At the start of the 2017 holiday season, I started to think about my yearly theme.

Definition of “Yearly Theme”: an annual challenge and commitment one makes to oneself with the intention of self-improvement; less prescriptive and more flexible than a set of New Year’s resolutions.

I began my tradition of yearly themes back in 2014.

2014: Stop being a penny pincher

2015: Do things that make you feel uncomfortable

2016: Make goals and follow through

2017: Be vulnerable and love myself unconditionally

After assessing where I was emotionally, mentally, and physically, I realized 2018 is the year “to be true to you”. Little did I recognize how many decisions I would make that would immediately change the structure of my life.

I have spent a majority of my professional career in corporate human capital consulting (i.e., working on everything from helping people to deal with changes to their daily jobs to strategic planning for a global culture initiative). Each of these experiences have been invaluable to my growth and development because of the access to intelligent, honest, and collaborative clients, leaders, and team members. I had reached a point where the expectation was to lead, manage, and develop others. I’ve hit my sweet spot, right? Not quite.

As I deconstructed how I would be spending the next three years of my career path, I recognized that I had maximized my own desired return on investment. This was the start of a series of rapid decision-making (all of which were also vetted through my personal Board of Advisors) that resulted in leaving corporate.

It’s been a month, and I’m still in the discovery phase. While I am very comfortable with ambiguity, marching to the sound of my own drum, and understand that this a choice to invest in myself, it helps to get validation from others. I’ve found this through the movement by other professions to designing a life with purpose. In my opinion, a life with purpose means a life with passion.

Disclaimer: I am not encouraging you to leave your job rather to honestly examine whether you are being true to you. If you’re not, find resources to start designing your life. Recommended resources include the book Designing Your Life and the online course Design The Life You Love. I am not endorsed by Dave Evans, Bill Burnett, or Ayse Birsel.