How To Get Started on Your Next Project [Ep.01]
What makes it easy to start a new project? How about a unique plan that will help you keep going long after the new shiny excitement has worn off?
In today’s exciting inaugural episode I’m going to share some unique ideas to help you start a brand new project and a framework you can use no matter the kind of project that you want to start.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- Why I started this podcast and how it ties into my bigger business goals of helping women use their time for what matters
- Why creating a project plan is more valuable than simply setting a goal
- The four core components I recommend including in a project plan to get you started
Show Notes Episode 1
Welcome and Introductions
Welcome you to this very first episode of More Ways. To start I wanted to share my story and take a quick minute to introduce myself as your host.
By the end of this episode you’ll understand why I started this podcast and how it ties into my bigger goals with my business. Then I’m going to share a process to starting a new project yourself.
Before we get into that I want to step back and introduce myself because this is our first chance to get to know each other, which I’m very excited about.
I’d call myself a productivity enthusiast. I really reaalllly love helping people spend their time on what matters….. and what I’ve come to realize is this is and has always been my purpose.
Where it Started
I think my obsession with using my time well began when my otherwise healthy and active Dad had a massive heart attack and died at the age of 44. The reality that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and our time is limited became part of me, who I am and how I live in this world. While others share these as platitudes and cliché statements. I feel that in my bones every day.
I stepped into my coaching journey in 2019 and quickly fell in love with it. I loved guiding people to seeing new possibilities in their lives and helping them identify what was getting in their way and then supporting them to decide their best next steps toward what they really wanted. Anyone that I told I’m coaching said, “oh, that’s perfect for you”. The more I coached and interacted with people, the more people wanted to work with me. They asked me to coach them, people they know, and even their clients. I kept saying yes to everything and fell deeper in love with coaching of all kinds.
What It Looks Like Now
Overall, I knew that I wanted to support women who wanted to do more with their time. I had women sharing that they had ambitions and creative ideas that weren’t being realized, and taking their idea and moving it into reality was a hurdle they struggled to get over again and again. They told me that they want to prioritize and make progress on their creative projects, their business dreams and they wanted to know that they were making a difference, that they mattered. They wanted peace of mind that things weren’t falling through the cracks when they were following their passions and building their business and they really wanted to focus and be fully in the moment (at work and at play).
They tried goal-setting and buying fancy planners, reading self-help books, and listening to podcasts. Oh and they had lists and notebooks and none of it was helping because week after week they continued to have the same to-do items on their list. They were distracted and procrastinating, pulled in many directions and always behind. They felt like they’re wasting her time or waiting for something to change. And I knew that her life wasn’t waiting for her. And I also knew the outdated productivity tools, tips and hacks also weren’t working because they were build for a different person and a different time.
I love helping women identify what really matters, make progress and overcome hurdles and find more ways to be productive sustainably for modern life.
The Beginning of More Ways
I was inspired to start More Ways because this time is all we have. We know that what’s most regretted at the end of the life isn’t what you did…. it’s what you didn’t do. I never want to regret the path not chosen and I love helping women see how they can get past the hurdles and create an impact they want through their businesses and the lives.
To tie this whole story together I realized that besides the fact that our time is our most valuable resource and my passion for helping women spend time on what matters I think the biggest thing that sets me apart and gets me excited is sharing and exploring unique perspectives and new paradigms to design your business and your life on purpose – and I’m thrilled to be able to do that with this podcast.
How to Get Started on Your Next Project
That’s enough about me for today, so let’s get to what I really want to address in this first episode. I thought I would address a relevant topic and that is how to get started on a new project. Taking the time to think out pieces before you get started is like sharpening the axe before you get to cutting. As such, I think it will save you a ton of time and headache in the long run and that’s exactly what I want to help you do with the 4R framework. Before I dive in to the 4Rs, I want to address a related idea which is “whether getting started on a project the same as a getting started on a goal?”
Projects Vs. Goals
Some people set SMART goals to be able to take them toward what they want, I think by using the 4Rs is that it provides more context to planning and I think it offers more depth as opposed to setting a SMART goal. Not a hard and fast rule, as with most things when it comes to taking ideas and making them real, you’re the best judge of what will work for you and your project. Digging into what you really want to get out of the project and what you’re prepared to put in will be a truer framework for your project, rather than just diving into the project.
