Wellness, Productivity, Balance for Graduate Students and Beyond

Friday Fun: 18 Goals before 2018

One of the truest truths about me is that I cannot resist a goal setting challenge or check point. I love goals. I love arbitrary goal challenges! I think I'm drawn to the hopefulness of them, the chance to daydream and plan for where I want to be. So when I saw my bullet journaling guru Kara at Boho Berry post about her 18 goals to shoot for before 2018, I jumped at the chance to do one for myself. 

Look at me embracing mistakes and untidiness!! 


I didn't have one! I have seen other spreads where goals were neatly separated into personal and professional groups, perfectly lettered, and beautiful to look at. I didn't even plan out what I was going to write first! I lettered the header, wrote the numbers at random intervals and started writing goals down. 


  1. Have a porch party. This is a distinctly Pittsburgh tradition that I first heard about in Rick Sebak's charmingly off-kilter documentary, 25 Things I Like About Pittsburgh. I am truly lucky to have an awesome porch, and I want to have people on it to enjoy the waning bit of summer before it is too cold for normal humans to sit outside (I'll be out there all winter, probably.) 
  2. Run a 5k. This is my eternal goal. I am drawn to running intellectually, I'm a relatively fit person, but I have never been able to accomplish this goal. I want to give it another try this fall. 
  3. Paint something I like enough to hang. I love to paint, but I have only been doing paint-by-numbers in the last few years. I want to experiment with my leftover paint and make something I like enough to hang in my house. 
  4. Meditate for 30 days in a row. I love the effects of meditation on my brain - even 10 minutes can make me feel clearer and less scattered. But I have trouble doing it consistently, or when it isn't an anxiety crisis. I would love to know how my brain feels after 30 days of meditation in a row! 
  5. Finish my 50 book challenge. I committed on Goodreads to read 50 books this year - so far I've finished 30 so I have some work to do before December 31!
  6. Complete an online marketing course. Marketing is one area of my business that I feel like I need to do more learning and research about! I'd really like to complete a course on the topic before the end of the year. 
  7. Walk/run outside every day for a month. The changes from summer to fall, and fall to winter, are so beautiful, and I live super close to Frick Park, a gorgeous nature preserve of a park. I want to walk there (or at least, outside, if I happen to be away) every day for a month so I can see the subtle changes as well as the big shifts.  
  8. Make effort to connect weekly with friends and family. Like so many of us, I am not great about regularly reaching out to friends and family, especially if they live a few states away. I want to get in the habit of reaching out weekly-ish! 
  9. Go kayaking. A few summers ago, I went canoeing with my husband and we quickly learned that we should each pilot our own separate vessels. I'd like to try kayaking to see if we like that better.  
  10. Grow a crop of fall vegetables. I have been over the moon with the vegetables we've grown in our small raised bed this summer, and I want to plant a fall crop of root vegetables and lettuce to see if I can extend the bounty. I might even put a hoop over the bed to get even more growing time. 
  11. Build a morning routine. My mornings are pretty consumed by whatever task I feel like doing when I wake up. I would love to be more regular about my routine. 
  12. Do a headstand. As you can maybe see, this originally said handstand, but I want to work on my headstand first. I'm terrified of being upside down, and I think that with some small practice every day (and regular guidance from my trained teachers!) I can make this happen. 
  13. Bake something from the Great British Bakeoff. As I've mentioned previously, I'm obsessed with this show, and I would love to try my hand at one of the more complicated bakes. Because we're a two person house, a cake might not be very practical, but maybe some bread
  14. Improve my brush lettering. I received a beautiful set of brush markers for my birthday, and I'm anxious to improve my lettering. I think it would be so fun to be able to letter quotes, decorate my journal, and address envelopes and such. Plus it seems soothing to practice!
  15. Send 10 hand-written cards. I love mail, and I want to send more of it before the end of the year. 
  16. Write a piece of fiction. Now that I'm writing regularly for my blog, I'm much less self-conscious than I used to be about the act of writing. I would love to try writing a piece of fiction, something I haven't done since high school. 
  17. Erg 500 km. (Not at once.) I, like so many Americans, was confused about the meter to kilometer conversion here. I love my rowing machine and I would like to reach 500 km rowed by the end of the year, especially if the weather isn't conducive to being outside. 
  18. Watch Dr. Who. I've heard so much about it, and I love a tragic tale of time shifted love. I've got a friend who is going to guide me through the seasons, but it has been a long time since I've embarked on a media undertaking of this scale and I'm surprisingly anxious about it. So much to watch! 


I'm surprised by how few business goals I have on the spread. I am still learning so much about the business and my clients that it is hard to know where I'll be in January. But it is a signal that I'm still pretty sensitive about the business in general - I can't really imagine how I'd feel if I set goals and missed them, or set goals and blew past them, thus confirming how small I dream. But I'm happy to see that a lot of these goals involve creativity and making things, as this was a big overall goal for me this year. Even if I don't complete all these goals before the year ends, it will be good to look back and see what I was dreaming about, and feeling that I was missing, at the end of summer 2017. 

The messiness is also striking to me! After months where I used my bullet journal almost like an art journal, and then another month being messy and informal, I'm reaching some sort of a balance. I was writing with colored pens this week, because I missed them, and it felt great to letter this spread, even if it isn't perfect. Sometimes the tools shift - sometimes you want different things! I'm grateful that my bullet journal can do both.