Picking a Project

Before I talk about picking a project I want to say one thing:

This process takes time.

It takes time to build a Project-Driven Life. And it might take even longer if you spend every waking hour working on somebody else’s project.

Most people work on somebody else’s project. Any company who pays you, pays you to move its project forward.  If you’re happy at your job it’s because your skill set and values align with your company’s project.

If this is you, you’re lucky. High-five.

But most people aren’t big fans of the projects they work on at work. Or, they’re fans of a teensy little part of it, but they think the rest is bullshit.

And by “bullshit” I mean out of alignment with what they truly believe and/or stand for.

If this is you, you really need a personally-designed project on the side.


So you can live in integrity. So you can have at least a small shot at maximizing your full human potential before you croak.

So now it’s time to design yourself a cool project.

Here are the Rules:

1. Duration.Your project has to have a start and an end date.

2. The Goal.You have to state, up-front, what counts as “finished.”

3. Excitement. You must feel excited about the goal of your project.

A Project differs from a Streak in that you never know when a streak will end, but you always know when a project is done.

A streak is a game. A project has a mission.

A streak is how long you can persist. A project is persistence toward a goal.

When you know what kind of stuff you love and where to find it, and when you’ve tested your persistence by building long streaks of doing something every day without a miss, and when you know what you value and stand for:

It’s GO time.

Possible Projects

Here’s a list of possible projects to give you some ideas.

Learn a new language

Transition to a totally different diet: Go Vegan, or Vegetarian, or Raw, or Paleo

Train for something: a marathon, half- marathon

Write a book

Learn a musical instrument

Learn a martial art

Train your dog for an obedience or agility competition

Learn chess

Learn a new sport. Ultimate Frisbee?  Rock climbing? Kayaking?

Learn how to code

Start a blog

Build a website

Design a game

Plant a garden

Learn yoga

Learn photography

Learn to rumba

Scuba dive

Start a business

Hit the road for a year in an RV

Body build

Send 1 thank -you note a day for a year.

Read 50 books this year.

Some projects have longer timelines that others. For your first project, I’d pick something you could finish in a few months.

Let’s take an example.

Consider a project like: “Learn to Play an Instrument.” Let’s set up a scenario according to the rules.

Start with Rule #3: Excitement about the project.

You are really stoked to learn the ukulele. You went out and bought one, but it’s been sitting in the corner, untouched, since you bought it. Now you’re going to commit time to learn it. It’s going to be your NEW PROJECT. So great .

Now Rule # 2: The Goal: What will you count as done?

When you can play the song, “Over the Rainbow.”

Rule #1: Duration. You’ve watched an instructional YouTube, and looked at the chord sheet, and you really think you can nail this song if you practice consistently for 2 months.

So, 2 months from today (you circle a date on your calendar here) you will play Over the Rainbow totally decently.

Now your project is launched. This is your first project in your new project-driven life.


Tomorrow: Overcoming Obstacles

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