How To Create Your Personal Annual Report & Set Your Yearly Goals Part 1

It’s the end of the year which means it’s the time for reflection and planning. Reflecting on what has happened in 2015 and planning everything I want to make happen in 2016.

While I am doing this based on the calendar year, you can perform a review at any time. Your business anniversary or blogiversary are also great times to re-evaluate where you are and where you want to go.

It’s important to look back on what you’ve done and what has and hasn’t worked in order to proceed.


If you’ve been using Facebook Ads and your traffic hasn’t increased that doesn’t mean you should quit blogging or close up shop. It doesn’t even mean you should stop using Facebook Ads, it just means you should re-examine your process and see if you need to try a new approach. If you’ve been using them to promote blog posts maybe use them to promote your e-course instead and reevaluate the demographic and keywords you select.

Because this is such an important process for establishing where your brand is, I wanted to break it into two sections so that it wasn’t overwhelming or daunting but before you start I need you to answer 3 questions:

These questions are pertaining to your career, blog or business. Think fast don’t dilly dally back and forth. Don’t talk your expectations down or think of all that could go wrong. Just answer.

What do you want to do?

-Think fast!  Do you want a promotion? Do you want to blog full time? Do you want to start freelance consulting?

What do you need to do to get there?

Do you need to grow your subscribers?  Do you need to try a new social media channel? Do you need to hire outside help? What are the stepping you have to do to get there?

How will you know you are there? (This will be important for Part 2 but start thinking about it now.)

Look at what you’ve wanted and look at your actions over the past year. Did you start contributing to publications in your niche? Did you increase your social media following tremendously? Have you done any work that contributes to where you want to be? Any trainings or courses?

Once you determine this then you can figure out the basic steps of how to get there. This isn’t going to be a detailed plan. That is important and should come later but this is just to help lead you in the correct direction.

Once you decide what you want to do look back over the past year (or however longer you’ve been consciously working toward your goal, if it’s less than a year) and think of what you’ve done to get towards that goal.

How to start your year-end review

This kind of depends on the way you work best. For me I’m a visual person so I picked out a format I liked and filled it in from there. You may prefer to figure out what you want to include and then do the visual part.

Make a list if things you accomplished: New partnerships, brand ambassador relationships, number of articles published, how your online engagement or followers have grown.

Try to stick to values you can go back and compare to or increase next year. Instead of saying “Business Grew ,” say “my monthly average page views are x” or “In the last year my  sales have increased 20%.”

As a Marketing director, freelancer, blogger, influenster, event planner and social media consultant (I just got tired looking at that list) I decided to share the things I completed in those categories. Imagine this is the accomplishment part of your resume, a lot of people update this depending on the job they are applying for. Select the accomplishments you had this year that would be impressive to a potential client.

If you do website design, how many websites did you launch?

If you are a video blogger looking for more brands to sponsor you and send you products to review track brands you’ve worked with or put how many YouTube subscriber’s you’ve gained.

Here is the annual review I created for myself and blog using Canva . Your may see what you feel is important to share is different than mine but that’s okay. You have to do what you feel works best for your brand and goals.

2015 Annual Report


Thanks for visiting today and keep an eye out for Part 2. You can also subscribe here to have it come directly to your inbox.

Please take a moment to complete my 2015 Reader Survey 

For more on using Canva here is a great tutorial about it be Adam Warner.

In addition I welcome any fellow online business owners to reach out to me about this project. You can leave questions in the comments or go to my about me page and email me.

Do it for love,



You can check out How To Create Your Personal Annual Report and Set Your Yearly Goals Part 2 Here


  1. Ashley

    Great blog post! I’ve actually been feeling a bit of panic because I don’t have my goals for next year yet!

  2. Lindsey

    I love this! I need to be sure to follow thru this year and not make excuses when I do not hit my deadlines.

  3. The Oracle

    This is a very sensible post. I hope to achieve my goals next year as well.

  4. Jhanelle

    Great! I love your visual report. I agree it is important to reflect on the previous year. Very informative for bloggers! Thanks so much! P.S. I enjoy your blog. You gained a new reader! 🙂
    Jhanelle |

  5. Carol Cassara

    This is such good advice. I hope bloggers are able to follow it, it makes good sense.

  6. Sabrina Fox

    This is a perfect blog post. I’m horrible at creating goals and I never have a plan laid out for myself so I’m always winging everything, but I’m going to heed your advice. Thank you!

  7. Allison Jones

    Thanks for the awesome tips! I’m in the process of reviewing how I’ve done the first 6+ months I’ve been blogging and setting some goals for next year and this is super helpful. I also love the annual report graphic you created.


  8. Becki S

    Thanks for the motivation! I need to start re imagining what I want to happening in 2016 with my blog. I’d love to be able to take it to the next level and start monetizing as I just hit my six months of blogging!

  9. Ash

    SO simple, and yet SO MANY of us aren’t thinking about what we want so that we can take steps towards making our goals happen. An excellent point. And I’ll be checking out that Canva tutorial! It can do so much for blog presentation. I’ve been meaning to look into it more, but you know how it is doing something new for the very first time. But I’m making that a goal! Tonight, in fact! 🙂

  10. Bianca

    Thank you so much for this post! It helps me out a lot being organized and figuring out what helped me and what didn’t through out the year.

  11. Adam W. Warner

    Hi Dia,

    The Canva image looks great and thanks a ton for the shout out to my tutorial. Appreciate that and I wish you continued success!


  12. Roxy

    Great post! As a new blogger I welcome all advice from those ,ore knowledgeable than me. I love your visual report. I don’t think I have really done enough to make one, but maybe making one will help me better realize my 2016 goals.


  13. Dia

    When I sat down and thought about it really. It became much clearer what I needed to do to get them done. I’ve always had a broad since of the big picture or ultimate goal but this really helped me be able to set goals I could judge process against.

  14. Dia

    Any time Adam. I’ll be checking out your site for more tips and tutorial great stuff. Much success to you in the New Year.

  15. Dia

    I’m so glad to hear that Bianca. So often people have dreams but they don’t have goals. They also make the mistake as taking failure as a no when it’s really just a “not right now” or “not like this.”

  16. Dia

    That brings a smile to my face. Canva has really allowed me to step up my graphics game.

  17. Dia

    Congrats Becki. I always find your site so motivating!

  18. Dia

    Thanks Allison. I can honestly say Canva is going on the list of things I love about 2015! I hope to see your review.

  19. Dia

    Awesome! I know I get distracted by the big picture, so I’ve had to learn to create a path and clear goals is the easiest way.

  20. Dia

    Thanks Carol. I’m excited to share part 2 it will get a little bit more in-depth

  21. Dia

    Thanks for stopping by and good luck on your goals. Happy new year

  22. Dia

    Awesome Jhanelle. Thank you.

  23. Dia

    For me thinking about my ultimate goal helped me to logically break it down and see what I’d done last year and what I needed to keep doing and start doing.

  24. Dia

    Awesome Lidnsey. Deadlines usually drive me but I need to create more focus instead of just living deadline to deadline.

  25. Beth@FrugalFroggie

    I haven’t been in a position to make goals since for a while I have had to be more reactive than proactive. But hopefully things will change in the future.

  26. Clare Speer

    Thanks for the great advice – for me, I think I usually do better with breaking down larger goals into smaller doable goals and keeping a running “to do” list! You gave us all great food for thought!

  27. Kat

    Love this post! I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for 2016 (although, admittedly, I’m feeling a little behind!). I especially love the questions you outlined at the beginning of the post—simple, but so helpful!


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