Goals for 2 0 1 8 //

by - 9:35 PM

WELL, LOOK WHO IS INSANELY LATE TO THE PARTY?? We're already almost one-twelfth of the way through the year (you're welcome for that heart attack) and here I am finally posting my goals for 2018.

Um . . . yeah. So I should have had this up like a month ago? BUT WE'RE GOING TO IGNORE THAT FACT. Obviously, my reasons for not doing this sooner (procrastination + life) are completely valid. (I see you rolling your eyes . . . DON'T DOUBT ME.)

Believe it or not, this is actually the abbreviated list of my goals. Ermm . . . I might have a slight addiction to goal-setting? I leave that up to you to decide.

All right. Let's get this show on the road! (Don't you love it when I use trite sayings? I'm so very entertaining.)


GUUUUUYYYSSSS. I've been wanting to do this basically since I was the size of a hobbit. THIS IS ONE OF MY BIGGEST DREAMS. I've wanted to travel to another country for so long. And . . . it might be a reality this year.

We aren't entirely sure when/where we're going, but my family and I are making rather nebulous plans to travel to Europe this summer. AND I'M SO. FREAKING. EXCITED. My absolute TOP travel dream is to visit New Zealand, and I'm still holding out for that one day. But for now, Europe is sounding pretty darn exciting. ;)


More traveling, yes indeed. I'm about 80% sure this is going to happen. I went last year, and it ended up being one of the most phenomenal weekends of my short existence. Since it's actually more affordable this year, I'm pretty certain it's going to be a thing. I just can't wait to reunite with people and meet some of my friends for the VERY first time. And of course, there will be SO MUCH opportunity to learn and grow my writing craft. I took so many notes last year, and am hoping to come back with even more knowledge if I go this time!

(Plus, Wayne Thomas Batson will be there. Soooooooo . . . *thumbs up*)


This one honestly terrifies me. To be clear, I've been doing online classes for the past couple years as a dual-enrolled student. But this year . . . it's going to be so different.

I have a lot of news to share with you guys about college (the post is coming soon, I promise), but I will tell you this: I'm leaving home for college.

And it's scaring me. A lot.

I know it's going to be SO GOOD for me, and this is honestly what I feel called to do . . . but it's going to be a nerve-wracking adjustment. I'm excited about it, for sure. But very, very uncertain and nervous.

:: READ 90-100 BOOKS ::

OKAY THIS IS ALSO A LITTLE INTIMIDATING. I've neverrrrr set a goal this high for reading, but I think I might be able to do it. (Maybe.)

I read 52 books in 2016, 85 in 2017, and hopefully 100 this year. We shall see. *nervous grin*


Oh, lookie here - another terrifying goal! *cough* xD

I'm just going to awkwardly announce that I don't have my license yet. I got my permit last year but have since only driven once (and nearly plowed into the curb . . . great start, Mary). This year, I'm going to make a point of practicing my driving and working towards that license. I don't know if I'll actually end up with my license, but I'd like to get it before I leave for college. I won't have a car there . . . but still. It would be rather nice to be a more proficient driver, methinks.


I've already started this, and it's basically my favorite thing this side of Pluto. I love that it keeps me both organized AND creative at the same time. Win-win!

Would anyone be interested in seeing a post about my bujo? I might do one now near the beginning of the year, and then another one at the end of 2018.


This is just a fraction of the writing projects I'd like to get done, but they're my top priorities for this year. I'd like to refine BTVC a lot more, fix some gaping plot holes, tidy up the characters/writing/setting . . . basically make it legible. xD I've actually NEVER edited one of my stories before (I knowwww, shameful) so it will be a new, albeit unappealing, task for me. I kind of love/hate the idea of editing. Mostly hate. But it has to be done. :P

I'd also like to at least finish the first draft of TSOTS this year and maaaaybe get started on edits. I have over 61k written but kind of dropped it back in May once Camp NaNo was over. #oops

SO YES. I'd like to focus on more quality versus quantity with my writing this year. I want what I write to be worth the time and effort. That's not to say I won't get a crazy hair and write like an insane person again . . . because let's face it, that happens every year. xD

:: DO NANO ::

Yeahhhhhh. No clue if this is even feasible, what with me going off to college this fall. But chances are, I won't be able to resist. LIKE SERIOUSLY. I can't resist the all-consuming call of NaNo. It's impossible. I'll probably end up squeezing it in amidst all my homework and becoming a sleep-deprived squirrel. (Maybe this is when I'll learn to like coffee?? WHO CAN SAY.)