The 4R Framework
If you do want to get started on your next project here is the 4R framework.
The first R is Result. You’re probably taking on a new project because you want something different. So, it’s important to start with the end in mind and get clear on what you want to create by the end of the project will help you set it up with purpose.
A result can be a physical change, like being able to park your car in the garage, or 2 new clients in your business. I love also identifying what kind of learning or experience I want to get out of pursuing this project. The personal skills and growth along the way is it’s own kind of result. As an example, for this podcast the result I wanted was well, launching a podcast, sure, but more so I want to reach women with this message and the results I want to create are 500 downloads in the first 3 months. In the process I wanted to build my writing skills, create connections and friendships, and really test my courage and start to share my fresh ideas.
I don’t want you to shy away from claiming exactly the result you want. If you want something specific declare it, and make sure if there are others that are working on this project with you or whom this project will impact you communicate it clearly. Unlike that time when my husband finished building a wall right into a cupboard and we couldn’t open the cupboard door anymore because there was a wall closing it forevermore. Yep, I’d definitely err on the side of over-communicating what you want. LOL!
The second R is Roadmap. That is the answer to what route are you going to take to create the result you want from this project and how will you know you’re making progress? Sometimes if it’s a small project or something you’ve done before or if you have a recipe/pattern from someone else that you’re following then making a roadmap from where you are now to where you are going to be at the end of the project can be quite simple. When it’s a larger project, more moving pieces or if this is new for you then there are a few ideas to help.
- If it’s a big project consider breaking it down into smaller projects
- If this is new for you consider reaching out to someone who has done something similar to be able to get some ideas for ways to move through milestones to completing this project
I have a bit of a caveat to the Roadmap. after you create a roadmap of how you think you’re going to get to the end of this project you have to let go of thinking that you know how you’re going to get to the end of this project. Because the future is unfolding and uncertainty is it’s most defining characteristic. There’s a fine balance to hold – making a prediction and yet not knowing what’s going to happen or where you’ll end up. And I think you have to do this even when (or maybe especially when) you already have a clear map in your mind of how this is going to go.
This moves us into the 3rd R and that’s your Resources. Every project takes some kind of resources from your time, to talent, money to mindset, even the right kind of energy and you’ll want to get clear on what this project requires. Especially, what’s needed to get through the hard parts.
Most projects fall down and stall out when something gets hard, either it didn’t go the way you planned or there’s something unexpected. If you’re not planning for the hard parts you’re missing the biggest opportunity to set yourself up for completion. Because it’s easy to show up and keep going and have your own back when things are going well. What’s critical is for you to have the resources to keep going when things are hard. When you’ve identified what might be hard about this project and you already have gathered the resources to get through it, there’s less chance of you getting stuck here. You have the solution before you have even faced the problem.
For the podcast I needed some equipment like a microphone and recording software and a new domain name, but I also needed some support and accountability from friends and then information and learning from other podcasters who would be cheerleaders.
The 4th and last R I have for you is Relish. How will you relish and celebrate the milestones along the way, the learning and skills that you create and the results that you create?
Celebrating yourself and the pursuit of new things is so critical and is sadly left out of the thinking when you’re starting a project. Celebrations no matter how small are a signal and they give your brain a little happy chemicals that make your brain want to do that again. Relishing the steps you take ends up helping you keep taking steps that you relish some more creating a spiral forward.
Before we wrap up that 4R framework again was Results, Roadmap, Resources and Relish. I want to address another question you may have, which is how you’ll know when you’re ready to start your project. Rather I’d ask who said you had to be ready? It’s not a prerequisite and for good reason, because sometimes being ready happens after you’ve started. In fact another question might be how can I start before I feel ready?
So, whether you’re starting a new project or you’ve started and stalled on a project or you’re hoping to practice finishing projects and beyond then this will be the right podcast for you.
I hope you’ve found this first episode useful and has made you think about starting your next project. I’m very excited that this is the first of many to come.
Hey! I’m Amanda Jane, host of More Ways.
As an alternative productivity enthusiast, I love helping people spend their time on what matters.
It’s my passion for coaching and connecting that brought me to start a podcast, and I founded More Ways to help more creative, ambitious women like you, focus on progress and purpose.