life lessons

How my 2017 mantra brought me joy and helped me achieve my big goal

At the start of 2017, I picked the phrase “step into the light” as a theme for the year. Rather than setting resolutions, I prefer choosing a word or a phrase that serves as my north star. I’ve practiced this way of goal setting in previous years and it’s helped me stay focused when I’ve needed to make a difficult decision or felt adrift.

“Step into the light” has meant spending my time more wisely and taking risks, despite feeling uncomfortable. This year, I outlined my novel in greater detail, put stakes in the ground regarding plot and participated in NaNoWriMo to complete a first draft.

Prioritizing my writing meant that I had to put house projects on hold and ignore baskets of unfolded laundry. In the writing itself, I learned to accept my imperfect sentences and flabby scenes, knowing I would revise them later. My goal was to get to the finish line and boy, did it feel good seeing that checkered flag.

first draft completed

“Step into the light” has also meant setting aside my to-do list and doing things that make me happy. I enrolled in acrylic painting classes with my boys and we had so much fun creating art together.

painting with my kids

When it came to parenting, my mantra took on a different meaning. This year, I shared aspects of my profession with my kids in a way I hadn’t before. As they’re getting older, they’re more curious about my work as a UX Designer so I talked a lot about my process and how I tackle challenges.

Now, I’m looking for new words or phrases to embody the upcoming year. I found this article helpful and this discussion on goal setting, inspiring.

I’ll be back here in January to share my mantra for 2018. In the meantime, I’d love to celebrate your accomplishments for the year, so please share in the comments. I’m also curious to know if you pick a word for the year, make resolutions or do something different to guide your goals.

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