2018 Goals and Word of the Year

I wasn’t planning on posting my goals until next Monday but I woke up with so much on my mind I just decided to sit down and start writing. Please don’t feel rushed by my sharing these today, I want all of you to take the time until next Monday (or longer if you need it) to think about what you want to focus on this year. Honestly I’m still feeling a bit sluggish and taking my time getting into my groove. There’s so much pressure to be ready to hit the ground running January 1. I’m not ready. Sorry, the holidays are exhausting, I have a lot of things for 2018 I am really excited about but it’s not all gonna happen this week and I am ok with that. Don’t punish yourself for not getting to the gym yet or not eating healthy or having NO idea what your goals are for this year. You’ll get there, trust me, go easy on yourself. And this leads me to my overarching theme for 2018: balance. Every year I choose a word or idea as my theme. It sets the tone for the year and makes it easier for me to think about and set goals. I’ve seen this word tossed around a lot lately, and I think it’s because we are all craving a bit of balance. My personal life and work are pretty much almost indistinguishable at this point. For the last four years I’ve just made excuses and chalked it up to “building my business.” But this summer I hit a breaking point and I was so frigging burnt out. This year I’ve also decided to attach some timing to my goals, instead of starting everything today, I’m writing it all down now with the intention of focusing on certain things throughout the year (partially so I can align this with the #JAKWellness12 Challenge). If you guys have already written down your goals feel free to share in the comments. If not, that’s ok too.

Overarching theme/goal: Balance

Business Goals
  • Consistently post a minimum of 3x/week (M,W,F). From the Instagram poll I did a few days ago most people indicated they preferred a 3 post/week schedule (feel free to chime in but this seems like a good approach).
    • Increase lifestyle and career focused content
    • Create content with “hero” pieces that can be worn multiple ways (at least once a month)
    • Create home decor/reno content (at least once a month)
  • Finish and Launch Newport Travel Guide (yay!)
  • Instagram – Grow following to 125k by July 2018 and 140k by year end. Instagram growth has become even more challenging with the algorithm changes, etc. but I am really focused on growing this channel (the honest way). In 2017 I was able to grow my following by 25k so I think I can hit these targets.
    • More Instagram Lives (committing to one per month)
    • Balanced approach to DMs. I love connecting with all of you on Instagram, truly, but I need to be better about managing my time and I can’t realistically keep up my response times at the rate I’m going right now. I still plan to respond to everyone but it’s not going to be right away.
  • Youtube– Create at least 1 video/week – This is a lofty one but I am really determined to do this.
  • Launch a podcast before the end of Q1 – I am SO excited about this.
  • Travel content – Goal of one trip/month with travel guide to follow
  • Monthly beauty product round-up of what I used and loved (and didn’t)
  • Follow a schedule – This was my main goal for last year and for the most part I failed, miserably. I don’t think following a 9-5 schedule is realistic for me, but I’m going to try and focus on actually having a weekend this year and allowing myself some personal/vacation days.
  • “Finish” the house and submit for a feature on a home decor site.
Personal Goals
  • Physical – Commit to physical activity every day. Even if it’s only 20 minutes, everyday doing something to clear my mind and get my blood flowing.
    • Commit to taking one class per week (barre, cycling, yoga, etc). I know it’s probably not realistic for me to achieve more than this but at least one a week is a good start.
    • Stretchy for at least 10 minutes everyday (I can’t even touch my toes right now, seriously).
    • Increase use of clean beauty products – skincare and makeup.
  • Financial
    • Savings – Set aside 15% of income into a savings account. This was another goal from last year that I did not achieve. Buying a house sort of threw a wrench in that but now I feel an even bigger sense of urgency to have a savings cushion.
    • Increase contribution to 401k plan (will focus on this in Q3).
  • Nutrition – I tried the vegan thing and it was just not for me (huge props to those of you who are, it’s not easy). This year I am focusing on better and healthier eating.
    • Increase water consumption. At least 4 full glasses per day.
    • Eat out less, limit eating out/ordering out to once per week (this is going to be hard honestly).
    • Try a new (healthy) recipe once a week.
    • Grow our own veggies (we are going to get a jump start on this in the spring and try to grow all our own veggies for the entire summer).
  • Charity/Volunteering – This was a big goal for me last year and I really didn’t do as much as I wanted. I’m going to pick at least one organization to focus on this year and commit to volunteering time and resources.
  • Mental Health
    • Meditate – (Starting this in Q2)
    • Read more (my goal is a book a month, my Mom also got me a New Yorker subscription for my birthday so I’m excited to get that going again)
  • Reduce waste – This was something we focused on last year and I want to up our game in 2018. I plan on making this a part part of the wellness challenge but a few things we’re doing to get started
    • No plastic straws – they are a huge contributor to unnecessary waste and pollution
    • Always use re-usable bags at the grocery store
    • Compost plant waste
I’m also committing to going back to this post once a month to check progress and allow myself to make changes. A lot can happen in a month, a week, a day, so I’m going to be open to the opportunities and challenges that 2018 will bring.

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  1. Rach wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your 2018 goals! These are good ones and I love that you kept it realistic. You want to achieve something but considered your time and effort. Cheers to a great New Year!


    1.3.18 | Reply
  2. Allie wrote:

    This list is great! I love how you’re spreading out the goals — I think this definitely makes things more sustainable.
    I’m not sure if your reading goal is to really really unplug and curl up with a book (no distractions) but I’ve found my Audible subscription to have been the only “resolution” I’ve ever stuck with. I can listen to books in the car, washing dishes, folding laundry, cleaning, etc and I find I’m more willing and able to finish books that are a little more dense/dry and would have intimidated me otherwise.
    Regardless, if you felt comfortable it’d be awesome if you had a Goodreads account, and we can follow along with your book recommendations!