This is a VERY important goal for me. I'm really trying to make God my central priority this year. And . . . it's kind of happening. But it's easy for me to miss my devotions on mornings when I'm in a hurry or sleep through my alarm (ummmm this never happens, why do you ask?). However, I am determined to accomplish this goal in 2018! My previous goals of trying to read the entire Bible in one year overwhelmed me too much and honestly didn't leave me enough time for my journaling/reflection/prayer time. And I don't just want to READ the Bible - I want to MEDITATE on it.

It's not a "normal" book; it's God's Word. I'm going to try to spend more time diving into it and taking what I read to heart.


Consistency is really hard for me. SO HARD. You can tell by my sporadic blog posts, lack of interaction with commenters, and my aforementioned skipped devotions. I just have a hard time being consistent, but I want to change that. I really, really do.

Another thing which doesn't come easy for me is authenticity. It's hard to be vulnerable. But I want to be real with you guys and with the people around me. That's when growth comes, ultimately - when you let yourself embrace authenticity.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I started a vulnerability series on my stories. I hope to really open up about my struggles and passions and insecurities. Show you the "boring" things in my life that make up the everyday.

In short, I want it to be a year of growth. And for me, that starts with consistency + authenticity.


Dancing is something I've aspired to learn but just . . . haven't. I might end up being a miserable failure, but hey, WHO CARES?? It will be a fun experience, and I get to dress vintage. I honestly see nothing to lose here. :P


Fact #1: 95.74% of my reading consists of fiction.

Fact #2: 95.74% of that fiction is NOT made up of classics.

To be clear, I love classics. I really do. There are some absolutely fantastic classics out there, but I just haven't read a ton of them. IT'S HORRIBLE, I KNOW. I guess they're just so time-consuming that I have a hard time getting myself to start them. *shrugs*

BUT in 2018, I'm going to try to read a classic a month. And I'm hoping to finish all the Jane Austen novels this year, as well. 

I'd also really like to read more nonfiction since my reading diet needs to have more balance. I'm open for recommendations if anyone has any! (Preferably writing books or Christian living - that's the kind of nonfic I'm most interested in.)


I don't know what the future holds for my blogs - because like I've said 1,459 times I'M GOING TO COLLEGE. College is time-consuming. Very time-consuming.

I might not post every week. I might make my posts shorter. I DON'T KNOW. But I'm really hoping to come up with a loose schedule for this year so blogging can still be a part of my life. There's no way I'm leaving so DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP. :P Maybe I'll plan ahead during the summer so I have some posts pre-made for the semester. *shrugs*

Regardless, I'm going to TRY to find a good blogging schedule and interact with you all in the comments more regularly. I'm not promising to answer all the comments (or even get caught up on ones I missed . . . SORRY) because that's a lot of time I don't have. However, I'll do my best - that's all I can promise. ;)


Um. Yeah. Being a writer and online student makes for waaaaay more computer time than I would like. Thus, exercise is Not a Thing that occurs much in my life. (DON'T JUDGE. :P)

I've already started going on walks more this year and it's something I'd like to do more, while the weather is actually not blazing hot. Eating healthy is actually not too hard for me, but I have a harder time exercising regularly. Hopefully this year will bring about a healthier balance of time at/away from the computer.


I want to push out of my comfort zones and create with intentional exploration. Let it be a year where my creative skills are redefined and changed for the better.
This is honestly the first year I've been afraid of. Usually, I'm excited, nostalgic, and in shock because of how fast time goes . . . but I've never honestly looked toward a new year with so much fear and uncertainty.

It's a big year for me. As you can see by my (*cough* lengthy *COUGH*) list of goals, I have a lot going on. (I mean, I pretty much always do . . . but it's more than normal. :P)

I'm leaving home for the first time this year - and I'm scared. There's sooooooo much doubt and uncertainty shrouding my future, so 2018 has me wanting to hide in my hobbit hole for all eternity.

