18 Before 2018

Whether we like to admit it or not, the new year is quickly approaching! I know, it’s only September, so what’s the rush? I think this is the time of year that goes by the fastest. The holidays are right around the corner, and with them comes the holiday rush and and hustle. That’s why I’m so happy to be participating in the 18 Before 2018 Challenge.

The 18 Before 2018 challenge is one of my favorites! Finish your year strong by crushing your list of 18 goals. It's perfect list for your bullet journal!

What is the 18 Before 2018 Challenge?

It’s a goal-setting challenge created by Lisa Jacobs from Market Your Creativity. Basically you set 18 goals that you want to crush before the new year starts. Make a list of them and check them off as you get stuff done! I love this challenge so much because this is such a busy time of year, and the challenge can help give you that extra push to stay focused on your annual goals.

The 18 Before 2018 challenge is one of my favorites! Finish your year strong by crushing your list of 18 goals. It's perfect list for your bullet journal!

Last year I participated in the 17 Before 2017 Challenge. I was all fired up about it, but I started it so late that I barely got anything accomplished. This year I’m starting so much earlier, and I can’t wait to get some of these goals accomplished!

What’s on my 18 Before 2018 List?

I’m really excited about my list this year, but I’m afraid that I might not get it all done. Some of these tasks are huge projects that will take a lot of time. Fingers crossed that my kids cooperate and let me do all the things!

  1. Go through the the house and be rid of all the junk. Ohmygod- this is probably going to be the biggest thing on my list. It’s time to go through all of the cabinets, drawers, closets, rooms, and everything. We have so much clutter and so much STUFF that we don’t need anymore. I really want to get this done, but I am sooooo not looking forward to actually doing it. I’ll have to plan a really good reward for getting this done!
  2. Rebrand blog. This has been on my to-do wishlist for so long. I have a vision for this blog, and I can’t get there without making a lot of changes. All good changes, don’t worry. My interests and needs have changed since I first started blogging, and I think it’s about time for the blog to catch up! This is my other huge project, and it might be the most time-consuming.
  3. Refocus on health and fitness. I’m not going to say “lose 20 pounds” or “workout 7 days a week.” At this point that seems a little unreasonable. I’m not going to go on a crazy diet, but I would like to work yoga into my daily routine more often, and I want to go back to making healthier choices when it comes to food.
  4. Paint office. I have wanted to do this since we moved into our house over four years ago! My husband’s office is this weird robin’s egg blue/grey/green color, and it’s really drabby. Is that even a word? It’s just blah and bland. One of these days when Hubs goes out of town I’ll give his office a nice makeover.
  5. Paint living room. One of my first projects when we moved into the house was painting over some OU red (my Texas Longhorn-loving husband will not live in a house with OU colors!) with some bold blue. A few years later I think I’m ready to paint over that blue with a more neutral color and tone things down a little. (Just FYI – The whole room isn’t blue, just some trim and the space behind some shelves.)
  6. Paint bedroom. Our bedroom is that same weird blah color as the office. It needs to go! I think I’ll brighten things up in there with a nice light gray or a gray-beige color.
  7. Try bookbinding. I love making travelers notebook inserts, but now I want to try my hand at bookbinding. I’ve been searching on Pinterest and YouTube, and I think I’ve got some great ideas for what I want to make.
  8. Make wall art for the girls’ room. I hate to say it, but the walls in my girls’ room are bare! Some quotes and pretty pictures would look really good in there. I just can’t decide what theme to go with: sparkly, birds, owls, or butterflies? They love it all.
  9. Chore chart and allowance for the boy. I love my five-year-old son, but he is clueless about money. Every time we go to the store it’s such a hassle because he’s always saying “I want this” and “why can’t I have that?” for every single thing he lays his little eyes on. It’s time to get him started with some chores and an allowance so he can start learning.
  10. Finish reading Calvin and Hobbes. As you can tell from my September monthly journal setup, I have been on a huge Calvin and Hobbes kick lately! My amazing brother very kindly sent some of his books to us, and I am having so much fun reading them. I really feel like I understand my son a little better now!
  11. Clean up the front flower bed. We have a rose bush that is now attacking anyone who tries to walk up to our front door. In some cases that might not be terrible, but I think the whole curb appeal thing would be a lot better if I just gave it a trim and weeded the whole bed.
  12. Revamp morning routine. My son started school this year (yippee!!!!), so now we have a whole different morning routine. I’m up earlier every morning, and things are a little rearranged now. I want to try getting up slightly earlier to see if I can squeeze in some me-time before the daily rush starts.
  13. Family adventure. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I want us to get out, maybe take a short road trip, and go do something fun. Maybe we can go to the zoo or the aquarium.
  14. Send out holiday cards. Having newborn/toddler twins has kept me in a state of constant exhaustion for the past few years, so I wasn’t able to get around to sending out any Christmas cards. Things are better this year, and I’m even contemplating making them by hand! That might be a little over-ambitious, but I’ll be happy to get anything sent out!
  15. Read Big Magic again. I checked this book out from our local library, and it was one of the best books I’ve ever read! I was in such a rush to get it finished before I had to turn it back in, and I ended up skimming most of the end. Now I want to get my own copy and read through it more throughly and enjoy every second of it!
  16. Learn how to write with a flex-nib pen. One of my big goals for this year was to learn how to do fancy lettering. I’m really pleased with my progress so far. I have been having so much fun learning how to use brush pens and now fountain pens. Next up is a flex pen. You know those amazing videos you see on Facebook with the shimmering inks and the gorgeous designs? I can watch those for hours, and now I can’t wait to get my hands on a pen with that nib!
  17. Start an art journal. I do plenty of artsy pages in my bullet journal, but I am really looking forward to starting a separate journal for that! I want to play with more art mediums and techniques, and I’ll take any excuse to get another blank book!
  18. Plan goals for 2018. Because I just can’t start a new year without fresh new goals!

