Habit change work can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of our lives.
Think of your work as what you’re focusing on in your life right now. Work is always a process. It can be a new habit, a positive behavior that a person wants to practice, an exercise they commit to trying, or a question they want to explore.
Since deciding what to work on and then staying on track can be overwhelming, I recommend using a structure that makes the next step clear. That's where your Project Framework comes in. We have developed a form to help you with this process.
To get started do this:
Take some time to read over the description of the framework below and then get to work identifying a project you want to work on.
Once you have a project you want to tackle, try using the guide below to begin filling in your first worksheet.
If you want help filling in the worksheet let me know when we meet, that’s what I’m here for.
Refer to the framework at least once a day and update it as needed.
Take a look at the blank version of the framework. Let’s dive into each section so you can begin using it immediately.
Project identification is what you’re going to name the hard work you want to focus on.
You can’t change everything at once. Pick a project and focus on it for a while. You can always change your mind later. This is a chance to get clear with yourself about what feels most urgent in your life right now.
I suggest you make a list of possible projects and spend some time thinking about which one or two are most pressing in your life today. Ask yourself which issues in your life you’d most like to improve and write them down. To get you thinking, some great projects are:
Break out of a rut in my marriage
Improve my sex life
Learn how to care for myself
Feel more comfortable in difficult workplace conversations
Those are just some ideas to get you thinking. Your project should feel like something that really matters to you right now. Once you’ve selected at least one project from your list that feels most urgent to you right now, write it on the blank framework in the Project line.
Guiding principals are the overarching concepts that you’ll use to tackle this project. What’s written here will guide the work you on your project. You’ll know you’ve identified an important principal when embracing the principal motivates you to work on the project. You should read the principal and think, “Yes, that’s true and that idea can help me develop this part of my life."
The Tools section is a list of techniques you can experiment with to advance your project. These ideas can come from any source that resonates with you. Mine multiple sources for ideas of tools you might use — books that you read, articles with good ideas, suggestions you get from friends or any other source of ideas for things you might want to try. The Tools section of the framework should get updated as often.
Practices is a list of the real life opportunities to use the tools you’ve identified. Each item on this list should be linked to at least one specific tool. In other words, you should identify specific times you will try using one of the tools on your tools list. Be specific about when, where, and how you’ll practice the tool. For each practice there’s a debrief section with some questions for you to answer.
Having a running list of practices means you can never say, “I don’t know what to do,” or, “nothing much has been going on this week.” If those statements are true you’ll know it’s because you choose for them to be. It will be because you’ve made a decision to drift, not because life didn’t present you with any chances to grow, learn, or change. If you want to drift then drift! No judgment. Just do it with your eyes open.
If you commit to putting your practices into action you’ll progress. Your life will change and you will experience something different from what you’re used to.