“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Despite the fact that most New Years resolutions are doomed to fail (according to a study by Dr. Richard Wiseman the actual success rate is only 12%) we continue to make them. So what is it about the New Year that prompts us to want to improve our situation?
Personally I think we see time passing and want to make it count. The reason does not matter because an urge to improve our lot is not a bad one, and if we succeed we can only improve our life. For example FaceBook founder has publicly stated one goal he will try to achieve this year is to fix some problems with Facebook, last year it was to travel to every one of the 52 states in the USA.
Pick One Passion Project
Now I think Mark Zuckerberg is onto something. Rather than set a number of general resolutions he picks one idea that really matters to him. He essentially picks one passion project that he thinks he can achieve.
So instead of setting a number of New Years resolutions we could choose one passion project that will make a difference. The passion project has to be achievable and has to be something that you care about. It can be a work related project or just something that you think is worth your time and effort.
Your Passion Project Needs to Be Measurable
By being measurable I mean you have to have some way of measuring your achievement. The measurement mechanism must be something that you are happy with. Remember your project is for you and its benefit to the rest of the world is secondary. However I find if you do a something well it usually benefits others as well. When you do something really worthwhile for yourself it benefits your larger community.
Find Your Passion Project
The best way to pick a project is to look for something you would love to do but never seem to have the time. In work and in your personal life there are a number of projects that fit the bill. Think about what you would like to do even if you were never going to get paid for it, and will give you the most personal satisfaction. Make sure it is something that challenges you, but is not beyond your available resources and ability. It has to be achievable.
Plan Your Time
Unless you have a plan to implement your project it will not succeed. If you are passionate about your project it should be easy to devote time and resources, even out of the busiest personal schedule. Have a detailed plan of the steps needed to finish your project within a reasonable time frame.
“Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.”
When you have completed a passion project, review the process and see what you have learned and what you could do better. These will be invaluable tools in your next passion project. The New Year may be a time of failed promises to your self, however by concentrating on one passion projection you can buck the trend.