Annual year review 2012 and goal setting for 2013


Greetings fellow readers!

I was hoping to complete this blog post about my Annual review before as we’re already in March. But that’s how life goes sometime. Time fly and you got sucked in with stuff.

Hope your all had a wonderful time with your family & friends for the holiday period that is already 2 month behind. This year was definitely more exciting than the last with our last trip to Vanuatu.

Since now 2 years ago, I started doing more active thinking and writing about the year that has just finished and look ahead for the next one. This exercise particularly useful to get clarity about my own life direction and to plan and take appropriate action to change the course of my life for what’s remaining of my life. The concept was originally taken from from Chris Guillebeau’s book on the “Art of non-conformity“.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their chosen endeavor.” – Vince Lombardi.

Annual Review

The annual review process being by focusing on what went well in 2012. This can be done according to the goals you set on previous years or by overlooking at the general theme that matters to you.  You then examine what could be improved. The result will surely help you with the process of being intentional about your choices in the following year(s) and maybe draw a first set of actions for change.

General review – 2012:

What went well ?

2012 has been a positive one for us. In 2011, there was a critical transition that occurred and this year although there was no such major change, the pursuit of stability and improvement was on the agenda.

  • Gabriela found a full time job
  • I’ve moved into Project Management at work.
  • We traveled a lot and that feel good!
  • Got our SSI Diving certification

On top of this:

  • Traveled for work back home in Canada for Easter 2012. I could spend valuable time (but short) with my family and friend.
  • Traveled to Mexico for 3 weeks.
  • Went in Papua New Guinea for a first work mission abroad.
  • We traveled and explored more of Australia, Blue Mountains, Cairns, Melbourne, Moreton Island, Fraser Island, North Stradbroke (camping),etc.
  • Half way through professional accreditation in project management.
  • I bike to work almost everyday.
  • Reinforced general health and well-being.

What could be improved?

  • Last year I plan for a couple of big goals like preparing an upcoming trip to hike the Kilimanjaro and to run an half marathon. I postponed the Kilimanjaro trip to accommodate my best friend big change in his life (baby!) and I backed up from running an half-marathon because of lack of focus on regular training. (1 time a week is NOT enough!).
  • Professionally, although it has been a very exciting year regarding work, it remained for this is year as well quite stressful. Company has grown up to 30 employes now and we’re playing different role at the same time, with a lot of things to deliver and without the time necessary to do things up to the level I would have like. It is sometime difficult to keep a balance between work and personal life and I must admit I fail sometime to manage stress successfully.

Some lesson learned:

  • Lately I’ve felt that I’m doing well at the small things, but failing to focus and plan for more involved work. To achieve something of significance and break the pattern of neglecting the bigger picture, you have to give up of inconsequential things and ask yourself the fundamental question:

    What, exactly, am I trying to build here? What is the expected outcome?

    Some people who don’t like planning and prefer to take life as it comes. There’s nothing wrong with that approach, I guess. But it’s definitely not for me. I want to do bigger things, the kind that you can expect feeling some sort of achievement. So for the time I am given in this life, I want to embrace small actions that lead to bigger outcomes, therefore I need to think about the long term and choose to do the right small things.

2013 – General goals:

Moreton Island - Sand Dunes

This new year as started off in a great way and I will do everything to keep it going. This new year will involve even more traveling. We traveled to Vanuatu and crossed out few of my bucket list item (e.g volcano trip was amazing!). There is already other plan to cross out few bucket list item like visiting Japan (ticket bought already!), Skydiving (was supposed to happen last weekend but was cancelled due to bad weather), half-marathon, etc.

I still have in mind a big project for mid-2014 dedicated to my mother who survived breast cancer few years ago.  So, part of this year (mostly-mid 2013+) will be dedicated to building and preparing this, especially for the fitness part! I will continue putting health and fitness at the top of my agenda.

  • First, run Half-Marathon. I intend to run my first half-marathon for the Gold Coast marathon in June/July.
  • Second, I would like to re-introduce my project that I called “Hike for Life”. The project consist of teaming up with few committed friends and go climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa in 2014 and raise fund for Breast Cancer. In the next following months, you will hear more about this project and if you feel interested about teaming up and/or helping out, please let me know.

Detailed review:


Learning is really something that motivates and energizes me. I like the challenge and the feeling of learning something new, making progress towards something, improving.


  • I completed few books for work and personally.
  • Completed a professional course for the International Institute of Business Analyst.
  • I learned a lot from my new work, especially around project management.


  • Keep reading on few books, any suggestion?
  • Complete one or two professional certifications for Business Analyst, Project Management.

Career development & Business:


  • Continued learning about applied Corporate Social Responsibility to Oil, Mining and Gas.
  • Completed one work mission in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
  • Moved into Project Management with a 700k, 500day-p project in PNG with 7 staff.
  • Contribution in business development.


  • For the next year, I’m mostly looking to develop my skills and expend further my knowledge in the field of corporate social responsibility and sustainability for the oil, gas and mining industry.
  • Developing more experience in Project Management and team management.
  • More traveling for work including one trip in Canada and few trips abroad.
  • More contribution in business development.


Traveling is probably to highlight of 2012 and will most probably will be the highlight of 2013 too.


  • Traveled to 2 new countries, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.
  • Traveled to Mexico for 3 weeks and Canada for 3 weeks, spend a day in Los-Angeles on the way back.
  • Explored a lot of Australia : Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Cairns and around, Melbourne and around, Moreton Island, Fraser Island, North Stradbroke and a lot of more Queensland (Lamington National Park, Springbrooks, Sunshine coast, etc.)
  • Obtained our SSI Open Water Diving certification.


  • Vanuatu
  • Japan (already booked)
  • More of Australia (e.g. Whitsundays, Perth, Uluru)
  • Then maybe New-Zealand? (postponed due to travel to Japan), Asia or Middle East (Jordania)?
  • More diving



  • Things were back on track in 2012. No debts and slowly building savings.
  • Finally obtained a first CC building up frequent flyer point in Australia after numerous failed attempt!


  • Looking into investing in a investment property (long term goal of financial independence).

Friends & Family:


  • I kept writing in my blog for the entire year. Less in the second half of the year because I lacked time.
  • I stayed in good contact with my family and my closest friends. I could visit my friends in Quebec.
  • Extended my social network in Brisbane.


  • Looking forward for a family reunion in Australia in 2013.
  • Try to keep a better contact with my closest friends through Skype.
  • Continue to write periodically in my blog.
  • Hopefully a visit from some friend?

Health & Lifestyle:


  • I commuted daily to work mostly by bike. I run once most of the year every week . We ran 2 10km run (Gold Coast 10km and Bridge to Brisbane).
  • Manage to go to the gym quite often, lost weight.
  • Made significant progress toward eating more organic food and chemical-free product.
  • I grew my own (small) organic garden.
  • Juicing 4-5 times a week (vegetables, fruits)


  • Improve stress management.
  • Run a half marathon and keep going to the gym at least 3 times a week.
  • Extend my organic garden (that is lacking currently a bit of focus).
  • Regain some muscle weight (I lost too much with all the cardio work!)
  • I would like increase further the percentage of organic product I consume.

Community engagement:


  • I’m the now President of the Alumni club for Laval University we have organised few events so far allowing people to link and connect.
  • Engaged with other community events (FACCI)


  • Continue to be involved in the Alumni club, organise few more events and develop further the possibility to network.


How satisfied are you with the life you are living?

Do you have any big, unfulfilled dreams?

What are you building? (What is your legacy project?)

Are all your important relationships in harmony?






Pascal & Gabriela

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