That's why my word for 2018 is TRUST. I want to turn that fear into trust and let God make me fearless. This year is frightening and different, yes - but it's also exciting and full of possibility.

Here's to a new adventure; hello, 2 0 1 8.

Well, there's my not-at-all-late 2018 goals post. *whistles innocently* Tell me: what are some of YOUR goals for 2018? Are you planning on traveling anywhere this year? (Realm Makers, perhaps???)

P.S. You only have TWO DAYS to enter my blogoversary giveaway! Link to my post is right heeeeeere

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  1. AAAAHHHH!!! I LOVE YOUR GOALS! What lovely things to work toward for this year! :D :D :D (And pssshhh. You're not late. Last year I didn't even MAKE my goals until February. XD)

    OKAY BUT YOU MAY BE GOING TO EUROPE???? OH MY WOOOOOORD!!!!!!!! That's the dream. EEP. I HOPE IT WORKS OUT BECAUSE YESSSSHHH. And then you'll have tons of Europe pics to share with us! ;D

    REALM MAKERS. REALM MAKERS. REALM MAKERS. YOU BETTER BE THERE, MISSY! Okay...it's not set in stone that *I'll* even be there, but I'm trying really hard and YOU HAVE TO BE THERE. I MUST MEET MY MARY. THIS HAS TO HAPPEN. *FLAAAILS*

    Eep! It WILL be a big year for you, with college and everything. But I'm so proud! I can only imagine how scary it'll be (I've never lived away from home before o.o), but if it's what God is calling you to do (and it looks like it DEFINITELY is), He will guide you through it. I think it's the most beautiful thing that your word this year is Trust. That you're leaning on Him and letting Him guide you on new adventures. I think it's going to be amazing! *hugs*

    I didn't get my driver's license until I was 19 and there is NO shame in that. I think being forced to be able to drive everywhere when you're 16 is ridiculous. 16 is just...so young. o.o We should get our licenses when we're ready and need them. The world is so silly on having everything set for a certain age... *shakes head*

    From what I've seen of Behind the Velvet Curtain and The Scent of the Sun they look SO GOOD!!! I am ecstatic they're your writing priority this year. THOSE STORIES NEED ATTENTION BECAUSE WE NEEDS THEM, PRECIOUSSS.

    I am SO inspiring by you seeking authenticity. In this "filtered" world, we NEED people to be REAL. We just need...people. Real, honest people. You seriously are inspiring me so, so much! <333

    You want to learn to swing dance? Aaaahhhh!!! That would be so much fun! :D

    I never read classics or non-fiction either. :-/ I'm hoping to read some more writing help books at least this year, so if you come across any great ones, let me know! I'm currently slowly making my way through Storyworld First by Jill Williamson and it's got a LOT of great thoughts and ideas for worldbuilding! A wonderful thing for us fantasy writers!

    Wow, this comment is getting so long. (Heh. What's new?) But I just love all your goals. I can only imagine the fear the future holds for you with all these changes coming, but you are doing the absolute best thing and trusting in God. He's got beautiful plans for you and I can't wait to see what all He does with your life. I think it's gonna be wonderful!

    Have a frabjous 2018, dear Mary! <33333333

    1. Can I just say your comments never fail to make me happy?? I SWEAR YOU ARE MAGICAL. :D (And haha, I can relate. We were gone for New Year's so my goals were made rather late. :P)

      I KNOWWWWWWW. I'm seriously trying not to hyperventilate because even the POSSIBILITY is thrilling. We've never seriously thought we could do it, but my parents are considering it as a graduation gift. If we do go, be assured, there will be LOTS Of pictures. ;)

      LOL I WILL TRY, MY DEAR. I think I have all the funds I need, but I would like to get a part-time job to raise some extra money so I don't completely drain my money. xD BUT LIKE...we HAVE to meet someday!!! I so hope it works out this yearrrrrrr! *flails like an octopus*

      That does make me feel better! I honestly would LIKE to have one so I'm less of a hassle for my parents. It's just easier to be able to go places without having to get a ride all the time...but I totally agree. There's no ONE age that works for everyone. It's annoying that the world wants to dictate that. :P

