Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Season's Greetings!

Whew, what a year it's been. I really cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by. How about you?!

Before I get into my 2014 review and goals for 2015, I wanted to take the time to say a special THANK YOU to YOU!

Thank you for reading this blog, thank you for commenting, thank you for opening the OFS Newsletter and most of all, thank you for supporting me throughout 2014. I really appreciate it and I don't take it lightly that you allow me into your world, even if it's just a small percent. It means a lot.

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2014 Annual Review

This is the first year I'm doing a proper review where I actually sit down and think about it. Sure, in the past I've looked back, but I've never really bothered to look at what went well and what didn't. I'm taking a leaf out of Chris Guillebeau's ‘book' – he has been doing this process for a few years now and I've seen how it sets him up for the year ahead.

Let's start with a couple of pertinent questions:

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn't go so well this year?

What went well in 2014?

I really like this question, as I mentioned, I've never really stopped to look back at how my year went in this way before, so I was pleasantly surprised at just how well things really went for me:

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  • I was able to post to this blog at least once per week, often twice per week – maintaining this was hard at times, but I stuck to my CoSchedule calendar and continued to write great content
  • We paid off our wedding with my income alone! For those of you interested in the details, I'm talking $15,000 USD
  • I became a best selling indie author, 4 times over (look Mum, I'm an Author!)
  • I Self published 6 books within the space of 5 months – all while maintaining this blog and client work
  • I started an exercise Boot Camp in my local park to meet others and get outdoors. My goal was to complete 8 weeks straight, which I just finished last week!


I don't know about you, but these are some pretty major achievements. In amongst that, we moved to NZ (back for me, first time for my Australian husband) and survived pneumonia (my husband), strep throat (me) plus other annoying illnesses that just wouldn't go away! The joys of living in a damp environment.

I encourage you to ask this question of yourself – as anyone that knows me well, I'm a glass is half full kinda gal – so focusing on the positives is natural for me. If it's not natural for you, force yourself to do this and give yourself a big pat on the back for everything you've accomplished, no matter how big or small that might be.

If you've done something well, you deserve recognition for it! I hereby give you permission to bask in your own glory… go!

What didn't go well in 2014?

This question, on the other hand, was a little tough for me. I'm sure you can understand why…

I'm a really positive person (remember, glass half full) so I don't often look at things that don't go well. In fact, I tend to skim over them and focus on the positives instead. This isn't always the best course of action – sometimes you need to acknowledge the things that you don't do so well so you can identify why and then adjust accordingly.

So, here goes:

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  • Consistent payments from clients. I have a number of clients on a monthly retainer, but for whatever reason, they don't always pay on time! This can cause some financial headaches for my husband (not me, I know it will always sort itself out!). I'd like to remedy this in the new year, that's for sure
  • Eating healthy foods – or lack thereof. We live in the city and have no car, so a trip to the supermarket is a bit of a mission… so we would just buy food from whatever was close by – which is generally a lot of fast food and restaurant food. The bottom line is – we were lazy. This will change in the new year
  • I didn't read enough books this year. To become a better writer, I need to be consuming almost as much as I'm writing. I'm going to make this a bit of a focus for 2015
  • Communication with my hubby – we hit a few issues this year and we didn't communicate so well through those periods. I'll be looking to improve my communication skills so I don't drive him to an early grave 😉


While this was an uncomfortable exercise, I feel it was beneficial because it forced me to look at the areas I didn't do well in which then forced me to figure out ways to fix or adjust them.

Make sure that you also do this for yourself. Once you're aware of what you rock and what you don't, you can make a plan to enhance those things you do well and fix those you don't. Otherwise, you'll just get the same results.

Goals for 2015

Again, this is probably the first time I've really sat down and written down my goals for the year ahead. I'm great at short-term goals, but long-term goals, not so much. I like to focus on what I can achieve in the here and now. This hasn't always been the case though, when I was younger, I was very much a long-term goal setter, but that lead to me wishing away the here and now because I was always looking towards the future…

Now I realise I can do a mixture of both short and long term goals. Again, following along Chris's path, I used his spreadsheet to plot all the goals I've got planned.

Below you'll find more information about my high level goals + what theme 2015 will be.

2015 – The Year of Focus and Growth

Here's my high level goals for 2015. There are 6 main categories that they fall into as follows:

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  • Writing – In 2015 I will write and publish 12 books (with a sub-goal of writing 100,000 words by 31st Dec 2015)
  • Business – In 2015, I'll be focusing on building my self publishing business, helping other indie author's have success with their own books
  • Friends & Family – In 2015 I will improve my communication skills and be in contact with family and friends more frequently
  • Travel – Move to Canada!!!!!!!
  • Health – In 2015 I will maintain my ideal weight and exercise 3-4 times per week, 52 weeks of the year
  • Learning – In 2015 I will learn how to speak conversational Spanish (and read it) as well as learn how to create Sketchnotes
  • Financial – In 2015 I will hit a 6-Figure income


There are lots of mini goals that fit into all of these categories that will help drive these main goals into fruition. I'm also going to take this a step further and create a plan for each category. I'm going to mind map all of these areas out and really hone in on what I want to achieve in 2015 and how I'm going to make it all happen.

2015 is going to be a super crazy year. My plan to write 12 books has already exploded into more than that… more details on my lofty self publishing goals in the new year!

We are also planning a move to Canada. We apply for visa's in January and I'll be keeping you all updated here on that progress.

In the meantime – happy holiday's and stay safe. I look forward to ‘seeing' you in the New Year! May 2015 be all that you want plus so much more!

As always, if you've got something to add to this or you want to leave a comment below with your own goals or 2014 review, please do! I reply to all comments…

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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!

    2 replies to "The Holiday Post – 2014 in Review and Looking Forward to 2015"

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