18 Before 2018 – End of year goal-setting challenge

This is my third year participating in Lisa Jacobs’ end of year goal-setting challenge, and I’m SO excited to get started on my list! 18 Before 2018 is a fun way to reflect on your goals so far this year and tackle any unfinished business before the new year begins.

Back in 2015, I fell in love with 16 Before 2016 and SO many of you joined me in taking the challenge and finishing the year strong. I didn’t manage to finish ALL of the goals that I set for myself that year, but I definitely felt that it helped me to have a much more successful 2016.

Last year, I again fell short on my 17 Before 2017 goals, but I still felt that immense sense of accomplishment when the new year rolled around.

This year, I’m renewing my commitment to a few unfinished goals and adding some new ones to the mix as well.

18 BEFORE 2018 – FINISH YOUR YEAR STRONG!

While coming up with ideas for my 18 Before 2018 list, I considered a few things:

  • What projects have I been procrastinating on this year?
  • What areas of my life do I want/need to improve?
  • What would make me feel like 2017 was an absolute success?

(Check out Lisa’s thought-provoking prompts right here)

This year, I decided to split my list evenly between “work” and “personal” goals. Here we go!

1. RE-LAUNCH POSITIVE SCRIBES

My signature handwriting course, Positive Scribes, opened its doors for the first time back in April to an amazing group of Beta testers.

I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into this Fall round of the course, and I’m really looking forward to spending the next 5 weeks helping my students turn their handwriting into something they are proud of!

2. COMPLETE MY WEBSITE REDESIGN

I’ve had this goal on my list for a couple of years now, and I’m excited to say that it’s finally happening. I have DIY-ed every single piece of my current website, and although I get compliments on it all the time, I knew it was time to take my site to a more professional and polished level.

I hired the amazing team at Grit & Wit to help me refresh my brand, and I can hardly wait for the big reveal later this year!

3. PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOOT

Along with a new website, I know that I need some professional photos of not only me but my space as well. This is another area where I have been DIY-ing it up until now, and it’s time for me to up my game!

I hired the lovely Amie Retzlaff for not one, but TWO photo shoots next week. One at my home office, and the other at my office space away from home. I can’t wait!

4. HIRE A NEW EMPLOYEE

Hiring my office manager, Kristen, this year was one of the best things that I have done for my business. Having her by my side has allowed me to put out SO much more content this year than I ever could have on my own — plus, she’s become a dear friend in the 6 months we have been working together!

With the addition of my new Traveler’s Notebook inserts in my shop, Kristen and I are having an increasingly difficult time keeping up with orders. On top of that, I’m launching a top secret (for now) project in the Spring, and I’ll need a full-time employee JUST to manage and oversee that project.

5. HOST A LOCAL BULLET JOURNAL MEET-UP

Yet another goal that has been on my list for a while! I travel often and host or attend meet-ups in other cities, but have never hosted one close to home.

We have a beautiful office space in central New Jersey that is just perfect for such an event, so it’s time to make it happen!

6. DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE!

I’ll admit it… I’m horrible at delegating (and I’m pretty sure Kristen would agree). I often find myself taking entire projects onto my shoulders when there are plenty of tasks that I could delegate. This leaves me feeling burnt out and exhausted at the end big projects.

It’s a mental block, for sure, and one that I can’t wait to overcome.

7. CONNECT AT IN-PERSON EVENTS

I’ll be traveling quite a bit over the next 6 months, and I’m so excited to connect with my online friends in real life! I’ll be making stops in Phoenix, Washington DC, New York City, San Diego, and Palm Springs for various retreats and events between now and March, and I can’t wait!

I just LOVE to travel, so this is one of the most exciting items on my list this year!

8. BE A GUEST ON AT LEAST 3 PODCASTS

To date, I’ve been a guest on over 6 podcasts, and I have enjoyed them SO much. It’s great to chat with other industry leaders and “meet” their communities. I’m putting it out into the universe right now that I want to do this MORE.

9. LAUNCH MY SECRET PROJECT!

I mentioned my top secret project above, but this baby is going to take a LOT of work (and love)! Definitely stay tuned… it’s gonna be awesome!

10. SAN DIEGO TRIP WITH MARK

I fell in LOVE with San Diego when I went to Best Year Ever last year, and I can’t wait to attend again! This year, I’m bringing Mr. Boho Berry with me. Bonus points because the event falls on his birthday weekend!

11. RE-COMMIT TO MY HEALTH & FITNESS

I was on a roll earlier this year after hiring a personal trainer and getting into a solid gym schedule. The Summer came, my daughter was home, I started working on some big projects, and my health and fitness once again fell by the wayside.

