How We Doubled Our Income 4 Years in a Row (+ Free 2016 #MoneyLove Planner)

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I created a printable 2016 #MoneyLove Planner for you to download to guide you in starting the year off with the clarity and intention that manifests. This is based on the exact financial rituals Mike and I have done to double our income every year 4 years in a row.

Enter your Name and Email below to get your Free copy of my 2016 #MoneyLove Planner!



Mike and I always spend a couple of days reviewing the previous year and planning for the year ahead sometime in the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s.

This ritual is a conglomerate of my family’s New Year’s Eve ritual from growing up, some annual review and planning rituals of friends, and some of our own ju-ju thrown together.

Maybe you hate goal setting. Maybe reviewing the past year brings up regret and sadness. Sometimes I fit into both of those camps.

One thing I know for sure, though, is that Mike and I have been doing an annual review and planning ritual every year since we’ve been together. And our income has doubled each year for four years in a row.

As you know, I’m about making a life, not just a living. So it’s not just about the money. But it isn’t NOT about the money either.

It’s easier to create the life, and world, you want when you have the financial resources to do so. Money matters. {Tweet it.}

So when I drag my feet about our annual year-in-review and planning ritual because I’d rather veg out in front of Love Actually with a cup of cocoa, I remind myself that this sh*t works.

(It’s worth noting that our finances aren’t the only area of our lives that have improved since we started doing this practice together. I can honestly say that every single area of our life has benefited without exception. What we put our attention on grows, and that includes our health, finances, romantic lives, community, and everything else!)

Here’s what we do to take stock of the year that’s just passed and to make space for all the goodness coming our way in the New Year:

    1. We take out our big book. We keep our annual reviews and plans in the same book so that we can look back easily at years past. It’s a beautiful, organized way to contain the highlights and dreams of our life.


    1. We go through our photos and calendars from the past year. As we go through we remember trips we took, business achievements and other noteworthy moments. Then we write them out month by month in bulleted lists.


    1. We reflect on the past year. We write out our metrics: how much we earned, how many trips we took, how much our list grew in size, and anything else we feel like measuring. Then, we write out what went well and what didn’t go well in a series of categories. Ours are: our USANA business, the Kate Northrup brand, travel, money (earning, spending, and giving – this year we’ll add saving and investing to the list), our relationship, friends and family, health and fitness, Mike overall, and Kate overall.


    1. We state desires and intentions for the New Year. We usually have a word or two that we’d like as a theme for the year. (2015’s word for me was “spaciousness,” and our overall theme was “Do less. Net more.”) And then we break our desires/intentions down by categories. These categories vary slightly from the reflection categories, and sometimes we have a special category that only applies to that year (like in 2015 we had a special category of desires for our honeymoon).


  1. We calendar. Yep, to calendar is a verb in my book. I love calendaring. I have a digital calendar (Google Calendar), a date book (my Desire Map Daily Planner), and a year-at-a-glance dry erase calendar. Planning is my happy place.
    • We map out major business launches, holidays, vacations and other travel, and anything else that needs to go on the calendar. This has a few key benefits:
      • We don’t end up overbooking ourselves and doing too many projects at once.
      • When something new comes across our desk we can look at the year-at-a-glance calendar and see very clearly if we’re already going to be working on something at the same time. It makes saying yes and no to things way easier.
      • We can also look at the year in quarters and make sure we’re taking adequate time off each quarter. (One might think that taking time off is easier when you work for yourself. Turns out, not so much. You have to fiercely protect and plan for the time off so that your business doesn’t seep into every vacation.)

We break this year in review and annual planning into a few days so that we don’t get overwhelmed. We make it fun with snacks, candles, and music.

Making something fun ensures better results. {Tweet it.}


I find this practice helps me feel well digested at the end of the year and well prepared for the year ahead. Yes, this is partially the illusion of control. But it works for me, so I’m sticking to it.


Over to You:

What kind of rituals do you have around reviewing the past year and planning for the year ahead? I absolutely love this stuff, so please leave a comment below!


  • Pam

    Planner please, thank you!

  • Amy

    Thank you for sharing. This is something I would like to start as a ritual!

  • Debbie McCrossan

    Would love a copy of the calendar! I also map out goals for the coming year and love being able to check things off the list as well as look back and assess past progress.

    I did click on the link to he blog but I believe I was sent the Money Love quiz and not the calendar. I’ve already done the quiz :)

    Thanks a bunch! Looking forward to doing the Money Love Challenge (again) in January!


    • Kate Northrup

      Hi Debbie – did you see the opt in at the bottom of the blog post for the planner? You can grab it there. Thanks!

  • Jacquie

    Would love a copy of the moneylove planner!

  • Dianne

    I would like a free copy. Thank you so much.

