or don't have skills in (and don't wanna learn).

So those were the overarching goals for 2015. In order to achieve these goals, there are lots of mini-goals or milestones that have to happen for these to be achieved.

I won't go into too much detail, because this post is already getting long, but here's a brief breakdown:

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  • Writing: I had 4 mini-goals set to help achieve the main goal and out of this 4, I achieved 3 of those goals. So that's a win as far as I'm concerned!
  • Business: I had 5 mini-goals set for my business goal and I achieved 3 of these goals and partially achieved 1, again, another win as far as I'm concerned 🙂
  • Friends & Family: I had 4 mini-goals set for this category and achieved 1 and partially achieved 2, so as far as I'm concerned, that's still a good result!
  • Travel: I had 3 mini-goals set for this category and achieved 1 and partially achieved another. Still good.
  • Health: I had 4 mini-goals set for this category and achieved 2 and partially achieved 1, still a win!
  • Learning: Major fail, as I mentioned above. Definitely an area I'm working on for 2016.
  • Financial: I had 3 mini-goals set for this category and partially achieved 2, still not bad. It was the only category I didn't fully achieve a goal in, apart from learning.


Ok, so that's the run-down on 2015.

2016, come get me!

My 2016 Goal Categories + Overarching Goals

Sticking with the same goal categories as last year, I've made a few adjustments in how I word the goals. This just makes it more tangible for me.

I also have a theme for 2016: DETERMINATION

My purpose is to create multiple streams of income and connect more with my followers — that's you!

My intended outcomes for 2016: I will have multiple income streams that centre around self publishing, being an author and freelancer. I will be happy and surrounded by friends and family with no money worries what-so-ever!

I think it's important to have a purpose and to state what you want 2016 to look like in terms of outcomes. Without direction, it's difficult to set a course and know when you're successful… at least that's how I look at it!

Without further ado, here is what my life is going to look like in 2016:

Writing Goals:

I will write and publish 10 books, write a fiction series and write my late grandfather's biography.

Business Goals:

I will create funnels for each book, increase income by diversifying and create and expand on the Author Basics brand with my business partner Steve.

Friends & Family Goals:

I will learn to communicate more effectively with Guy, spend time with friends and family and make an effort to keep in regular contact with friends living overseas.


I will take shorter, regular trips away (4-day weekends), take our honeymoon (finally!) and implement plans to move to another country.


I will lose 12kgs, exercise 5 times per week and eat well through flexible dieting strategies.


I will read 12 books, attend at least 2 entrepreneur focused seminars/workshops/conferences in person and immerse myself in self publishing.


I will make 6-figures (net) and never have to worry about checking my bank balance again!

Of course, there are a ton of mini-goals that support all of these goals, with deadlines set. These will govern how my to-do list in Todist looks for the next 12 months.

There will be other goals that come up, but they will need to be reviewed against this list to make sure that they align with my categories. If they don't, then they get shelved until I'm able to fit them in.

By setting my goals in the present tense, it allows my mind to visualise how this will actually look. All the micro actions that need to happen will become clearer once I start each goal, but right now, this is enough to set my path for 2016.

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Happy New Year everyone! As you farewell 2015, think about your own goals for 2016 and make them meaningful to you.

I'll see you on the other side!

Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

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