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January 4, 2019

My 2019 Goals (and 2018 goal recap!)

I’m feeling really good about 2019. It feels like a clean slate with so many exciting things planned already. As scary as it is to say some of these big goals out loud, I want to be held accountable (and encourage you too!) as we move through 2019. So if you haven’t set goals for the new year already, I encourage you to come alongside side me to create actionable plans to reach your goals, celebrate each little step of progress, and give yourself some grace if you stumble.

2018 was the first year I formally outlined the upcoming year to set goals for my life and business. Thanks to the help of PowerSheets (seriously, if you’ve never used them before go check them out!) I’m really, really proud of the progress I made. Sure, it was far from perfect, and some of my goals evolved over time, but I really felt like I was moving the needle to living more intentionally. Here’s a little recap of 2018:

My word for 2018 was: FAITH. We made a huge life change by moving to Atlanta, Georgia on January 1, 2018. It was a total leap of faith. We hoped and prayed that things would work out in this new city— that we would be able to make friends, that our 9-5 jobs would survive the transition, that my photography business would be able to flourish in a new city, that Atlanta would feel like home… there were so many unknowns.

I outlined 10 major goals for 2018 (and some of the smaller goals which laddered back to the larger goal!) and here’s the progress I made on each:

  • Love myself and fuel my body well
    • Find a yoga studio I love in Atlanta:: Yes!!! YogaWorks ATL is the best.
    • Drink more water:: I could have been better about this one. But most days I did my best to drink 50+ oz of water!
    • Daily walks with Patrick and Tucker:: So “daily” turned into “monthly” on this one. But our evening routines shifted a lot throughout the year and Patrick and Tucker typically went on walks just the two of them after work.
    • Meal prep dinners for the week:: If we weren’t traveling, this normally happened each week! We did our shopping on Sunday for the entire week and we pre-planned each dinner to make our evenings run smoothly.


  • Strength and deepen my marriage
    • Plan a weekend getaway for just us:: We had an amazing weekend away for our anniversary this year AND we spent a few days in Colorado just us.
    • Weekly date night:: This one was tricky. We initially tried implementing date nights into our routine, but realized since we don’t have kids and live together every night is kind of a date night?
    • Go on new adventures:: We had a BLAST with this goal in 2018 and rediscovered our love of hiking! We hiked at least 1-2x a month and loved every second of it.


  • Love my family and friends well¬†
    • Send birthday cards to loved ones:: I had so much fun doing this ūüôā
    • Call/text/FaceTime friends/family regularly:: Check!
    • Plan a girls trip:: My weekend in Charleston, SC with some of my best girlfriends was a 2018 highlight for sure!


  • Grow Marybeth Marlow Photography
    • Blog 1x per week:: Some months were better than others, but I definitely made a lot of progress on this one!
    • Start shooting weddings:: This was a BIG goal and one I was so excited to accomplish! I shot 8 weddings and 15 engagement/portrait sessions in 2018. A huge thank you to all of the couples I served this year!
    • Start my email list:: To be honest, I made 0 progress on this one… moving it to 2019!


  • Read more
    • Read 1 book per month:: I only read 6 books in 2018, but hoping to read more in 2019!


  • Deepen my relationship with God¬†
    • Read the entire Bible chronologically:: This is a goal that I’m super proud of completing! Little by little each day I read through His word and explored and deepened my faith through the process.


  • Live a simplified life
    • Declutter and purge room by room:: Check! I love a good purge/donation day.
    • Find a simple workflow for backing up my external hard drives: Check!


  • Strengthen my photography craft¬†
    • Invest in a Photography workshop:: Check! Had the best experience at the Audrey Rose Workshop!!
    • Finish the Amy & Jordan Posing Course / Shooting and Editing Course:: Check!
    • Attend the local Atlanta Tuesdays Together meetings:: This is another goal that’s moving to 2019!


  • Create community in Atlanta¬†
    • Try new things to get involved + meet people:: Patrick and I joined the USTA Red Hare tennis league and met some of our closest friends! We also got involved with Back on my Feet- an organization that runs 3 mornings each week with the homeless in downtown Atlanta to promote community, routine, and provide them with employment opportunities.
    • Say “yes” to new adventures:: We did pretty well at this (yes to dinners, happy hours, double dates, etc.) but this is also something we want to get better at in 2019.


  • Make the most of each day and be full of gratitude¬†¬†
    • Take 3 deep breaths each morning to reset and refresh:: I started the year strong with this one, but quickly slipped up and it fell out of my routine.
    • Start a gratitude journal:: Ok, so this one might have been a little ambitious. I kept this up for approximately 3 days before deciding it wasn’t serving me in the way I had hoped– and that’s ok!


2018, was good to me, but it was full of change and hustle and with that came overwhelm and anxiety. Looking forward to 2019, my word of the year became clear:

I wanted to do alllll the things in 2018. I definitely drove myself to burn out a time or two and my anxiety was at an all time high. So when I was thinking about what I really wanted to strive for in 2019 the answer was simple: peace. I wanted to find balance, mental clarity, and reduce my stress levels while still working towards my goals and moving the needle in my business. Here are my high-level goals for the year (some of which are the same as last year!)

  • Love and nourish my body¬†
  • Strengthen my marriage
  • Deepen my yoga practice
  • Love others well
  • Continue to grow Marybeth Marlow Photography¬†
  • Deepen my relationship with God
  • Live simply¬†
  • Achieve financial peace
  • Prioritize mental health and self care
  • Cultivate a life giving home and community in Atlanta¬†


Well, there you have it! Those are my big goals for 2019! So tell me– do you use PowerSheets? Do you set goals? Let me know in the comments below so I can cheer you on this year!!