If you’re like me, you would be having gazilion goals you wished you have done by now. It can be the resolutions at the start of the year or bucket lists that have accumulated for years but never got to be checked.
Overcoming great resistance, sometimes we managed to do a part of it for awhile, only to be crushed again in the sea of other stuffs within the sea of life.
‘Life happens’. So apt.
There is but one solution that I wholeheartedly believe…
Make it Your Project.
Somehow, looking at my goals in a frame of project instantly breath zeal and bring freshness to your goals and I know it can work for you too.
I have worked (and still am) as a Project Engineer for quite a long time now (7 Years) that I have seen the different dynamics of mundane repetitive works of Operations or Maintenance and despite the crazy burden of responsibilities of Project, they are good as the tenets of project mindset can be applied to your life for achieving the goals that you want.
1. Put a word project in front of your objective.
I let you roll your eyes for a moment for the sheer obviousness of it.
Done? OK, let’s continue.
When I got tired of the state of my house, I set out to be doing Devine Space Project.
It’s not the location of the house or the size of it that led me crazy (all of which are great), but having to live with pre-set furniture and cupboard and layout of the house as it is put me off. I can’t even hang a picture on the wall coz that mean I will need to do a plastering later. To make things worse, I’m working 9-5 (selling my soul) to ensure someone else get the house 25 years down the road. How crazy is that?
When I put the word project at the end of my endeavor, it is understood that it was a temporary endeavor with marked start and stop duration. There were essential scopes, there were nice-to-haves which 99.9% won’t see the light of the day but you put it in your project scope anyway to ensure the other stakeholder (read: wife) was happy.
Putting the word Project in your goal statement instantly brings excitement into the picture and it goes a long way to help you achieving it.
2. X Project; X must be Super Cool
Look at my project name, Devine Space, Freedom, and G4; all of those have one similarity. They spot awesome names.
G4 is a plane, although my project did not involve owning one
My project title is not some lame objective like Buying A New House Project, but Devine Space Project. Got the difference?
You know a cool name when there’s more time spent to scour the web for a name rather than researching about achieving it.
What I envision for this project’s outcome was to have a minimalist home with less time spent weekly for maintenance. It is easy to be in order all the time (because my house would have so little stuffs in the first place). The final result, a space so special it deserved to be called devine space. That’s how spiritual I am when it come to handling my space.
Having a cool name for your project is not only beneficial, it’s a must. Or in tajwid we call it ‘Wajibal Ghunnah’.
Why? Because in one short name it reminded you of your why and more likely you are excited to get the job done.
3. Prioritize Your Projects
Like most organizations, the company I work for enlist all of the projects they interested to be doing, how much resources ($$) and how much gains (more $$) they will get every new budget cycle. I’m sure most of the company does this exercise in one way or another, where they prioritize the projects to be executed. There will be some fancy events and names and abbreviations to get all the planners to submit the endless excel list of data for comparison and even more absurd hours spent to discuss and counter discuss the need for the projects and why it is not needed.
We can’t they do all of it?
Because there’s only so much resource (time and personnel) at the company’s disposal to do it. Of course, there will be some stupid moron who insist one man can do a lot of things, perfectly, but that’s an exceptional case.
We want to adopt the same thing into our life because we have finite time and energy (and $$).
Prioritize projects which are close to your heart, and let go (or have very low expectations) for the ones which is not your priority.
For example, I had a thing for mastering other languages like Mandarin or French, but I’m not under the illusion that I need to be fluent at it in one year. Heck even not in 2 years. Understanding that there is correlation from the amount of time you wish to spend for a certain project and the timeline of completing it is paramount.
Prioritizing would also require us to be acutely aware on essentials things in your life. What do you want to achieve? What is your north star? What is your values in life? What is your passion?
I understand if those questions makes you dizzy because I suffered it myself.
4. Project Charter: Objective, Scope, Timeline
When the big bosses want to know about a project, he would ask the boys to come up with a project charter. It is normally a Powerpoint slide containing information of the project crammed in one page for the busy bosses to glance through.
This is something we want to emulate. Under the project mindset, we need to have some of these essentials crystal clear.
a. Objective; what’s the underlying needs that we want to solve here? It’s insufficient to understand the surface objective of it, but to go to another level of understanding. Again, my divine space project on a surface is a buying a new house endeavor. But, at another level it is to actively control and design my surrounding to ease myself to incorporating the activities that I like. For example, the main feature of my living room would be the book shelf (to encourage reading) and having no cable TV to enforce intentional viewing.
b. Scope; this is plain simple. What do you want to achieve in this project. I would recommend ranking it to absolute must (P1) all the way to nice-to-haves (P3) just to see the absurdity of money required to do it. Laugh a bit and just do the P1s.
c. Timeline; another essential, but often overlooked when we did not operate on project mindset. Having an understanding of how long a project should run allows us to be focused and have a realistic expectation. Sure, a project that you want to complete in 3 months would have a different urgency attached to it than a 5 year quest.
5. Track Regularly
We won’t be having bosses at our backs to check on the progress of our projects, and that’s why it’s good to keep a ritual in-place to make it seen at all times or having an accountability partner who remind you of your quest all the times. This type of external pressure worked for me. At least you would be full of anxiety doing the things not moving you directly to your dreams.
Looking at your goals as projects are a must. It made your goals shinier and easier to grasp. You’d be more enthusiastic even thinking about it.
Now the question is, What is your Project?