One Little Word 2014 | September Dare

As we round the corner into Fall, I can feel the year starting to slip away already, can you? Once school starts, it always feels like a blink before it’s Halloween, and the distance from Halloween to Christmas flies by in a flat out sprint. 

September 1st also marks the 2 year anniversary of my departure from corporate life. I’ve had enough time now to really settle in to my new life, and yet at the same time I feel like I am still inventing it. Who do I want to be in these final few months of 2014? What do I want to work on? What needs to be accomplished? How do I want to finish out the year? These are the thoughts running through my head as I sit down to think about my monthly dare. (I set a dare for myself each month, per my 2014 “one little word”. Read more about it here.) 

The kids are back in school, and with that comes the return of routine. At least for them. But for me, the time they are in school stretches wide and open. It’s fabulous and freeing, but also disorienting. I need to establish better routines for myself to make the most of these precious hours, and to prevent the vague sense of dissatisfaction that I sometimes feel when I haven’t managed my time well.

In September I dare myself to establish some new routines to increase the level of daily satisfaction I feel with how the day has gone, and to help me stick to the intentions I have set for myself as we head into the final stretch of the year.

Here are the routines I want to work on:

More yoga, More running: I commit to 5x per week of yoga. And, I commit to running, if my body will let me, as I continue to try ramping up to a half marathon in November. I always feel better if I’ve started the day with exercise.

Writing every day: I’ve observed that the days I work on my novel are the days I feel the most satisfied and at peace at the end of the day, no matter what else was accomplished. I recommit to it in September.

Warm welcomes & fond farewells: Inspired by this Gretchen Rubin resolution from her book “Happier at Home,” I want to work harder at pausing to give my kids and my husband my undivided focus as they come in and out. My aim is to increase the sense of connection we feel to each other as we fly through our busy days. 

Bedtime as the best part of the day: My kids are night owls, and I am not. They don’t want to settle down, and I want nothing more than to retreat into my quiet place after a long day. This can lead to frustration and a general sense of discordant dissatisfaction at the end of our days, for everyone in the family. I challenge myself, and also challenge my family, to find a new routine that brings us back to a place where we can close out the day peacefully.

Finally, I would like to establish a regular daily rhythm I can repeat day after day, while still allowing for the flexibility I need. I've started working on a daily schedule and will be posting it later this week.

What comes up for you in September? Any daily routines you are returning to, or trying to establish?


Because I love lists and keeping track of things, here is my running list of the dares I have set for myself this year so far:
JANUARY | In January I dared myself to let my days evolve naturally. A natural goal setter, I wanted to see if I could resist the urge to set new year's resolutions and daily/weekly goals. What would happen if I just went about my days without specific goals? (Find out what happened here.)
FEBRUARY | In February I dared myself to fight Resistance. I'd just read Pressfield's The War of Art, and his concept of Resistance resonated with me, particularly related to the writing of my book. Could I fight off Resistance? What would happen if I did? (I recapped what happened here.)
MARCH | In March I dared myself to prioritize my health. Doing so opened up a new world of clean, whole cooking, (see some examples of what I ate here) and led me to a community of bloggers and instagram posters that I continue to avidly follow.
APRIL | In April I dared myself to participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge by posting a writing prompt, and a response to it, every day of the month except Sundays, for each of the 26 days of the alphabet. It was so much fun, and re-energized my writing habits. (See the prompts I created here.)
MAY | In May I dared myself to read more and to keep up with my daily writing in the range of 1000 words per day. (Read about it here.)
JUNE | In June I dared myself to truly embrace summer for the more relaxed season that it is. I wanted each day to be taken as a whole, and I resisted the urge to stake out a list of expectations. (Read about it here.) 
JULY | In July I dared myself to keep writing, despite the self doubt. It was the halfway point of the year and I brought myself back to the reason I chose the word "dare" in the first place. I wanted to write, and I was afraid. Still am, but it's not going to stop me. Read the post here.
AUGUST | In August I dared myself to embrace minimalism, starting with my closet. Read the post here, and the 3 part update on how it went here, here and here.

MORE INFO | As a way of bringing to life my 2014 One Little Word, DARE, I have set a specific dare for myself each month. It's been a fun way to push myself in ways I might not have otherwise. The concept of One Little Word is inspired by Ali Edwards, who runs an annual workshop which I have taken in the past and highly recommend. I have been choosing a word (or letting the word choose me) since 2009. Past words were: BUOYANCY (2009), RESILIENT (2010), HOPE (2011), CURIOUS (2012), EXPAND (2013) and DARE (2014).

1 comment:

  1. I'm a big fan of the small, concrete, accomplishable (sp?) goals. I love your closet project as that's very concrete (thought not very small). Pick something small but stubborn… like flossing your teeth (you know me, very practical :-)