Align: #oneword365

A couple months ago I wrote about a quote from a yoga instructor that has echoed in my mind for weeks:

Alignment opens doors.

I worked on strength this past year as my #oneword365 for 2013. And strong I became. I changed jobs and moved with my husband across the country because I chose it. I did 30-pound bicep curls and 180-pound leg presses. I practiced hot yoga (lots of hot yoga). I proposed new ideas. Many of them succeeded. Some of them flopped. I spoke up and spoke out about well-being in our work places. I became trained as a strengths educator. I emerged from a situation that wasn’t ideal by having the strength to recognize what wasn’t working, the strength to ask for help from others, and the strength to take chances. All in all, while I didn’t meet my marathon goal and there is always more work to be done, it was a good run in the strength department.

Now, as I wrote about well-being and thought about it extensively over the past year, my goal is to be as much about it as I can. There are areas that come pretty naturally to me: eating well, getting to the gym regularly, working hard and with creativity to deliver results at my job. There are areas where I need some work: prioritizing relationships, building new friendships, connecting in my community, reaching fitness goals, spending less time in front of a phone/computer and more time in front of people and experiences.

Alignment opens doors.

I say it over and over because each time it’s a reminder, a voice calling me back to what matters, a gut check. There are things that I want, when honest with myself, in abundance and with great success. Those things will not happen until my choices are from a place of intention and where small, daily habits add up to make big things happen. I work with an organization as part of my job called the Fraternal Values Society. I truly believe in it. And it’s largely because I believe the closer we are to alignment with our purpose, our values, our intentions, the better contributions we can make to society, the more whole and healthy people we can become, and the greater capacity each of us has to live our best lives. Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by that?

Each month I plan to focus on something specific. I have my first six months planned out and am going to give myself space to evaluate areas I want to go back to or add as I get a bit closer to the summer. I am working to read 52 books in 52 weeks as well and am planning to utilize these areas of focus as themes to make selections. By focusing each month on an overall theme, I can incorporate small, daily changes that will impact the whole.

January: Routines

My focus will be on developing and sticking to routines that reflect what is most important to me. This includes sticking to a half-marathon training plan, doing a daily plank challenge with my husband, working to get up earlier (I am far from a morning person), and carving out time for more reading/crafting/unplugged time.

February: Relationships (aww, how fitting)

My husband and I both travel regularly, so setting up date nights where we try new things and get out of the movie night/catch up on shows routine will be good for both of us to connect. Many months into my move to Fort Collins, I haven’t found a friend group yet outside of work. In February I want to make this a priority through where and how I connect in the community, with a church, and young professionals in the area.

March: Development

As I spend a considerable amount of time at conferences in March (SXSWedu, NASPA, and SEPC), connecting with fellow professionals and having a better sense of where I want to grow and want to be in my new role with be of focus. I will also run my first half-marathon this month, so seeing the end result of my investment in myself will be exciting.

April: Finances

I will be approaching my one-year work anniversary, so getting things together to sign up for my retirement account, improving my savings plan with my husband, and simply evaluating my spending habits.

May: New Challenges

One of my goals this year is to become a certified yoga teacher. The studio I attend offers an excellent 200-hour yoga teacher training. I plan to evaluate this as a possibility for summer or fall training in May. Summer also offers an opportunity to do more hiking and exploring around Colorado. I want to identify some of the places I want to go and experiences I want to have.

June: Routines

Why back to routines? I know I will have traveled quite a bit throughout the spring and in particular throughout the summer. I want to evaluate what is working, what isn’t, and commit to travel routines that help me to stay connect with others, maintain fitness, and make healthy choices. Also, evaluating my routines in the work place. With one year under my belt at this point, what practices are working and helping me to be effective and what is getting in the way of my success?

Any why all of this? I hope my reflection on where alignment will take me will help hold me accountable and open up doors of potential connections with others pursuing the same thing. I will be excited to share where my journey take me this year and look forward to learning about yours as well.

Do you select One Word for 2014? What are you hoping to pursue this year?

5 thoughts on “Align: #oneword365

  1. Renee- Thanks so much for sharing. I love it! Thanks for sharing about your journey with your #oneword2103 & your #oneword2014. Your writing is so great, it makes me want to read more. I’m inspired by you! Also, I’m so glad you’ll be at NASPA, so will I! Is it too early to ask for a coffee date? Lol! Thanks for being you!🙂

    • Thank you so much Mika for your kind words! Would love to get coffee at NASPA – it’s never too early🙂. Send me an email at reneepdowdy at gmail dot com and we’ll get something set up – looking forward to catching up with you!

  2. Renee,
    I think one of my best decisions was to subscribe to your blog and it’s all because of posts like this. I appreciate the details and your 6 month plan (it actually reminds me of Gretchin Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” – please check it out if you haven’t already!). I also really appreciate the focus and thought that you have put into this and how you have tied it into yoga! I am looking to get back into the practice myself. You have inspired me to figure out a way to make it happen.🙂

    Looking forward to following you on your journey and supporting you along the way!

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