      You are such an encouragement! I really feel confident this is what God wants me to do, but that doesn't change the fact that it's Very Frightening, especially for homebody me. *cough* I've...never been away from home by myself before. o.o BUT I know that God will be faithful to help me through allll the things. <3 (Who knows how many times I'll need to be reminded of that, though...silly me. *shakes head at future self*)

      THAT MEANS THE WORLD TO ME. It's just so unbelievable that people actually want to READ these stories when they are complete messes. xD But I'm very passionate about my stories and will do my best to polish them up the way they deserve. ;)

      ACK *clutches heart* It's been a hard thing to do, honestly...but it's so rewarding if I can even encourage ONE person. <3

      Wouldn't it?? My bestie and I are hopefully going to learn together. I'm VERY excited. :D

      Yeahhhhhh. It's kind of a problem for me. xD I just don't usually want to spend my "free" reading time reading those kinds of books because I know they'll take forever. But I really am going to make an effort this year to read more of them. OOHH yes, I'm planning on reading Go Teen Writers soon! I've heard so many good things about Jill's books. :D (And I will totally let you know of any good writing books I stumble across. *nod, nod*)

      UM WELL TAKE A LOOK AT MY REPLY, DEAR. It's ridiculous. xD Thank you SO MUCH for all your sweet words. I know I say it a lot, but they mean a great deal to me. YOU'RE DA BEST. <333

      Same to you!!! *all the hugs*

  2. Ahh, don’t be scared of this year, Mary! You can do it! College is definitely terrifying sounding (in a couple of weeks my dad and I are going on a whirlwind tour of the Midwest to visit all the schools I like) but I believe you can do it!

    And 100 books—wow. I’m kind of embarrassed about this—I set a reading goal of 50 books on Goodreads, and now, not even at the end of January, have had to up that to 70 because I’ve already read twelve. TWELVE. I don’t even know okay???? Library hauls are a good thing. I can’t help feeling like that’s all. So my goal for reading this year is ACTUALLY WRITE DECENT REVIEWS FOR EVERYTHING I READ. I’m getting a lot of feedback on how my reviews are really helpful and I want to KEEP. THAT. UP.

    Man, I sure wish I could come to Realm Makers. Maybe it’ll work out...it’s not likely but I’M GOING TO TRY!!!! Maybe I’ll ask for that for my birthday....

    Driver’s license. Eeeppps! I’m getting my permit in a few months, which hopefully means I’ll be getting my license this winter...which stinks, because winter driving where I live is a nightmare. But oh well, I guess :P

    You can do it, Mary, and I’ll be praying for you! :D

    1. Awww thanks, Faith! *hugs* Yeah, the idea of going away to college is making me want to take cover in my hobbit hole. xD But I know God will help me through it. (And eeek, good luck!! I hope all your visits go well!)

      WHOA HOW HAVE YOU ALREADY READ THAT MANY?? *is only on my eleventh book* *which is actually good but you know* Yessss, write all the reviews!! That's an awesome goal! I basically write reviews for every book but some of them are just me shouting to the world about the beauty of the book...and then there are other ones that are semi-coherent. So yeah. xD


      You can do it! I've been driving more recently (first time on the road last week, which was slightly terrifying but I'm still alive xD) and it gets a lot better with practice. Winter where I live is kind of a joke (*glares at 80 degree weather*) but I can imagine it's a different story where you are. ;)

      Awwww THANK YOU! :D

  3. Amazing goals, Mary. :) And God is ALWAYS with us - with Him, ALL things are possible! We can have total faith in His guidance and love that we'll be safe and find joy in His Love. May God be with you with you and I pray you enjoy college and learn lots. ♥
    God bless!
    -Ang | thepeculiarmessenger.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for this sweet encouragement, Angela! <333

  4. You definitely do have a lot of goals. XD

    Learning how to be vulnerable, and learning how to trust God completely has been two things that I'm really feeling an emphasis on this year, too. I'm excited to see how this year treats you. I know you'll be amazing, and I hope that you are successful in all your goals.