    1.3.18 | Reply
  3. Susie wrote:

    Your goals are so organized! I really should break mine down into sections, it makes it look SO much more manageable! And wow, that’s huge Instagram growth! Would you be able to do a post about tips you used to help grow your account more?

    1.3.18 | Reply
  4. Brianna wrote:

    I really LOVE all of these!! I just was saying how I need to ditch the plastic straws so I am going to order other ones and then hopefully once the office goes through this set, we won’t need to re-order.

    1.3.18 | Reply
  5. These goals sound amazing, I’ve made my goals for the year but there are definitely a few here I want to add in to mine.
    We have just finalised everything for our house and I thought in my head that savings where done for now. But I love the idea of saving 15% to have a savings cushion.

    CharlotteSamantha // http://www.charlottesamantha.co.uk

    1.3.18 | Reply
  6. Kate wrote:

    I already love your blog a tonne but I am super excited that one of your goals this year is to reduce waste! This is something I’ve gotten more into over the past year and a bit and something I think is important to keep focusing on. It makes me so happy when bloggers I love share about this because they have such a large reach and can inspire so many people. Super excited for following along with you in 2018!! 🙂

    1.3.18 | Reply
  7. Lyddiegal wrote:

    Sounds like you’ve got some very good goals for the year, and striving for balance is a reasonable place to start. Checking in once a month is a great reminder to stay on course, and get back in line when you’ve swayed.

    1.3.18 | Reply
  8. Adrianna wrote:

    I love this post so much and I can’t believe hoy many goals of yours are so similar to mine! My goals include: detoxifying all of my skincare and beauty products to all natural and non toxic, save more money, take on more clients in my freelance business, work on my photography skills, learn Italian, eat more vegetables and less meat and volunteer once a month. Hoping to get to a local soup kitchen this weekend!

    1.3.18 | Reply
  9. Barbara wrote:

    Your goals/intentions are well articulated, although I am concerned about your-finding balance as you are being very ambitious with your achievements ?. I also agree wholeheartedly that Balance is the intangible that few of us seem to be able to achieve. I take comfort in the fact that almost every one of your goals could easily be mine as well (different industry/job – same struggle). I feel a sense of relief that we’re all dealing with (more or less) the same things at the end of the day (does ANYONE drink enough water ??) and I thank you for inviting us to join you on your journey! ?

    1.3.18 | Reply
  10. Megan wrote:

    These are great goals, Jess! I love how you’ve broken them out your personal goals by fitness, mental, physical etc. I’m taking a similar approach!

    1.3.18 | Reply
  11. emma wrote:

    love this outline! very personal for you to share it all, and it’s much appreciated. can’t wait to listen to your podcast and watch you grow! <3

    1.3.18 | Reply
  12. Mariah wrote:

    I can’t thank you enough for your honesty! I said I was starting a detox this week, and still haven’t started it. I said I would workout every day this week, I’ve worked out once. I said I would have my 2018 goals written out by end of this week, and I haven’t even started. I just really appreciate how real you are with everything! Hands down my favorite IG account to follow as well! Your bits of sarcasm in your IG stories make my day sometimes ? Hope I’m not coming off as a creep!! P.S. I now read your blog and follow you on Pinterest since you did those polls a few days ago! Great idea!!

    1.3.18 | Reply
  13. Deanna wrote:

    Thanks so much for sharing your 2018 theme and goals Jess. It’s very inspiring. I wrote down my own 2018 goals on Jan 1, sectioned into Career, Health & Wellness and Personal. As soon as I wrote it all down I felt so much better because I found it can all be very overwhelming until you just map it out. Looking for forward to the continued inspiration that you provide me and many others. 🙂


    1.4.18 | Reply
  14. Christina G. wrote:

    Hi Jess

    I have never commented before, but I was so inspired by your comment of incorporating a different beauty routine. For me, having products which are cruelty free (not tested on animals) is HUUUGE. I’ve avoided popular products that seem to work to improve skin due to the fact that the brand is not cruelty free. I can HIGHLY recommend Schmidt’s natural deodorant. I’ve used about 4-6 other deodorant brands and this is the only one that has kept the stink at bay. I live in SWFL, so nothing keeps me from sweating, but this natural and cruelty free deodorant keeps me fresh smelling! #notsponcered Id love for more bloggers to make cruelty free a priority! There is no need to test products on animals. ? #mysoapbox. Maybe when you look to make changes for your beauty routine, you can consider this brand! (Or any others which are cruelty free 🙂

    1.5.18 | Reply
  15. Elizabeth wrote:

    I’m glad your goals are so relatable, it makes this all seem less intimidating! My main goal/theme for this year is to take better care of myself physically/mentally/emotionally.

    1.8.18 | Reply
  16. Kayla L wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your goals. I have decided this year to be more conscious about my health- trying to get to the gym more and setting the ultimate goal of running a marathon in September. I am also going to try to do a modified whole 30 diet.
    Business/Job goals of mine are to travel more with my work. I am a traveling nurse and have set up a timeline for myself of where I am planning on going these next 9 months. There’s a lot of what-ifs involved in travel nursing, but fingers crossed it all works out!

    1.8.18 | Reply
  17. Danielle wrote:

    Thank you for kicking off such a fun challenge! And for incorporating different aspects of wellness, balance is so important. One of my goals is to run a 10K in June. Excited to follow along!

    1.9.18 | Reply
  18. Jen wrote:

    Really like this list of goals! It’s specific enough to stay on track but also general enough to shift around as needed. Such an inspiration! I’m definitely going to go home tonight and re-group my list of goals into category and specifics.

    1.23.18 | Reply
  19. Becca wrote:

    Jess these are all such great goals to have! As you said, balance is key 🙂


    3.2.18 | Reply

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