2016 in review and plans for 2017

Hi Everyone! Year 2016 has ended and today is the first day of 2017! It’s a brand-new year where suddenly everyone starts setting their new year’s resolution. New year, New me, New Goals! Sounds familiar? The question is how serious do we take this? Or how long are we able to keep up with the goals that we have set on the first day.


Often, I see goals that are being set on a random day will see through to the results. So, why I suddenly decide to do a year-end review and set goals publicly? To me, doing annual review is very important to sum up what we have achieved/learned throughout the year. It’s like a report card for our life performance, instead of academic performance in school. In 2016, I felt that I have not done and achieved much. It seems like I have sleepwalked my life away in 2016. Thus, I feel that I should take a look at where I’ve been, to know where I am right now, so that I know how to move forward in 2017. It also helped me to regain focus and pick things up from where I left them. Finally, doing a review can help me to start the new year on a high note.


Which area of your life you want to focus on in 2017? photo credit to dreamstime.com.


Overall, year 2016 has been a year of a lot of ups and downs for me. As 2016 draws to a close, I felt like I have fallen into an all-time low in some areas of my life. While other areas fared ok. Here’s a wrap up of 2016:


The Hits:

  1. Being introduced to a new organisation and welcomed to join their group to further expand our business. I’m very blessed to be part of this awesome group as I gained a bunch of good and trustworthy friends, all with the same goals and vision for our freedom. I’m also thankful to be trusted with some new assignments and responsibilities, and it’s a whole new learning experience for me.
  2. I’ve been to six (6) places this year, both local and overseas, where four of them are new places I’ve never been to. I’ve covered:
    1. Bali, Indonesia – February 2016
    2. Selesa Hills, Malaysia – March 2016
    3. Boracay Island, Philippines – July 2016
    4. Port Dickson, Malaysia – July 2016
    5. Langkawi, Malaysia – October 2016
    6. Kaohsiung, Taiwan – November 2016


From left to right: that’s me in Bali, Port Dickson, Boracay, Langkawi and Cijin Island, Taiwan. 5 beaches!

That is quite a lot for me in a year. 5 of these places have beaches, which mean I’ve been to 5 beaches in a year! This is a new record for me.

  1. Finally took the risk and joined a tech startup company Full-Time. It has been a roller coaster ride so far but I’m enjoying every minute of it.
  2. Finally upgraded to a new car. I’ve had my last car for 9.5 years before I finally decide to upgrade. This, of course, put a big dent in my pocket!
  3. I’ve started two Instagram account! One for my business activities: @alyssaartistry and another one for my travel diary: @theasianabroad


The Misses:


  1. Once again, I’m battling my weight issue. While my weight has been fluctuating a little bit in the past 10 years of being un-fit, this year has seen a rise in number on the weight scale. It went to a whole new high number that I’ve not seen since 2004. I hasn’t been controlling what I eat at all in the part year. I didn’t score any brownie points for my health.
  2. Although I have been introduced to a new team and support system which is supposed to improve my business and bring it to a new height, but I’ve not hit a single goal at all in this area. This is mainly due to internal conflict with myself that I stopped making progress.
  3. While my relationship with other parties are all ok, relationship with my family members hasn’t been making any progress that I desire. Thus, I’ll have to put in extra effort here.
  4. Working on my other side projects. No progress has been seen in this area as all the ideas are still stuck in my thoughts and not being implemented yet. Like they say, dreams that are not put into action is as good as day dream!
  5. Self-development progress. I haven’t been doing much reading and working on my self-development progress lately.
  6. Failing on my financial goals. Which puts me a few steep backwards from my financial freedom plan.


2017 goals and plans


The main focus for 2017 will be to clean up every area of my life and rebuild the core foundations for a clearer path in the future. Previously I watched a video describing setting new year’s resolution using the mind-map method. This method allow you to get a clear picture on which area you would like to focus on and then further scale it down so that I can focus better. I love this idea so I will try to draw out my 2017 master plan and have a detailed action plan on each core part of my life.


