One Little Word 2014 | October Dare

I won't lie. I've had a hard time feeling productive this fall. It's not because I'm not busy. I'm doing lots of things. But the truth is, I know that I could be doing more.

Part of the problem is that I've got some bad habits. For example, I spend far too much time checking my email. And when there are no new interesting emails to read, I have been known to re-read old emails. (Huh? Yeah, I really do that, I'm embarrassed to admit!)

Checking email is an old habit from when I used to work a corporate job where I got hundreds of emails every single day, sometimes 100 or more an hour. I was always struggling to keep up, and frequent checking and responding was the only way I found to stay on top of it. I don't get very many emails anymore, and that's a good thing. But the habit of perpetual checking has been slow to fade out.

When I've exhausted the possibilities offered by my email, I move on to my lengthy list of favorite blogs, or instagram, or pinterest. I've gotten into the habit of checking for new stuff, particularly in blogland, several times a day. Crazy, right?

I want to be spending more of my time creating -- writing, baking, sewing, painting, organizing, decorating, journaling, whatever -- and more of my time absorbing and producing positive energy in non-screen-oriented ways -- meditating, doing yoga, reading, walking with friends, snuggling with my kids, whatever -- and not so much time looking at what other people are doing online.

Yes! Just writing it down felt so good.

A note about my own blogging. I spend a fair amount of time each week putting together blog posts. I have a very small (but beloved) readership and have no current ambitions to expand my readership (though I love and welcome new readers when they find me by whatever means! Hello!)  I blog because I love words, and I love pictures. Blogging is simply fun.

I'm not sure how blogging fits into the picture here... is it a time waster? or does it count as something creative? I think it's a little bit of both. Either way, something tells me to keep blogging, and I'm going to listen to that little voice. I trust it, at least for now. But I do want to get faster (resist the urge to fuss over making things perfect), and I want to resist the urge to transition from blogging to all the above mentioned online temptations. Blog, but then get off the computer and back into life.

So, how to sum all this up in a pithy "dare" for the month of October?

I dare myself to reduce screen time and increase creative time. 

Join me?


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 closetRead the post here, and the 3 part update on how it went herehere and here.
SEPTEMBER | In September I dared myself to establish some new routines, to help me stick to the intentions I set for Fall. I came up with a daily schedule, to better make space for activities like yoga and writing. I also worked on routines related to family interactions (warm welcomes, fond farewells and a better bedtime routine.) Read the original post 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 think it's great that you're daring yourself to try a new approach to things each month. That's such a creative way to set goals. It's amazing how little habits we don't even really think about waste so much of our time. It's well worth giving each day a good hard look and narrowing in on some of those issues. then trying to weed them out. Good luck with your goal to get off the screen and get creative! :)