The 18 Before 2018 challenge is one of my favorites! Finish your year strong by crushing your list of 18 goals. It's perfect list for your bullet journal!

Thoughts on the 18 Before 2018 Challenge

I’m so excited about the 18 Before 2018 Challenge this year. I have been wanting to get some of these tasks done for so long, and this challenge was a great excuse to just bite the bullet and get them done. I tried to set goals for different areas of my life: home/family, blog, and personal. The first few goals are HUGE, so I hope I can get started on them soon. My poor husband is about to have so many honey-dos to help me get this done! Also, since I am starting the challenge much earlier than I did last year, I might swap out some of these goals or add one or two depending on how the rest of the year goes.

So how about it? Join me in the 18 Before 2018 Challenge! Let’s crush those goals! This is a great way to end your year strong, and it sets you up for a positive 2018!

If you need any tips or help setting and achieving your goals, you’ll definitely want to check out my Step-by-Step Guide to Rocking Your Goals and my Planning for Fitness Success workbook. Both are FREE!!!

Are you doing the 18 Before 2018 Challenge this year? Have you done it in the past? I’d love to hear what’s on your list, so tell me below in the comments!

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About Samantha

I am a SAHM to three kids and a menagerie of pets. I love coffee, books, crafts, wine, cooking, and more coffee. Seriously, I couldn't function without coffee. Read more about me!


  1. OH! I LOVE this!!! My goals for end of year include eating through everything in my cupboard (and not shopping for dry goods until it’s empty), rebranding the blog, and finishing hours toward maintaining my PMP

    I think I need to write down some goals!
    Laura @ Cook, Wine and Thinker!
    Laura recently posted…TIFF and Tobi Tops, Swamp Monsters and StilettosMy Profile

    • Those are great goals, Laura! That is a genius way to clean out your pantry. I might have to try that too, as ours is a mess! Make your list – you’ll do fantastic! 🙂

  2. I love this! What type of a journal are you using? I’m falling out of love with the one I’m using.. the ghosting from a regular black pen is insane and I want to do more artistic layouts. Thanks in advance!

    • Thanks, Claire! This spread is in my collections journal, which is a silver Rhodiarama. There was no ghosting, bleeding, or anything from using the waterbrush. It’s amazing!

  3. I love these goals! I love that so many of them are about being more creative 🙂 I’ve read a lot about Big Magic but haven’t read it yet. Maybe I need to 😉

    • Thank you, Amanda! I have found that I’m happiest when I’m being creative, so I’m going with it! And Big Magic was amazing! You should definitely check it out!

  4. Ah! Are we thinking about 2018 already?? Wow! Your goals are awesome – painting some more rooms in our house is really something that we need to do too. Good luck on your list!

    • I know, it seems a little early, doesn’t it, Nicole?! But some of these are huge tasks that I really want to get done, so I guess it’s time to start planning!

  5. Love this! I’ve got a basement to paint, so maybe seeing you check your goals off of your list will motivate me to get that done 🙂

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  6. You know I love the sound of this challenge! Hmm maybe I’ll work it into my next G&G post that is overdue haha.

  7. PS rebranding, wishing you smoothness with that. Well worth it but was a daunting task too.

  8. I also like to declutter at the end of each year. Things like warranty contracts and so will just clutter everything if you don’t check which is still serving you any good and which is not.

    I also declutter my clothes. Since is December and Christmas is getting closer and closer, it’s also nice to donate the clothes you’re not wearing anymore.
    Cristina recently posted…Easy Homemade Fish Tacos RecipeMy Profile

    • That is such a great idea! The other day I needed our home warranty booklet so that I could file a claim for something, and I found books for the past three years! It’s definitely time to go through the filing cabinet!

  9. What a great challenge! I talk a lot about goals on my blog too and it definitely feels so great when you crush them. I can’t wait to make my goals for the new year (as scary as it is to be thinking about the new year, how did that happen already) it is never too early! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  10. This is a great list!!! I am right there with you on getting rid of all the junk!! I take a look around my house and I am like my gosh I can’t handle all this clutter. I am hoping to do a huge clean out next weekend!! I also want to focus on my health and fitness. I has slacked off majorly and now it’s time to get myself back into gear with my wedding coming up in a little over a year. Good luck with accomplishing these!!

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