If you’re anything like my business partner Katey and myself, this month has been all about establishing goals, setting intentions, and making plans for 2017. Every year, we create a mantra — words to live by and guide our actions both personally and professionally. This year’s mantra is as follows:
Waste less. Share more. Live our why.
We come back to these words every time we have a decision to make, pursue a new project, or feel like we might be veering off course. It’s so important to know our “why” so that we make sure everything we do is in alignment with our values and ideals.
When I was little, my favorite thing to do was write. I would come up with story after story, written and illustrated in crayon on white sheets of paper, then stapled into book form. The day my family purchased our first desktop computer, I sat down and typed a story for the first time…and I was hooked.
Some of my stories were really good, and even earned awards at state-level young author contests. I continued writing stories throughout my teenage years, and then ventured into nonfiction essays, just for fun. It’s really a shame that blogs weren’t a thing back in the late 90s.
For a long time, I thought I might become an author when I grew up. That aspiration evolved into journalism as a high school student, and I was even accepted to several prominent universities’ journalism schools. But then I got honest with myself and realized I needed to pursue music, my true love.
I was back into the swing of classes, music therapy and lessons just 2 days into 2017, so of course I needed to bring some new songs with me. And although I have gotten away from blogging about each new song as I write and post them in the store, I am going to make a better effort — in the spirit of my word for this year — to SHARE my songs with you more regularly.
2016 was a year full of ups and downs, but it most definitely ended on a high note (corny pun totally intended). I had the opportunity to perform at First Night Springfield, an annual New Year’s Eve event put on by my city’s arts council. And while performing was a joy in and of itself, the icing on the cake was that my friends and family — including my two children — were there, too.
I’ve spent the last 12 months doing my best to practice the three words my business partner Katey and I chose for 2016 — simplify, streamline, self-care. This past year has been all about eliminating the non-essentials, putting things on the back burner, and focusing on what matters most.
With that in mind, I didn’t set any hard and fast goals or choose any big projects to work on as I have in years past. I gave myself grace and permission to say no without guilt. It felt GOOD to care for myself, and I will definitely carry those words with me into the new year.