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April 23, 2018

My 2018 Goals (and why it’s scary to share them)

I am a type-A organizational obsessor, a serial list-maker, and over-prepared planner. It’s both a blessing and a curse that I have such a deep need for control in my life. For the past couple of years, one of my favorite exercises has been sitting in quiet reflection and mapping out personal and professional goals for the upcoming year ahead. However, I rarely share those goals with others out of fear. Fear of judgement- what if other’s think my goals are pointless? Or, overzealous? Or, cliché? But mostly, fear of failure. It’s a scary thing to share your goals and then have the accountability of others to make sure you actually reach them. When it comes to goal-setting, Lara Casey has been a huge inspiration (if you haven’t heard of her and the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets goal planner, you need to look her up!). Lara shares her goal-setting mantra that made me re-think my perspective-

There is so much truth to that statement. It’s not about the end goal, but it’s about the progress you make towards your goals and the shift that happens when you decide to cultivate what matters in your life.

I set my 2018 goals back in December, but I was terrified of putting them out there in the world for anybody to see. But in the spirit of community, accountability, encouragement, and progress (not perfection), I’ve decided to share with you all what goals I’ve been working towards this year.


  1. Love myself well and fuel my body.
  2. Invest in strengthening and deepening my relationship with Patrick.
  3. Love other’s well.
  4. Grow my business- Marybeth Marlow Photography.
  5. Explore my faith by reading the entire Bible chronologically.
  6. Live a more simplified life.
  7. Create community in Atlanta.
  8. Cultivate a thankful heart and home.
  9. Read 12 books that contribute to personal/professional growth.
  10. Choose joy-filled activities and say yes to adventures.


A lot of these sound pretty broad because I intentionally wrote them that way! For example, investing in strengthening and deepening my relationship with Patrick can include anything from trying to cook for him at least once a week (Patrick has always done 98% of the cooking in our household) to focusing on charging our phones in the living room at night so we can spend intentional time together with no distractions. Certain goals (like growing my business) have their own specific sub-set of goals/benchmarks to meet throughout the year.

My advice on goal setting– Find what works best for you and do that!

What’s your big, scary goal that you’re afraid of saying out loud? I’d love to cheer you on!