February: My One Little Thing Notebook

in , by Stephanie, January 31, 2021

January was a month of learning. 

In previous years, I’d jump into January expecting to make sweeping changes in my life that would usually last for a week or two. But this year was different. This year, I embraced a monthly word to hold onto, rather than a yearly one, which changed my perspective. I mean, I could hold my focus on one word for one month, right? Right. 

My word for January was breathe. I wanted to breathe easy, both physically and mentally and hold more space in my life for what mattered most. Knowing this would be a challenge for my busy life, I found support and took part in Breath: A 30 Day Yoga Journey. 

There’s something appealing to me about a challenge of sorts, a daily structure and routine that would remind me to take a moment (or 30 minutes!) to remember my monthly intention. So I showed up to the mat EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail and it changed everything.

I learned how to physically breathe so that I could breathe easier mentally. I learned how to relax by body in ways I never could so that breathing came easier and more naturally. I learned how to tune into my body, listen to what it was saying and then act accordingly without guilt. I learned to appreciate whatever moment I was in and savor the little things. And while I still have a long way to go, I’m committed more than ever to carving out this daily time for myself in the wee hours of the morning. 

So, if you're finding that you need a bit of structure or accountability to hold yourself to your word of the month, you might seek out a challenge that aligns with your word, as I did. And there’s a challenge for everything: exercise, yoga, hand-lettering, cooking, reading, writing, art and more. Just head online, try a Google search and see what you find. 

Each day, I recorded my progress in the challenge and the little things I was doing to bring my word to life in my One Little Thing notebook. As I flip back through the pages, I’m struck by the changes over time. I started by simply reporting that I showed up to the mat each day. But over time, I started capturing things that I’d previously never recognized, like breathing cold, fresh air on a winter walk, deeply inhaling the eucalyptus oil as I washed my face at night or calming my breathing in the heat of a moment. That’s what capturing the small moments of our day can do. Our notebook uncovers how we are showing up for ourselves and in the world, something we might not consciously tend to otherwise. 

As January comes to an end, I’ve pledged to continue showing up to the mat each day so I can reap the rewards off it. But one more thing became clear. Now that I’m better able to connect with myself and my own breath, I’m in a better place to connect with others. So, my word of the month for February is…...connection. 

Each day in February, I want to celebrate and strengthen the connections I’m fortunate enough to have with others: family, friends, colleagues, virtual connections and those I’ve yet to meet. And it all starts with my One Little Thing notebook. 

I chose another small notebook (I love to stack them together!)  and headed to YouTube to learn how to add my own notebook cover perfectly suited to my one word. Next, I opened the first page and listed the names of people in my life I wanted to celebrate and better connect with throughout the month. Next to each name, I jotted an idea to make that connection happen: a planned phone call, a random snail mail delivery, a virtual walk and more. Now, all that’s left is to choose one person, and one little thing, each day to bring my word to life. It certainly sets a positive tone for the month to come and I’m definitely bringing a new loving energy to the next 28 days ahead. 

So now, it’s your turn. What’s your one-word mantra for February? And how might you bring that word to life on the page? Share your comments below, tag @AffinitoLit on social media and join me in the #OneLittleThing movement! 

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