I’m still much more active than I was before, but I’m really excited to get back into the gym in September!

12. TAKE TIME OFF OVER THE HOLIDAYS

We’re heading home to St. Louis for Christmas this year and I’m determined to take time off from work the whole time that we’re there. This means getting ahead on blog posts and YouTube videos, and having a solid plan in place for the upkeep of the shop while I’m gone. I want to enjoy the time off instead of worrying about work :)

13. HOST THANKSGIVING DINNER

I absolutely LOVE to cook, and I’m super excited that we’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our home this year. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday to cook for… I just love seeing the table overflowing with dishes that I’ve lovingly labored over for DAYS :)

14. HIRE A HOUSEKEEPER ONCE A WEEK

Having someone to help out around the house with cleaning is going to be SUCH a game changer for me! I tend to work super long hours each day, and keeping up with the house has become a chore that I’m more than willing to let go of. The cost of a housekeeper is going to be SO worth it when I get a little of my sanity back :)

15. PAMPER MYSELF WITH A DAY AT THE SPA

This is an annual ritual for me at this point, and one that I look forward to all year long! I can’t wait to spend an entire day de-stressing and being pampered at the spa.

16. RE-VAMP MY WARDROBE

Another one that has made the list several times. If there’s one area of my life that I feel is out of touch with my personality, it’s my wardrobe. Sure, I have some cute outfits that are totally my style, but overall my wardrobe is out of date and just plain old. 

Case in point: As I type this, I’m wearing a choir t-shirt from high school… that was 17 years ago, people!

17. REDECORATE OUR DINING ROOM

I’ve been gradually upgrading and redecorating our home for some time now, and the last hold-out is our dining room. With Thanksgiving dinner on the horizon, I want to get this DONE so I’m proud of our space before we have guests over in November.

18. PLAN A JANUARY VACATION!

We take a vacation in January every year to escape the cold winter. We haven’t decided on a destination yet, but I know it will be somewhere warm and sunny!


If I’m being honest, I’m a little daunted by the sheer SIZE of some of these goals! But I’m also excited! I know that even if I don’t succeed at all of them before the end of the year, I’ll still be finishing out the year strong and going into 2018 with a clear mind and purpose.

Are you doing an 18 Before 2018 list? I’d love to see it! Be sure to tag me on Insta @Boho.Berry :)

Kara Benz
Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.

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  • Rachael

    How do you mark off when you’ve completed each goal? Coloring in the boxes?

  • Rebe Goebel

    I’m going to shamelessly steal the quote you put on the top of your spread as one of my end-of-year mantras! Love this!

  • I’ve already written my 18 before 2018 list, inspired by Lisa too, and it’s just about blogging. I’ll post it to my blog this week and hope to get it all done before the year ends, but even if I don’t I’m so inspired by the list and act of writing it.

    Good luck with yours Kara!

  • Eris Raven

    Any chance you’re going to make those TN A5 inserts in standard size? I love them, but I’m pretty committed to my format.

  • Cassie Chu

    sooo excited to hear that you might be hiring!!! i would love to work with you

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  • Blossoms and Bullet Journals

    I will totally be making an 18 before 2018 spread! Also, I’m totally psyched that you mentioned a local bullet journal meetup. Good luck with your goals for the rest of the year!

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  • I read Lisa’s email and then saw you were working on yours! Thanks for sharing. Working on narrowing down my exact 18 from the brain dump I did. Likee your thoughtful guiding questions to start

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  • Adrienne Barnes Teague

    I don’t know if I can get to 18. Unless I count getting a good grade in all 4 of my grad school classes this year. That might be the ticket. But I am inspired to set some goals, now.

  • Jessica Wilson

    I am totally doing a 18 before 2018 spread!! I’ve been working on narrowing it all down to JUST 18 thing lol! And Kara — I just did an update to my wardrobe to fit my new mama lifestyle — I would highly recommend reading the book “The Curated Closet” by Anuschka Rees. It’s a very thoughtful read and tackles the whole wardrobe overhaul in steps (that are very bujo/TN friendly) and viola — I have a new wardrobe that fits both MY personality & how my life is going right now! Thanks so much for sharing btw! I just love your posts & vids and well basically your latest video on setting up sept has finally pushed me over the tipping point to just go ahead and buy a TN! Thanks and SOOOO MUCH LOVE!!

  • Jen Keyes

    I’m working on coming up with my 18 goals. I’ve started with a brain dump of sorts and have more than 18 so will have to down-select. Did you start this way or did your 18 just come perfectly?

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  • Ashley Ziegler

    I love this idea!! :)

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