Posted by: universitymindlab | March 25, 2008

365 Day Projects

By Dr. Bakari Akil II (March 25, 2008) 

What if you could become the person you always wanted to be? Imagine improving your skill level by miles instead of inches; becoming confident to a degree you’ve never experienced and seeing improvement in the true definition of a quantum leap. One day you are at level zero and the next you’re at level one. You know how you got there but others may not.

Well an almost surefire way to make this happen is to create a 365 day project for yourself.

We all have set a goal, or have a talent, skill, profession or condition we would like to improve. However, without sustained effort it is hard to accomplish that goal or increase that talent, skill, etc.

A 365 day project takes all of the guesswork out of this often unsolvable equation. That is, how to improve in areas of our life when we and the world we live in is so fragmented that concentration on one issue is difficult.

I am sure you or someone you know has made a resolution on New Years or some other date, to renew a commitment to some goal. The 365 day project is different. It is a commitment to do something for 365 days no matter what is occurring in your life.

No Matter What……

That may not be easy, so you have to make sure that:

A. You really want to do it; and

B. That what you choose to do can be done, everyday with no harmful or adverse effects to you.

So what are the ultimate benefits of the 365 day project?

You create a lifestyle that includes your wildest dream.

Your skills or talent multiply.

Your confidence and self esteem sky rockets; and

You become the outcome you desired.

Lifestyle of your Wildest Dreams

First decide what you want to do. Do you want a bigger vocabulary; to play a sport better; lose weight; improve your parenting skills; improve your job performance? You decide. Once you make that decision then you begin to incorporate exercises to improve or increase your performance in whatever area you choose.

Now you have to be careful when designing your exercises because this 365 day project is for the long term. You do not want to ‘burn out.’ So for instance if someone wants to exercise for 365 days straight; they can incorporate days where they only walk, or have a day for stretching. They can set aside days where they work out hard for 10 minutes instead of 45 minutes. The goal is to make sure some benefit is gained everyday. As long as you do not make a mockery of the project you can incorporate easy days so you will not feel overwhelmed and decide to quit.

Soon you will realize that you are becoming that person you have always wanted to be and will be surprised at how quickly you have improved.

Skills and Talents Multiply

Another awesome benefit of a 365 day project is that your skill levels, talents, relationships, etc. will reflect the daily effort that you have put into it. Because that’s what it is really about; becoming what you want to be. If someone’s goal was to become a better tennis player, then after 30 days, maybe even two weeks, you would definitely see an improvement in their game. Let’s say that each day they did one of the following things; practiced their strokes on the practice wall, took a lesson, analyzed tape on one day, studied a book on another, went through drills, etc. After a period of time they would see the difference.

The once a week match with their buddy may have a different outcome. Instead of losing 6-1, 6-0 they may lose 6-3, 6-2;  they may give them a battle when they couldn’t before or perhaps they may have become good enough to trounce their friend.

Not only will you notice the difference, others will too. A properly formed 365 day project will multiply your talents immensely. Think about a person who wants to spend more quality time with their kids. They don’t just have to pencil in time for once or twice a week for an hour or two. They can be creative to meet their goal.  They can take them to the park, out to lunch, stop by their bedroom for a brief chat, call them on the phone or if all else fails, write them a short note or letter. The relationships can become more positive (or close) because continuous effort is made.

Now as the talents and skills multiply, how you feel about them, yourself and your new lifestyle will also change.

Confidence and Self Esteem Sky Rocket

You can suddenly do things you never thought possible. You may now be a better cook; can perform your job better; your appearance may have changed or you may have become better at something than those around you. Not only will you notice the difference, other people will too. Your experience and reality will begin to reflect it. You may start to get congratulations on performing some job or task better. People may start looking or referring to you as the go to person. You will even begin seeing yourself as a part of the lifestyle that you never felt you were a part of.

All of these things give you the confidence to continue what you are doing. Your confidence will increase because you know that you are capable and can improve. You know that it is not luck but concentrated effort. As time passes you will notice that not only will your confidence improve but you become the outcome desired.

Becoming the Outcome

After 4, 6, 9 or 12 months of daily effort you will begin to notice that you have achieved your objective or are well on your way. Multiplied effort is rewarded. You’ve created neural pathways that are automatically used by your mind and body to perform certain tasks. You will have improved your motor skills for physical activities. If it is an intellectual activity then you will be an expert or on your way to becoming one. The possibilities of what can be accomplished are endless. You are what you do and are living the life you want by living the life you want.

So, we’ve explored how a 365 day project can be beneficial to your life. You can incorporate a passion or dream of yours into your daily life; your skills and talents will multiply; your confidence will improve and you will achieve the outcome or be well on your way. In order to make sure you stay on task, here are a few pointers:

1. Choose a project that you can be interested in for 365 days.

2. Be sensible in the creation of exercises or tasks you create to meet that goal. Have exercises or tasks that are short and easy to do (but still provide benefit) for days when you feel sluggish or are sick or depressed.

3. Have measurable goals so you can see your progress.

4. Tell others about your project so you will be held accountable (Create a blog or tell people who look up to you or that you respect); and

5. Have fun….

So there you have it. A plan to becoming outstanding in an area of your choosing.

Take Charge. Take Control…

Bakari Akil II, Ph.D.

If this post is helpful, leave a comment. I would be happy to hear from you!

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