At the start of this year, or at the end of last year – sometime a few months ago anyway, I did that thing where you choose three words for 2017 to guide you over the course of the year.
I’ve seen several people do this. I don’t know where the idea originated, but here’s a post that explains what the concept is all about.
Some people choose one word rather than three, and there’s a nice project that Ali Edwards does over the year, called One Little Word, that sets prompts for you to creatively explore your word over the year.
I signed up for this class once, but in true non-completer fashion, it got too much for me and I gave up after a few weeks. I do have a nice title page of my album though.
I got inspired to choose three words for 2017 after reading Kylie Dunn’s post on her three words. It occurred to me that I had taken on rather a lot in my Stepping on the Cracks project, that I was rushing through some ideas, and not getting very far with others, and not really learning from either. The word “consolidate” kept coming into my head over and over. Reflecting on what I’ve learned and putting it into practise, instead of chasing after the next shiny object that comes along. Seeing something through to the end.
The next word fell out of that one – “simplify”. Focus on one thing at a time. Release what doesn’t serve me. Don’t come up with complicated plans when all I need to do is take the next step. This can be applied in so many ways: getting rid of stuff I don’t use or need any more, making space to do the things I want to do and doing them, saying no to things unless I am prepared to give something else up.
The final word “nourish” works on a couple of different levels. It could be about food, and certainly one of the things I am interested in learning this year is more about fermentation and about improving my diet. But it’s also about taking care myself on a broader level.
- Nourishing my body by eating better, moving more, resting more.
- Nourishing my mind by staying calm when things are spiralling out of control, doing things that scare and excite me, and by finding the opportunities for growth presented by challenges.
- Nourishing my soul by surrounding myself with beauty, and by creating things for the sake of doing them, and by giving myself time for rest and relaxation.
That doesn’t look very simple when it’s written down like that does it!
So, rather than take on everything at once, I’m combining two very similar pieces advice that I’ve seen over the last couple of days to come up with a new 30-day challenge.
This article from Lisa Grace Byrne of WellGrounded Life came up in my Facebook feed yesterday. Here Lisa invites us to choose three self-care practices based on what we most need for our own well-being, to set a daily goal for each one and to see how many days in the next 30 we can accomplish the goal. She give some examples in this post, and a creative way to record progress at the end.
Simplifying this even further, Kendra from Hey Kendra! asked me if I could just choose one area that I want to make progress in, and then choose just one thing to help me in that area, what would it be? And her advice was to then focus on doing just that one thing for the next week. It might be different thing every day, or the same thing, but just to focus on that one area.
The title of this post probably gives away what my choice is. I realised the other day as I almost fell asleep on my feet while I was out walking, that lack of sleep is the key issue for me, and that I urgently need to do something about this.
So I’ve set myself a challenge for the next seven days (to start with) to go to bed as early as I can. To do what I have to do after dinner as efficiently as possible, turn my screens off as soon as I’ve finished what I need to do (rather than getting lost in a YouTube rabbit hole or checking my social media feed just one more time), take some time to relax, and go to bed by no later than 10pm.
As a way to keep track of this, I’m going to use this little flower, which I believe was originally designed by one of the women in the WellGrounded Life community. It was a way for her to see her progress in the open-ended challenge, by colouring in one section each day she reached her goals. (It’s explained more in the post I linked to above.)