The Tiny Project Challenge
I am a big fan of tiny goals.
When you set a massive goal (“I am going to write a book, find an agent, get a publishing deal, and become a NY Times bestselling author”), it usually feels overwhelming. You might feel paralyzed. You feel exhausted just thinking about it. You doubt yourself. You struggle to get started.
When you set a tiny goal (“I am going to set a timer for 7 minutes and write a quick ‘thank you’ note to someone who has changed my life”), it feels very different. You feel energized. You feel capable. You believe in yourself. You get it done. No problem! This builds confidence and momentum to tackle the next tiny goal, and the next one, and the next.
Tiny goals lead to big things.
Tiny projects can create a big ripple effect—and touch many people’s lives.
Recently, I challenged a few of my clients to complete a tiny writing project. They’ve been writing tiny poems, short letters, little cards, quick stories, and we’ve been having so much fun together.
Then I realized, “I want to challenge EVERYONE to do this!”
So, YOU are invited to join in.
It’s time for…
– THE TINY PROJECT CHALLENGE –
Here’s what to do:
– Choose a tiny project and complete it. It can be a tiny writing project, a tiny audio project, a tiny video project, a tiny drawing project, any kind of tiny project that feels energizing and meaningful to you. (Don’t know what kind of project to do? I put several ideas down below, towards the bottom of this message.)
– Optional: Take a photo of your finished project.
– Optional: Email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org to say, “I did it!”
– Optional: Let the world know about your tiny project! Tell your friends. Tell your colleagues. Get your kids involved. Post your photo online. By doing this, you might inspire dozens of other people to complete a tiny project, too. More people. More projects. More love, art, and beauty being added to the world.
– TINY PROJECT IDEAS –
Here are some ideas on what your tiny project could be…
– Write a beautiful “thank you” letter to someone who has touched your life.
– Write a glowing 5-star review about a book or product that you really love.
– Write a short newsletter (any topic) and send it to your mailing list.
– Write a short blurb about “my biggest lesson from 2018, so far” and post it online, share it with your family, or both.
– Write a “You really matter to me” letter to someone who always makes your day a little better—maybe a bus driver, a teacher, a barista, an assistant, a grocery store clerk, your professor, whoever you want.
– Write a letter to an elected representative (mayor of your town, senator, etc.) to say “thanks for the great work” and / or, to encourage them to make a particular change that you’d like to see.
– Write or record a short message for a friend who’s going through a hard time right now. Let them know that they’re loved, that you’re here to help and listen, and that they’re not alone.
– Write a “5 reasons why I love you” letter to your partner, to your kids, or to yourself.
– Set a timer for 6 minutes and fill in the blank: “Before I die, I want to _____.”
– Set a timer for 7 minutes and write a 7 line poem. Any topic. Any style.
– Set a timer for 8 minutes and write down a list of your 8 favorite moments / memories from 2018, so far.
– Set a timer for 9 minutes and write down a list of 9 things you really want to do, see, or experience in 2019.
– Set a timer for 10 minutes and write down 10 suggestions on what to do to heal your heart after a break-up, divorce, death or any kind of painful loss. Keep this list. One day, you (or a friend) might be so grateful to have this comforting list.
– Set a timer for 11 minutes and write the beginning of a story (fiction) beginning with this line: “It was 11:11pm on New Year’s Eve, and that’s the moment when I knew…”
– Set a timer for 12 minutes and write the beginning of a story (fiction) beginning with this line: “There are 12 signs that you have mermaid lineage in your blood. The first one is…”
– Write a letter to your kids that goes: “Here are a few things I learned the hard way, in life, that I hope you’ll learn sooner than I did…”
– Doodle a cartoon and write a caption.
– Make a helpful worksheet or checklist. Any topic. Packing for a trip, launching a business, getting ready for college, decluttering your closet, etc.
– Make a tiny poster (or a big one) with an inspiring message that the world needs to hear. Put it somewhere in your city (bulletin board, pinned to a telephone pole, bus stop, etc.)
– Write a very sexy text message to your sweetheart. Or, if you’re single right now, to yourself, or to your imaginary / future sweetheart.
– Plan a wonderful party (a letter writing party, a vision board party, a book club meeting, a taco night, whatever you want) and write a beautiful invitation. Send it to your friends.
– Pretend it is many, many years from now. Write an obituary for yourself, as if you’ve died. Mention all the incredible things you experienced and contributed to the world during your lifetime.
– Pretend it is exactly one year from today. Write a letter to a friend. Describe all of the wonderful things you experienced and learned and created during the last 12 months. “Wow, what a year it has been! Let me catch you up on everything that has happened…”
– Pick someone you’d like to interview. Your mom. Your grandpa. Your next-door neighbor. Your mentor. Make up a list of 5 questions you’d really like to ask them. Schedule an interview and do it.
– Write a mini essay (one page or less) titled: “If I ran the country…”
– If writing just isn’t your thing, you can take any of these ideas and do an audio or video version of the same project. Record an audio message with vocaroo.com. Email someone a video with bombbomb.com. Use your webcam to make a GIF with andtheniwaslike.co.
– Or, come up with another tiny project that sounds fun to you.
Have fun! Happy creating! And don’t forget… You’re doing a great job.