A new year often means a fresh start - out with the old, in with the new. Several years back, I gave up on making resolutions in favor of picking a one-word theme for my year. Resolutions are usually specific and can make you feel like you're failing if you haven't kept them. A theme word, on the other hand, can impact every aspect of your life. It's more about how you live and your attitude than what you do.
Last year's word was "novel," as in, "I really want to write a novel!" but also, I wanted to innovate. Luckily the two ideas overlapped! Having never written anything longer than novella length (about 30,000 words), writing an 85,000 word book was a new challenge. Other aspects of my life pushed me to learn new skills as well. I had to learn how to be co-editor of a professional science fiction magazine (Escape Pod). I taught science and coding labs to elementary school classrooms, which I've never done before. And (in writing) I wrote my first children's book.
Oh, and I learned to navigate summer vacation as a parent for the first time. (I could write an entire blog post about the enormous hassle and expense this causes for working parents...and maybe I will. TL;DR: I'm not a fan.)
This year, my word is "dynamic." I want to be ready to adapt and react to whatever life brings. I also want to be a force for change, to act as well as react. The word fits my mood because, unlike last year, I don't have a singular focus for what I want to accomplish. I need to be ready for anything.
Have you thought about your goals for 2018? Is there a word that captures the direction you want to grow in over the course of the year?