My Theme For 2018: Astronaut

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, 1962.

For the past few years, I have taken the last week of the year off. It’s a good time to go home to Nantucket and recharge. To reflect. To be with family. To watch a football game or two. To build fires in the wood stove and roast coffee. And hang out with my old dog named “Seven” (who beat cancer after 23 weeks of chemo this year, so every opportunity to hang out with him is special). One of my most important tasks at the end of the year is to project forward to the coming 12 months and come up with some kind of theme for myself. A word or phrase to help guide me.

It’s a form of New Year’s resolution that one can actually follow. Try it!

Props to Dr. Jason Fox for this idea. He began choosing a word a few years back to act as a “fuzzy beacon” to help navigate actions and decisions. And it truly inspired me.

Two years ago, I chose the term “rebel scum.” Fans of the latest Star Wars installment will know why, but click the link to read about it. Last year, my beacon was “catalyst,” because I wanted to be that thing in the lives of the people around me that made change rapid and dramatic. I feel that being a catalyst really worked out for me this year. Lots of good things happened as a result.

This year, I’ve chosen the word “Astronaut” as my fuzzy beacon theme.

Astronauts bravely take on the challenges set before them. They do things others have not done before. They dare. They train. They make themselves better. They measure their limits and then they exceed them. They are discoverers, dreamers, and doers. And they are also good teachers, providing plenty of opportunities for those around them to learn and grow.

I see 2018 as a pivotal year for me, and the people around me. And the hope is that this theme will help me get to where I want to go. Which is to say: up.

Okay. Happy New Year everyone. 3–2–1. Blast off!


So, if you were to pick a theme and live by it for the next twelve months, what would it be? Let me know.


Grant Sanders is the Creative Director at Mintz + Hoke Advertising in Avon, CT and when he’s not blasting free of creative boundaries, he’s on Nantucket with his kindergarten-teacher wife and black dog named Seven, pictured at left.

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