    P.S. I used to have such a hard time being consistent with my Bible Studies, but then I got a Bible with margins to write in and draw and make the blank text be more engaging (I've watercolor, painted, and written pages and pages of prayer and anything else you can think of in my Bible). Right now I'm at the point where my Bible study is the highlight of my day and I can't wait to get to it. I don't know if a Bible with large margins might help you, but I am absolutely in love with mine, and now want to tell everyone. lol

    1. *nervous chuckle* Me? A lot of goals? Neverrrrr. :P

      Thank you so much, dear Evangeline. We can do this. <3

      GIRL THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I might just invest in one because it's something I've been wanting for a while. *makes a mental note to remember*

  5. Wow - you have so many goals!!! The list looks so daunting right there - but you can do it! A lot of those things will happen on their own, and a lot look like they are going to be easy and fun to get done. Change definitely can seem scary, but you're right. You can trust in God that everything will work out all right.

    Also - your list looks like so much fun! Tavel! And Realm Makers! (You lucky duck!) Reading! More writing! And getting a driver's license! (Actually, I completely get why you're scared of that one - I am, too - but it'll be fun once you get it - right?!) As for college - I think you know that you can handle the classes themselves (Yes, yes, you totally can). Leaving home isn't something I've experienced yet, but you are strong! It will be a glorious adventure - and you'll get the best of it.

    Have a wonderful, glorious year Mary!

    1. HAHAHA - yes. Rather daunting. *stares wide-eyed at screen* xD Thank you so much, True!! God is in control and I know everything will work out, in the end. <3

      So many fun things, right? I'm very excited about a lot of the things happening in 2018. :D (I FEEL YOU. It's gotten better the more I've driven, but my Mom told me I would be going on a REAL ROAD next time...and now I'm 1000% more terrified. BUT YEAH. It will be fine, I'm sure. ;))

      YOU ARE SUCH A SWEET SOUL. Thank you so much for all your encouragement, True. <3

  6. Amazing goals! I wish you the best for this intimidating but amazing year!

  7. These are awesome goals! If you go to Europe, you definitely have to fill us in on all the juicy details!

    Don't feel to bad about not having a driver's licence yet. I didn't get mine until I was 20 (I also was great friends with the curb). Even then, I barely needed it. It was more for an ID than anything else. Now, of course, I drive a lot. But trust in the Lord's timing on it. If you need it, He'll help you get it. Just be proud that you've got it on your mind!

    Reading through the NT is a great goal. It's so important to not only read God's word, but to also let it soak into our minds, so it's great that you're planning on slowing down and really letting it sink in.

    I've really loved your vulnerability stories on IG. It's something I feel a lot of people struggle with, so I'm proud that you're taking the lead on it.

    All the best to you with your goals! Trust that Lord will lead you where you need to go!

    1. YES INDEED. My mom actually told me IT IS HAPPENING, and we will be getting passports soon...I'm officially freaking out. :D

      Thanks so much, Sarah! It really makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one who didn't get a license right away. (Haha, yeah...I've almost hit the curb on multiple occasions. xD) I honestly don't NEED a license either...it would just be more convenient for everyone, I think. But I know everything will happen in God's perfect timing. :)

      I agree! I've fallen a little behind on my reading plan, but I'm getting back into it and it feels great.

      AWWW thank you, girl!! It's all Him - not me. :)

      Thanks again, my friend! I hope that your 2018 is full of impossibly wonderful things!

  8. My favorite blogposts to read are year-end blogposts, so seeing another one at this point is nice! (ironically yours appeared on top of another one by another blogger XD)

    Dude we have so many goals in common for this year! I'm going to college + moving out + learning to drive + trying to exercise more + reading more nonfiction this coming up year and ighasdfklgshk;l. #adulting XD

    Good luck with (the rest of) this year!

