We can’t believe it’s the end of 2014. Starting last year, we decided to do an exercise called the Annual Review which was inspired by unconventional blogger and author Chris Guillebeau (who founded the World Domination Summit). It’s an intentional (cough cough) opportunity to take sometime time out to reflect on the past year. If you’ve done one before, it’s also an awesome opportunity to see if you’ve accomplished the goals you had from the previous year. Finally, it’s a chance to start planning and thinking about the next year.
Here’s what we came up with for our annual review, 2014:
What went well this year? (click on links for more details)
- Successfully completed our 2-year Peace Corps service in Jamaica
- Successfully started travel hacking (flew to two international destinations using miles)
- Started our own business
- Worked on improving our interpersonal communication as a couple
- Maintained an unconventional, flexible lifestyle (working, housesitting, being digital nomads, doing help exchange)
- Reconnected with many friends & family
- Honed tech and social media skills
- Kept up our physical health (working out 6 days a week)
- Maintained blogs consistently (this one & our travel blog, intentionaltravelers.com)
- Networking (making new friends and professional connections)
What didn’t go well?
- Had some hurdles with our interpersonal communication
- Didn’t prioritize a goal to learn a new language (Jedd)
- Did not achieve a goal to learn/master Adobe Creative Suite & FinalCut Video Editing (Michelle)
- Were not consistently present to a home community
- Felt “directionless”at times and insecure about our choice to live unconventionally
Other Highlights of 2014
- Florida to Chicago roadtrip
- World Domination Summit (participated as volunteer Ambassadors and are now on the planning team for next year)
- Rockies road trip (Canada and US)
- Traveled to France & Switzerland
- Traveled to Boston
- Returned to Jamaica for 3 weeks
- Spent time with good friends dreaming of a new non-profit organization we could start
- Family reunions in Portland/Salem & Hawaii for Christmas
2015 is the year of… “Being Digital Nomads”
At the end of our Peace Corps service in April, we decided to take a leap of faith and committed ourselves to a trial period of unconventional, location-independent living. We started a business that we could operate anywhere (with internet) and decided to live simply to keep our expenses down (i.e. housesitting, help exchange). This allowed us to have the flexibility and freedom to pursue our biggest passions of travel and spending time with family and friends.
2014 was still a “sabbatical” period for us. We were readjusting from our 2-year Peace Corps experience. We weren’t actively looking for jobs. We weren’t seeking a place to settle down. Living as digital nomads was an experiment.
2015 is where we try to take things to the next level. We identify ourselves as full-time digital nomads. Here are some of the larger, overall things we hope to achieve this year:
- Grow our freelance web service business
- Start a new business (more info to come about this in a future post… it’s about travel!)
- Continue to improve on skills for professional and personal goals
- Continue to travel (internationally and domestically)
- Continue to live simply and keep expenses low
At this time next year… we will either be a) successful digital nomads writing blog updates from who-knows-where in the world or b) having to try a different lifestyle or c) committed a whole new adventure that wasn’t even on our radar at all.
This is just a sample and many are not yet fully fleshed out- each one is supposed to be specific and measurable so you know when you’ve accomplished it. We actually came up with quite a few goals in each of our categories, which are: Friends & Family, Spiritual, Business, Travel, Health, Learning, Service, Blog, Earning, Giving, and Saving.
- Travel to Japan & Vietnam to visit family and friends
- Travel to Europe for a family wedding and adventure in the summer
- Be available to family and friends that need assistance of any kind
- Go to at least 2 “new” states (we are only counting the states we visit together, with a goal to eventually see all 50 together)
- Read at least 6 spirituality-focused books (Jedd)
- Increase our monthly income through our businesses to sustain all of our expenses and still have extra to save
- Run a half-marathon (maybe an international one?)
- Continue to exercise 6 days a week and eat raw, unprocessed foods whenever possible
- Learn useful phrases in Japanese (Michelle) and French (Jedd)
- Seek out opportunities to learn more about gardening and farming
- Continue to tithe
Did you do an annual review or goal setting this year? What does 2015 hold for you? Let us know by adding a comment below.
9 thoughts on “Annual Review Exercise 2014”
Go for it guys and a very Merry – Oh, don’t forget to drop by with a cinnamon roll – I have transitioned for a brief time on Wilder – across the street and up aways from Punahou School.
You guys give me the greatest joy and inspiration – How I love you!
Jehovah Nissi ( I always travel under the covering of Jehovah Nissi (The Lord our Banner)!
And Wonders and wonders of His Love!
Thanks Auntie Cookey! Your love, support, and prayers mean a lot to us. All the best.
Erin and I were both wondering today who the winner of the comment contest (drawing) was? I have looked all over the blog(s) tonight and can’t seem to find the original post. We’ve been tossing around the idea of teaching in Europe at some point as a long term goal (5-10 years, we want to wait until the boys are at least both school age). It’s quite ways off, and a million things could change between now and then, but we are dreaming about it anyway.
That’s awesome Jeff. One of the best advices we’ve been given this past year was to dream out loud. I’ve noticed that when we do somehow the world works with us to make things happen. Especially if it’s something you really want and it matches who you are. Let us know how we can help in anyway. I’ve seen a couple of postings for teachers at international schools/bases and have a good friend who was a principal at one of those schools.
Love Love Love this! You two continue to be an inspiration!
Thanks Gwyneth! Happy New Year to you and Matt!
Love this!! My husband and I just got back from being PCVs in Mexico. It has not been an easy time for us. We’re still waiting on jobs to come through and just floating. Stop by sometime at teamjander.wordpress.com to check us out. May 2015 be better to all of us!