  1. Instead of focusing on the number on the weight scale, I’m gonna focus on changing a daily habit to a healthier one. For example I aim to wake up earlier, this means getting to bed earlier and lesser screen time for me. I plan to exercise more while not spending any extra money in this area as there are a lot of ways to do this without hitting the gym. All we need is some discipline. I have a pretty good reason to get back into shape this year because my sister’s wedding is happening in March 2017. I’m also thinking of the possibility to start practicing meditation as well as yoga.
  2. Focusing on my business because I know it will give me the total freedom I want. I have to make it a priority in my list
  3. Be strict with myself when it comes to my financial goals. There’s a few parts here which I want to break it down in another post.
  4. Less is More. Start to practice minimalism. There’s a lot of articles online and videos on YouTube talking about minimalism. While I may not be able to or want to achieve the ultimate Minimalism level, I want to start with decluttering my material possession and reduce purchasing more material items. In fact, I have started decluttering some of my possessions towards the end of 2016. I realise that it is a pain everytime I need to go through all my items, then to stack them back again and soon found that I have bought more and more items and I have no place to store them. The feeling is quite frustrating and depressing. It makes me procrastinate more, which leads to more bad habits being formed.
  5. Improve my communications skills, and hopefully improve my relationship with family members, my partner and friends, colleagues.
  6. Create a proper bucket list so that I am more committed to my own life.
  7. Work on my self-improvement and hopefully be a better me by end of the year. I still have a few programs which I have bought that I will start working on in 2017.
  8. Learn one or two new skills in 2017
  9. Play a bigger role in my workplace and look into the possibility and venturing into a different field from what I used to do in the last 12 years of my working life.
  10. Continue with my plans of visiting at least one new country every year. So far I have been able to keep up with this since 2008. My plan in 2017 is to visit either Australia or New Zealand.
  11. Start working on building my blog content.


I am going to limit myself to 11 things for now. The list can go on until I have 100 items but then I will lose focus this way. No resolutions can be achieved without focus and plan. So next up I will start to do detailed planning on the things I have mentioned above and hopefully I will get good results from there.


How about you? What’s your plan for 2017?


I’m looking forward to connecting with more like-minded individuals out there so do drop me a message. I hope this post will give you some ideas on inspiration for your own project.

Welcome to Positive Kaizen

Hi and welcome to Positive Kaizen. I’m Alyssa. I have finally decided to be more serious and committed to writing on my blog by starting this blog. I’ve wanted to this for long time, but all these while it’s only a thought in my mind and it’s just an idea, nothing else. No action taken to carry out what I wanted to do in my life. I wasn’t living the purpose of my life at all.


Have you ever been through a time when you feel like everything in your life just collapsed like that? Your body is not as healthy as you would want it to be. Your job turns out to be boring and stressful. Your relationship with your family/partner/spouse/friends began to fall apart. You are broke. Your investment didn’t turn out quite the way you want it. You are alive but you feel like a zombie within. You feel like you have hit the lowest point in your life. Have you ever been through a time like this?


I had.


It was definitely the lowest point in my life. At that point of time, I felt that everything around me began to collapse. I health was at its worse.  I was overweight. I didn’t do any exercise at all. My metabolism rate was low and I feel sluggish all the time. My relationship with the people around me started to fall apart. I felt like I had no one to turn to for a listening ear. I was in a financial mess, but luckily it wasn’t too severe. I hated my job. I dreaded going to work everyday. I have no money. I cried when I see friends around me achieving success in their life. While I have a few opportunities at hand, none of it interests me enough for me to get my ass off the couch and started working hard. I have lost my dreams at that point of time. No Dreams means No Direction. Can you imagine getting into your car, turning on the engine and started driving, aimlessly, without any direction and destination. What would it be like? This is how exactly life would turn out to be if you do not know where you want to be in the next 5,10,15,20 years or so.


I learned this through reading self-help books and blogs. As such, I learned that it is important to have your dreams and goals in life so that your life has a direction. Instead wondering around aimlessly, I decided to take control of my life, and begin to make small positive changes in every area of my life. Thus I created Positive Kaizen. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “improvement” or “change for the better”. In mandarin it simply means 改善. With this blog, I want to make positive changes to every area of my life by taking small steps everyday. I hope to shared my experience, what I’ve learned and most importantly I want to learn from you. Yes YOU.


Everyday we are given a new set of 86400 seconds. It is really up to us how we want to utilize it. So I hope you will join me in this journey and grow together.

While i try to give the best content to my readers via my blog, my English language may not be perfect so if you find any grammar mistakes, please forgive me. I will appreciate if you can give me pointers and guidance too. Thank you.