Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

January 08, 2018

By many accounts, 2017 was a complete and utter dumpster fire. My mom had two strokes, the Cheeto-in-Chief is leading an attack our public lands, and I’ve been in a walking boot since early May. Life in 2017 has been crazy, to say the least, and I’m so ready to say hello to 2018! Similar to last year, I have selected a personal mantra to focus on throughout the year instead of making resolutions. In addition, I made a stretch goal this year to get back on the hiking trail. I’ve shared a little background on each of these below:

My 2018 Personal Mantra 

Last year, I decided to join my friends in selecting a single word to serve as a mantra of sorts. Most people use these words to keep themselves balanced, focused, and moving towards their personal goals throughout the year. After reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses, I ended up selecting the word: intentional. Intentional was the perfect word for me because I needed to be much more intentional with my actions, time, and words. Throughout the year, I would often remind myself to be more intentional in my actions and it honestly helped me stay on track with my goals and tasks. 

This year, I really wanted to find a word that would push me a bit more than last year. So, I decided on simplify. I chose the word “simplify” because my life is full of chaos and it needs simplification. I want to simplify:

• my time with my husband by removing distractions (e.g., phones and tv) during our limited time together

• the physical items in my house by streamlining our possessions (we have a lot of stuff for two people without kids)

• my wardrobe by recycling and/or donating items that no longer fit or have been unused for long periods of time

• my various social media efforts into one account on each platform (I currently have different accounts for different topics)

• all (!) my digital files to remove duplicate content and/or unwanted files (I’m talking to you blurry photos)

• my work processes to ensure that time isn’t being wasted by myself and my team

Honestly, I could go on and on about the things I need to simplify in my life, but for the sake of space, I will end it here! ;) I’m sure everyone who reads this could use some simplification in their life. Feel free to share what you need to simplify in the comment section below or on social media. 

Personal Challenge to Get Back on the Trail

Five months ago I had life-altering ankle surgery that has left me with a limited range of motion and no stamina. Pre-surgery I was told that hiking to the level I was at previously was unlikely. In fact, I was told that I was unlikely to hike ever again. It broke my spirit for a bit, especially after the surgical outcome was so much worse than anticipated. With that said, I have been busting my butt at physical therapy for the past 5 months to get every millimeter of range I can get out of my reconstructed and very purposely stiff ankle. 

A few weeks ago I celebrated my 35th birthday and my husband surprised me with a trip to Joshua Tree National Park. (He’s the best!) During this trip, my walking boot and I completed three short hikes. The hikes were very flat and super short, but it felt so AMAZING to get back on the trail! These short “hikes” reinforced my desire to get back on the trail. My dedication to my physical therapy plan is still strong and I am making as much progress as I can before they kick me out. I even wear my hiking boots to PT, so everyone, myself included, is aware of my end-goal! Let’s hope it’s enough to get me back on the trail by the end of 2018!


You can learn more about selecting a word for your year and connect with others who have online at or exploring the hashtag #oneword365 on social media.

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  1. Avatar

    You’ve got tons of people rooting for you to get on the trail! Also, going through photos is zero fun, but totally satisfying… I started last year and now feel inspired to continue reading this. :D

    • Avatar

      I feel like my photos are going to take me months alone! There are so dang many!! Good luck with yours! We can be accountability buddies. :)

  2. Avatar

    The Cheeto-in-Chief–that cracked me up, Sara Beth! I applaud your one-word mantra. We have also been working on simplifying, and have found the book “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” to be inspiring and helpful. I know, everyone does the Marie Kondo “spark joy” thing, but I just want stuff gone. Death cleaning is much more my style. Check it out–it’s short and to the point. And, you WILL get back on the trails. I am completely confident about this. In the meantime, take care of yourself.

    • Avatar

      I have heard of Swedish Death Cleaning, but haven’t read the book. I will have to add that and Marie Kondo’s too my reading list for 2018. I’m sure both of them will help me simplify to my heart’s content. :)

  3. Avatar

    I don’t know if its the season or being cooped up while it was cold, or what, but I have very much been in the mood to simplify my life. I keep opening up drawers and throwing things away because, really, what the hell do I need with the instruction manual to some thing I bought a decade again that I can’t even find?

    Cheers to 2018 and getting on the trails!