    1. WHAT REALLY? Phew - I'm not the only latecomer. :P

      OH GOSH GIRL WE CAN DO THIIIIIS. So much adulting though. *shaky grin* xD

      Thanks so much, Hanne! Same to you. <3

  9. I love all of your goals! I hope you get to reach them all!

    ALSO: EUROPE AAAHHHH!!!! I hope you guys get to go and LOVE IT. I lived there for awhile so I'm totally a fan! So much writing inspiration there! And food. Don't forget the food. xD

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

    1. Thank you, Micaiah!! <3

      I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT EUROPE! I'm pretty sure it's happening so I'm absolutely ecstatic. You lived there?? That is THE COOLEST. I'm looking forward to all the plot bunnies that appear - and of course delicious pastries from France. xD

  10. REALM MAKERS. YES. THIS MUST BE A THING (I'LL SEE YOU IN JULY xD). And best of luck with AAAALLLL of your 2018 goals, my friend! You're going to rock them <3.

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

    1. I THINK IT'S HAPPENING AHHHHH. It would be a BLAST to see you. :D Thanks so much, Savvy!! Same to you. <3

  11. MAN THAT IS A LOTTA GOALS. but YOU CAN DO THIS, GLITTER QUEEN. and yas do the driving thing (it's fun once you dump the stress and over thinking xD). these are some super goals, can't wait to see your journey through them throughout the year! obviously don't worry about blogging a ton if you are super busy (I know how it can be) but update us every once in a while, k??

    so this was an awesome post and YUS show us your bullet journal!! XD

    1. IKR SO MANY. But thank you, Sare! Haha, driving is getting easier - but I still get super tense. xD Aw thanks, girl! I will for sure be updating you all when I can. I'm hoping to come up with a loose schedule that will work for blogging.

      THANK YOU!! And ha, YES, that post is coming soon!

  12. I'm so so so hoping I can make it to Realm Makers too! IT WOULD BE AMAZING TO MEET YOU. :D

    I absolutely love my bullet journal too. :D

    Good luck on aaall your goals! You can do it! ^_^


      Isn't it great? I'm a little addicted to mine. xD

      Thank youuuu! <333

  13. Don't be too hard on yourself, I didn't post my goals for 2018 til last Sunday. XD We can both be late to the party! If you do end up going to Europe it'll be a blast, that's somewhere I really want to go someday. I also had to abbreviate my goal list, THERE ARE TOO MANY THINGS TO BE DONE!
    I totally get you about the idea of moving off for school. I just got married/moved out in August and though right now I'm currently pretty close to home still we have to move again in September about an hour from here and then all the way to Vancouver on Canada's west coast in 2 years and a bit. I am NOT looking forward to it at all. Let us commiserate about our fear of moving away! :P

    1. Oh phew - not alone then. xD *latecomers highfive* Visiting Europe has been a dream of mine for a long time, so I'm super excited that it's happening. :D IKR. So. many. things. o.o

      Goodness gracious, girl!! Congrats on getting married! <333 That has to be a pretty nerve-wracking feeling - I can definitely relate. xD I will be moving 10+ hours away from home and I'm not looking forward to the move. BUT WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER!

  14. I WANNA GO TO REALM MAKERS TOOOOO. It would be so awesome to meet blogging friends!! :D

    Getting a license isn't as scary as it sounds!! I was terrified at first, but now driving is like second nature. :)

    HOW WEIRD IS THIS. I want to learn swing dance too?! I know a bit already, but I would love to know more! ^_^


    1. YESYESYES PLEASE COME!!! I want to meet alllll the peoples. <3

      That's good to hear! My best friend said the same thing, and it IS getting more comfortable...even though I'm terrified of my next time driving because my mom is having me go on a main road. #help

      WHAT REALLY?? That is so cool! I went to my first class about a week and a half ago and it was so much fun! I'll definitely be going again. ^_^


  15. Great post, Mary! Your goals are awesome, I'm sure you'll have a great year and you'll be able to accomplish everything if you're dedicated and willing to work hard!

    1. Thanks so much, Zachary! I really appreciate the support. :D

  16. These are great goals! Lots of exciting things happening even if they are scary! Exercising is tough, but I've started walking a half an hour every day and it's really helped me and I've felt better as a person. Also I don't like driving either and I didn't get my license till I was 18. XD I'm 24 and I still don't driving. It's a necessary evil haha.


    1. Thanks, Victoria! Wow, go you!! I haven't been the most consistent with that goal. #oops But I'm trying. ;) I don't blame you...there's a lot of stress involved with driving, I think. I feel like I have WAY too much responsibility when I drive a car. xD


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