Annual year review 2013 and goal setting for 2014

ActionsHappy new year!

Hope you were as lucky as I was and that you spend some good time traveling or with your family & friends for the holiday period. For us this year, we stayed within Australia and has my family visiting us for 2 weeks.

Since now 3 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 most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. ” – Emelia Earhart.

Annual Review

The annual review process being by focusing on what went well in 2013. 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 – 2013:

What went well ?

2013 has been another positive one for us. There was a lot of traveling, hiking, diving and all sort of activities, and it occurred more than any of the previous years in fact. In that regard, we enjoyed life to the fullest. There was no major change unless you can count finally buying a car as one. Didn’t use it that much though as I’m biking everyday but we did enjoyed having more freedom, especially on weekend.

Excluding Vanuatu, which counted technically more in 2012, I visited 2 new countries New-Zealand and Japan) and revisited few Canada, Indonesia and PNG. We did a lot of diving too. I completed 23 dives in Australia, PNG and Bali. We skydived in February last year. We visited many great Australian locations including the 2 new iconic locations which are the Grand Barrier Reef (Withsundays) and Uluru. Traveled for work back home in Canada in August 2013. This time I took a week off so I could spend a bit more valuable time with my family and friends. I did catch up with a lot of people and drove over 1500km.

Had my family visiting me for the first time and I crossed few items on my bucket list. Which is great!

Moreover, I have made some serious progress on my next upcoming major epic trip to hike the Kilimanjaro. I postponed the Kilimanjaro trip last year to accommodate my best friend big change in his life (baby!) but this will be happening for 2014, in the next few months. I’m quite excited to launch my new website for this project and raise fund to support cancer. Have a look at my new site : We have 2 other friends so far that have confirmed their interest and I am still on the look to get additional people in the enthusiastic explorer team.

Otherwise, on a daily basis:

  • I ride my bike to work everyday (that’s around 2500km every year!)
  • Went to the gym regularly
  • Completed a 15km run under 1h15
  • Reinforced general health and well-being

What could be improved?

  • I backed up from running an half-marathon because of lack of focus on regular training. (1 time a week is NOT enough!). I still have managed to completed a 15km and qualified for the Red starters. (Below 50 min for 10km).
  • Professionally, it has been a interesting and challenging year once again.  I learned a lot. At the completion of the project in PNG, I moved back to a previous client in Brisbane for a very important and interesting project as the team lead and lead business analyst. Also quite stressful with more daily workload than you can possibly achieve, leaving you sometime in this frustrating position where you can’t get things done enough. I don’t have the feeling I’m dealing with stress in the best way that I could and I felt very much the need for a break at the end of this year.
  • Economically speaking, Australia is not doing as good as it used to be for the last 20 years with lot of spending cut and lay overs everywhere. Gabriela survived massive job cut so far but we don’t know for how long it will last next year. Plus, the Australian dollar dove down around 15%, thus eliminating (on paper) precious savings.
  • Lot of good friends and people we know have left Australia in 2013. It is always fun to meet new people, but you also need strong relationship with people which tend to be hard to develop when people are only here for a short period of time.

Some lesson learned:

  • I am sea sick!!! Not much can be done to avoid it. Better just avoid choppy water otherwise its going to be ugly!
  • I am not the best when it comes to manage too much stress. Whenever the workload and expectations are  greater than what can be possibly achieved, I tend to become irritable, frustrated and demotivated. Like many people, the expectations I set to myself are often too high and I don’t like to deceive people
  • Subtle shifts in perception will transform your entire life. When feeling fearful, angry, hurt, simply choose to see a situation differently
  • Perfectionism is an illusion. A painful one at that. Ease up. Strive for excellence, sure, but allow yourself room to make mistakes and permission to be happy regardless of outcome.

