This past week, I began a four-month endeavor. Regrettably, it isn't a grand effort to combat climate change or eradicate social injustice. Like millions of others, I decided to use modern technology to align my teeth with the hopes of improving my slightly crooked smile and boosting dental health. The aligner company's process has me wearing plastic aligners around the clock, except for short breaks when eating. It is a calculated, thoughtful plan designed to get my teeth in proper alignment.
This deliberate alignment effort got me thinking what other areas of our lives could use some alignment? If a four-month sprint can fix my crowded teeth, what else could be accomplished with a few months of dedicated effort toward a desired outcome?
Zooming out, it seems so many of us are out of alignment. Maybe it's health, maybe it's career. Misalignment comes in many forms, from how we spend our time to how we cultivate our relationships to how we contribute to our communities. With the world in a decidedly strange state right now, could this be the perfect time to realign those things that matter most?
Here are ten alignment projects to consider:
- Align your time. Are you spending your hours in service of your most important goals? Are there some soft spots in your schedule that could use an upgrade?
- Align your actions. Do you behave in a manner that is in alignment with the person you want to become?
- Align your habits. Does your daily routine align with your long-term goals? What are a couple small tweaks that could elevate your performance?
- Align your learning. Do you have a specific learning plan in place to develop the knowledge and skills you'll need to achieve your biggest goals?
- Align your health. Are momentary pleasures derailing your vitality? What changes in movement and nutrition could be made to boost your wellbeing?
- Align your core beliefs. What are the things that matter most, and are there any disconnects with your current thinking that could use an alignment?
- Align your impact on others. Is your level of compassion, kindness, gratitude and forgiveness aligned with the person you most want to be?
- Align your relationships. Does your circle of friends add value and help you achieve your big vision, or is an alignment needed in who you choose to keep close?
- Align your goals. Do your short-term goals align with your long-term ones? A goal alignment will ensure you're using your energy wisely and effectively.
- Align your calling. In the greatest sense, what were you meant to do? What gift do you have to share with the world and how do you want to be remembered? The more vividly you align with your big vision, the more likely you'll be to achieve it.
If you're like me, you probably have several areas that could use some alignment. Instead of trying to tackle them all at once, pick one and do a four-month alignment sprint. Just like my teeth, you might experience some mild soreness, but it’s a small price to pay for significant improvement in just a few months of focused effort.
Let's align on making ourselves just a little better, which in turn, will make all of us a lot better.