  • Every year for the past three years I’ve created a happy jar. Whenever I have a happy moment I want to celebrate, I write it down and put it in the jar and don’t look at it until new years eve, where I happily sit down and bask in my own joyful memories. This year I will do it again but I’ll also write myself a note of intention for the year, so I can look back on the person I was a year ago and see how my life has changed along with all the happy moments I’ve had.

  • Stephanie

    I don’t think the opt-in for the calendar is working. I tried twice and it says “processing….” and

  • Marie

    I consider myself an organized person, but I’m very interested in a 2016 calendar.

  • Dawn

    Would love a copy of your planner.

    • Kate Northrup

      Just go ahead and opt-in at the top of the post in the teal box under the calendar image. Thanks!

      • Every year, my husband and I go to a coffee shop, order a big hunk of cake, and talk about our year. We write down where we succeeded and grew, where we didn’t quite reach our goals, and then let that awareness sink in. We write down new goals for the year and try to keep it simple. Focusing on a few words helps keep the goals big enough to resonate all year and simple enough to guide through the chaos of daily life. Thanks for the planner! All the very best.

  • Kitty Cavalier

    I love this Kate! This year I’m really digging the shining year books by Leonie Dawson. I’m doing one for my biz and on for my life. They’re super fun, colorful and juicy. I am not really a goal setter, but these books and this post are totally seducing me into becoming one!

  • Nicholle

    This is such a fun approach to planning. My word for 2016 is expansion. I just opted in for the new planner. Thank you!

  • Ruth

    Thank you so much Kate. hope that this year multiplies your expectations.


  • Dena

    Hi Kate
    I too would love the planner but I’m with the others ….don’t see the box or a link :(
    Perhaps because I’m in mobile view??
    I see where it says to “enter your name below” but no space to do so.

    • Kate Northrup

      Hi Dena – apologies for the confusion! I’m looking at it on my computer and on my iPhone and there’s a teal opt in box under the image of the calendar at the top of the post. That’s where you opt in. Do you see it?

  • Hi Kate,
    I am looking for the planner, along with the rest of the ladies in the comments section. I don’t see an opt-in anywhere at the bottom of the post, although I’ve scoured it looking for one. I only see an opt-in at the top of the post. Tried that, and it sends me the quiz, but not what I’d call a planner. Was that what you were referring to, or was there something more traditionally planner-like, as suggested in the picture at the top of the post?
    All the best,

    • Kate Northrup

      Hi Sara – apologies for the confusion. We moved it to the top so people would see it more easily. It’s teal just under the picture of the calendar.

  • Hi Kate!

    I’m already subscribed and cannot fathom the location of the link for your 2016 planner, only the standard link to obtain your Money Quiz. I have completed the quiz and I’m working through your book which is great. :-)



  • Not seeing a teal opt-in box below calendar image on my phone, either :(. Any other way to opt in? Thanks and can’t wait to do this!

  • Trish

    Looking forward to presenting this to my hubster whom is addicted to Amazon and Electronics; causing much resentment.

  • I just downloaded the planner & read through it. Thank you so much! It’s simple and DOable. I love it. And will do it!!
    Happy New Year to you all.

  • LaToya

    Thank you Kate, I look forward to printing the calendar and making it part of our goals and doing a year at a glance. My husband and I set goals every year but get off track. We have a lot going on in 2016 so it will be nice to write our adventures all down in one place.

  • Collette Merritt

    Thank you … I love your work and your exuberance!

  • This is wonderful Kate – definitely given me ideas on how I’ll be rounding up my 2015 and getting ready for 2016 :-) xxx

  • Jennifer Cook

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Renae

    I guess I’m starting some new rituals (after way too many years of trying the same old stuff). I purchased a home in 2015 after renting for years after a divorce. My children are grown and out on their own now so I am focusing on ME for the first time in honestly over 30 years. very strange feeling for sure. this past week or so I have been reflecting on the past year and planning for 2016. I am finally in a place where I can focus on getting ahead financially and working on myself and my life – physically, mentally, spiritually and get ME back. I actually went into 2016 in a very organized structured way and it feels absolutely WONDERFUL!

  • Johanna Wright

    That’s fabulous Kate I definitely want to give it a go.

  • Kate and Mike,

    Super excited to share the news that I too doubled my business this year!! I am in only in year 2, but I feel like my business and life are all coming together. Thank you for all of your help this year to help me keep my business and financial focus. I am so happy I did b school and the money love challenges. I was just looking yesterday for some financial planning templates. Your planner will be perfect! Thanks for reminding me to have fun with the financial projections. Yesterday I was re-writing my business plan because I am applying for a grant. I felt like I would rather volunteer to clean toilets at a local nursing home than sit down and focus on my goals. I am so happy I did! It feels really good to look back at last year’s accomplishments and to come up with new ideas for the year ahead. May 2016 be the best year ever!

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