8 Easy steps to Moving a Project Forward
This is a personal story about how I wrote my first book, and a behind the scenes look at the excitement I felt together with my struggle with insecurity, anxiety and stress that was very much a part of this journey.
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1. Defining your Vision and Visualizing a successful
It's important to be clear about what you want. Find some
quite time to sit and think about this. Perhaps take yourself
out of your regular environment, for example going to the beach
to have some time alone in a relaxing setting. If you think
well by walking then do so, perhaps even in a forest or an
uplifting place. Visualize your project as a success. What do
you see? Define your goals.
If you started something and have stopped its important to go
back and think about what your successful outcome would look
like and also ask yourself what benefits do I get from doing
this activity or project?
You may want to create a storyboard where you map out your
vision of what you want. Put this collage where you can see it.
You may want to also have a symbol of your vision that you
carry around with you to help strengthen the vision even more.
This physical reminder is for some of us very encouraging.
Example: Lets say my goal is starting to exercise or workout
again and I envision doing so in a gym....I want the gym to be
near to home.....I see myself at the gym and doing spinning and
yoga ....I see how this is making me feel....I am less
stressed...I feel energized.....I see what my body looks
like...my muscles are in tone....I notice how balanced I
am....I am doing more....when my kids are tired and crying,
this doesn't affect me....I am eating better as I am caring
about how I look and feel.
2. Planning - the next step
Time for planning and specifically of what the next step is,
is a golden rule. I like to take advantage of the early hours
of the morning when the kids are still sleeping to plan,
organize my day or week, to follow through. This step is
simple. Ask yourself what is the next step I need or want to do
to move my project forward. This step is repeated throughout
your project. Each time you finish your current step go back
and ask yourself, now what is the next step?
Example: I will ask friends about gyms in the area or I will
go to 2 gyms near me and get information and prices.
When you have decided on the gym and signed up then your
weekly plan can include the times you will be going to the
3. Checking what tools are needed
Check to see whether you require something for your projects
that you need to buy or acquire. It may even be knowledge of
how to do something. Ask yourself what don't I know? This step
can be repeated together with point number 2. So when you
define the next step you see what you may need. Do you need to
get advice? Can you get information from the Web or by reading
Example: I need to buy myself new sports shoes.
4. Building and maintaining a support system
You may need help in order to move your project forward. This
may be related directly to your project and it also may relate
indirectly like organizing help with your kids so that you are
have time to move your project forward. Think about the people
in your life that can support you on different levels. If you
are generally independent and do most things alone then now is
the time to ask yourself, what will I gain by letting others
A support system is also about receiving encouragement from
those around you. You may want to even ask for this from your
family. Your number one fan is you though. Know that
discouragement is THE reason for people failing to follow
things through. Remind yourself: Yes I can!
Example: I will arrange a babysitter on the days that I need
one in order to go to the gym. I will ask my Husband to support
and encourage me to go. I will ask a friend if she wants to
join the gym together with me.
5. Willing to pay a price
Usually where there is gain this comes at a price. Are you
willing to pay that price? So identify what the price is. I
also like to remember that as a parent we are modeling to our
kids and this is the best way our children learn. Let them see
you start and work on your new project, share with them, and
you can even show them what you may be giving up in order to
move your project forward.
Example: If my project is starting to go to the gym in the
morning and this means less sleep, am I willing to wake up
earlier and give up on my morning sleep in order to gain an
hours exercise - YES!!!
6. Rewarding yourself
Rewarding yourself throughout your project in a way that is
good for you may also assist you. A client of mine who decided
she was no longer buying cakes when shopping now saves this
money and will spend it on a massage.
7. Checking in
Remember Rome was not built in a day. Reflecting on your
journey of where you started from and where you are now is
important. My business clients do this in their weekly review.
They reflect on the past week and what they have accomplished
and plan the next week, making changes where necessary. Look at
what IS working and what IS NOT for you. Be proud of what you
have have achieved and check the above points to see if there
is something that is missing.
8. Regulating your energy
Monitor yourself and know when you need to give yourself a
break, when to push, how to regulate your steps that you do not
get stressed. If your project is a big one then it may involve
strategizing and breaking things down into baby steps. My
cousin set as a goal for herself to run a 10KM marathon and
partnered up with a friend. They have been training for the
last 5 months. She went from hardly managing to run for one
minute without huffing and puffing, to running for 60 minutes
without stopping at all. All this in a period of five months.
The training involves warmup before and cool down after their
run with stretching before and after. The marathon is on Friday
- Good Luck Jac!
If your project is related to a lifestyle change, like joining
a gym because you want to exercise and improve your level of
wellness, as opposed to a one time project like building a
home, then especially for the lifestyle change, give yourself
the space and time to create a new habit. Regression may happen
during the course of your project or you may get stuck – that's
ok, take a few deep breaths, tell yourself I am doing the best
I can and review all eight steps again finding YOUR way again
to move your project forward.
In conclusion ask yourself an interesting question. What's more
important the process or the results?
By Samantha Amit, March 2010