2014 – General goals:

  • Firstly, we decided to apply for Australia Permanent Residency. We enjoy the place and decided to stay a little longer 😉
  • Run Half-Marathon. I managed to run a 15k race last year with a lot more training but I failed to run the half marathon I was intending so this goal is way overdue for 2014. I’ve just bought some new running shoes and a real training is underway.
  • Hike For Life :I made some important progress on the big project I have in mind since few years. Mid-2014 we are planning to go hike the Kilimanjaro. This project is dedicated to my mother who survived breast cancer few years ago.  So, half of this year will be dedicated to building and preparing this, especially for the fitness part! As you would believe for such a challenge, I will continue putting health and fitness at the top of my agenda. The project name is “Hike for Life”. The project consist of teaming up with few committed friends and go climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa and raise fund for Breast Cancer. I have already teamed up with two national charity organisation for this. 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 learned a lot from my role in project management.
  • I failed to complete the two professional certifications I was looking into completing with the International Institute of Business Analysis and the Project Management one for PRINCE2. Most of the year I’ve been working really hard with often a lot of stress. I couldn’t find the energy to put toward studying and prepare for these two.


  • Keep reading on few books, any suggestion?
    • Al Gore – The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change
  • Complete one or two professional certifications for Business Analyst, Project Management.

Career development & Business:


  • Completed another work mission in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and completed one major project 1.2m.
  • Continued learning about applied Corporate Social Responsibility to Oil, Mining and Gas.


  • 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, although looking into reducing overtime and stress.
  • More traveling for work including one trip in Canada and few trips abroad, hopefully!


Traveling is definitely the highlight of 2013 and will be a key focus for 2014 with one major project.


  • Vanuatu, highlight : Mount Yasur, witnessing an active erupting volcano
  • PNG, highlight : Diving at Loloata Island
  • Japan, highlight: Kyoto
  • New-Zealand, highlight : completed the trek Tongariro Alpine Pass (23km)
  • Indonesia (Bali), highlight : Trek to Mount Agung, Diving
  • Australia, highlight : seeing the Great Barrier Reef from the air and camping in a swag in middle of the desert in Uluru!


  • Australia: Great Ocean Road, Perth & Western Australia (Esperance, Pink Lake, Rottness Island, Pinnacles), maybe Tasmania
  • First visit to Africa, a safari, some diving and climb the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
  • Fiji or New-Zealand would be nice



  • Shares and stuff are not doing as well as I would like but I could put some savings.
  • Initially had a project to invest in investment property but very slow progress as been made.


  • Still looking into investing in an investment property  or another appreciating (long term goal of financial independence).

Friends & Family:


  • I kept the discipline of writing in my blog for the entire year. Less in the second half of the year because I lacked time. Most of the writing were about travel.
  • 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.
  • Family reunion in Australia during Christmas was extraordinary. I could take my mom on a hot air balloon trip.
  • Sadly, a lot of friend moved away from Brisbane


  • Strengthen my social network in Brisbane
  • Continue keeping a good contact with my closest friends through Skype.
  • Continue to write periodically in my blog.
  • Hopefully a visit from some friend?

Health & Lifestyle:

This year have been pretty strong on this key aspect of my life.


  • In the first half of the year, I ran quite often, sometime twice a week and I achieved a 15km run within 73 minutes.
  • Managed to go to the gym quite often, got back in shape.
  • Made significant progress toward eating more organic food and chemical-free product.
  • I grew my own (small) organic garden.
  • Juicing 3 times a week (vegetables, fruits)
  • I made my my own organic, natural and chemical-free toothpaste!
  • Tried Japanese Drum – Taiko.


  • Maintain strong and healthy lifestyle, eating even more organic.
  • Improve stress management
  • Keep going to the gym at least 3 times a week.
  • Run a half marathon
  • Start a different training for the Kilimanjaro.
  • Switch to chemical free cleaning product

Community engagement:


  • Organised few activities as the President of the Alumni club for Laval University 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.
  • Fund raising for my project Hike for Life with 2 charity organisations. My objective is 2500$ to raise.


Here is how I walked the talk on my own sustainability objectives.

  • Cycling just 10km each way to work instead of driving saves 1.3 tonnes greenhouse gas emissions each year
  • Paying for my carbon offset of all my flights
  • Buy local and organic as much as  I can
  • Maintain low consumption lifestyle and reduce waste
  • Recycle as much as I can
  • Keep energy needs to a minimum, for example, I switch almost all electricity switch off when not needed. Our average consumption or energy for an household of 2 person in Australia is 14kwh per day. Our average consumption per day is 5.6kwh. Most electricity in Australia is produced from coal burning, which is quite bad (and expensive 27cents per kwh)!


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?)

What are your long term goal?

Are all your important relationships in harmony?

What are you doing to limit your impact on the environment?

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