Instead of setting a New Year’s resolution for 2017, I decided to set an intention for the year ahead. A blogger I follow, Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha, chooses a word to focus on each year and after seeing her word for 2017 (“complete”), I resolved to do the same. My word for 2017 is “authentic.” For me, this means being true to who I am and engaging in experiences that bring me joy.

It recently occurred to me that I have fallen out of touch with the art world, so part of my authenticity will be getting back in touch. How will I do this? I will re-subscribe to Art News, attend gallery openings, and reread my favorite art books. Another passion I have put on the back burner is being outdoors. My husband and I were really great about exploring the WNC wilderness when we moved to Asheville 2 years ago, but we have not made hiking a part of our routine as of late.

I’ve never once regretted spending time outdoors. I love the smell of the woods (I think they call it “fresh air”), the feeling when my lungs are working overtime to carry me up a mountain, and peaceful mornings making oatmeal over a campfire. To remedy this void, I resolve to spend time outdoors (really outdoors, as in on a trail) every week.

My focus on authenticity will also honor my love (and need) for personal downtime and mindfulness. When the days grow shorter and my to-do list grows longer, I find myself watching Netflix on the couch in my spare time. While this fills my craving of quiet relaxation, it is not reflective or mindful. This year, I want to spend my downtime doing things that fulfill my authentic self: spending time outside, reading, drawing, and DIY projects. In essence, I want my 2017 to be filled with experiences that speak to my authentic self.

authentic mantra

My intention to be authentic is just as applicable in my business life as it is in my personal life. As consumers, we have a hound-like ability to sniff out inauthentic brands. Given this innate skill, it is irrational to expect our own consumers to happily lap up our inauthentic content. And yet, businesses do this all the time.

In trying to please 100% of the market, we lose out on the 10% of the market whose lives we could truly improve. When a business tries to speak to everyone, they lose sight of their authentic self – and their message gets lost in the fray of digital content.

As a digital content manager and marketer, I love to help businesses find their voice and speak to their target audience in an authentic way. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, then I challenge you to make 2017 about authenticity. Define your core values and then honor them in everything that you do!

Need some extra help? Email me at to schedule a strategy session with our digital marketing team. We can walk you through defining your values, declaring your mission, and crafting an authentic digital marketing presence for your business.