It’s that time of year when you’re probably thinking about your goals, what you’d like to achieve, and how you can make the most of the year ahead. Everywhere you look, people are announcing their big goals and words of the year.
When you’re a multipotentialite, though, deciding on just one or even several focuses for the next twelve months can feel really limiting. And even if you do manage to settle on just a few goals, knowing exactly what you’ll be working on for the foreseeable future can suck the excitement out of it.
However, struggling to pick just one thing or stick with a project long term, doesn’t mean we aren’t keen to achieve things and feel like we’ve accomplished something.
So how do you make sure you achieve a lot this year without setting limiting goals for yourself?
An idea from the world of coding
Last week, I was reading some blog posts about coding when I came across an idea that really appealed to me. The author of the post I was reading was inviting anyone learning to code to join him in a quest to complete one side project every month for the rest of the year.
Although this guy was talking about software projects like apps, my mind immediately started whirring. What sorts of projects would I choose to do?
I could finally launch the book review site I’ve been planning. I could do that interview series I’ve been dreaming of. I could try vlogging.
As for the rest of the months, well, as a multipotentialite, I’m always having ideas. I’m sure as the year went on, I’d come up with all kinds of exciting projects to do.
I did a bit more research into the idea, and it turns out it’s been used in lots of disciplines. One person made one garment per month during 2016. Pieter Levels launched twelve startups in twelve months a few years ago. In 2015 one crafter set out to create craft projects using twelve different media (yarn, photo, wax, etc.).
Oh the possibilities!
This 12-in-12 approach can be used in two main ways.
A specialist might use it to develop one skill (coding or painting, for example) over the course of a year, using the different projects (apps or paintings), to test, practice, and refine their skills.
If you’re a multipotentialite who really wants or needs to develop one skill, this approach could be a great way of working on that skill long term, without getting bored. I imagine each new project would at least partly renew your interest in the skill, so you’d be able to stick with it longer.
The other way to use this approach is to try out lots of skills and projects. This is what got me excited when I first came across the idea! It’s a structured way of dabbling that’ll leave you feeling like you’ve accomplished a lot.
Of course, you can adapt the challenge so you can dabble in whichever areas are most exciting to you. Instead of doing twelve projects in twelve months, you could try out twelve languages, twelve hobbies, twelve sports, twelve crafts, and so on.
The benefits of this approach
As well as presumably being a lot of fun, there are loads of other benefits to this kind of challenge.
Finish what you start
If you find it difficult to finish the things you start, this could be a way to complete twelve whole projects. Knowing you only have to persevere for four weeks and being able to work towards that deadline of the end of the month should really help you to keep going.
Plus you’ll have the added motivation of knowing that, once you finish the project you’re working on, you’ll be able to crack on with whichever project you’re most excited about next.
Figure out your career
If you’re not sure what you want to do with the rest of your career, you could dedicate each month to trying out a skill or industry that you’re interested in. January could be copywriting, February could be graphic design, March could be coding, and so on.
Build a portfolio
Whether you want to work in a specialist role or you’re hoping to build a career or business around your overarching theme, you could use the twelve months to build a portfolio of your work, to show to potential employers or clients.
You could even use the time to create a library of products for your business. For example, if you’re building a blog-based business, you could create one small ebook or course each month.
What will you do this year?
If you struggle to stick to long-term goals, but you’d like to really achieve something this year, consider dedicating each month to a different project, hobby, or skill.
At the end of the year, you’ll have achieved so much, and you won’t have had to force yourself to persevere through boredom and ignore any shiny new ideas that might have popped up along the way.
I expect your mind is already overflowing with ideas. Write them down and define your challenge. Are you promising to complete twelve projects in twelve months? Write twelve short stories? Cook meals from twelve countries?
Once you know what you’re doing, commit to it, find some support, and get started. It’s going to be an amazing year!
If you’re up for this challenge, you might benefit from an accountability partner or regular check-ins with other multipotentialites who “get it.” You can get access to both of these resources, plus loads more, in the Puttytribe.
Happy new year, multipods!