The start of a new year, let alone a new decade, is naturally a time where we look ahead.
What do we want to achieve? Who do we want to become? How will we make the most of the next ten years?
This sense of freedom and possibility is something valuable, and it should be capitalized on while you feel it. After all, it’s easy to slip back into the drudgery of normal life.
If you’ve got items on your bucket list that have been sitting there for a long time, you know this to be true. It’s easy to wait for a non-existent perfect time to get started. Projects that would truly fulfill us get postponed and eventually forgotten about.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
Today, I’d like to share three ideas for meaningful projects you can make happen this year.
If these ideas resonate with you, please take action as soon as you can. There is no time like the present.
Become a Better Public Speaker
One of the most meaningful goals you can pursue is mastery of public speaking.
Being able to speak well to an audience has a huge impact, both inside and outside of the business world.
Of course, the business benefits of public speaking are obvious. You will be able to give more effective presentations, both inside and outside of your company. Even if you have an amazing vision for your organization, you won’t be able to make it happen if you don’t inspire people. Effective public speaking is one of the best ways to do exactly that.
The benefits of powerful public speaking aren’t limited to the business world alone.
There are so many scenarios where being able to speak well to an audience can make a meaningful difference.
Imagine speaking to a group of at-risk youth. If your talk reaches one person on a deep level, you’ve potentially changed, or even saved, a life.
Picture giving the eulogy at the funeral of a loved one. Your words will be able to give them the send-off they deserve and bring comfort to the hearts of everyone in attendance.
So how do you take action to become a better public speaker?
- Seek out work opportunities. Look for chances to speak within your work organization. Can you volunteer to give presentations? To speak at off-sites? To give talks to new members as part of the onboarding process? Let it be known that better public speaking is a goal of yours, and your company will almost certainly assist.
- Look for organizations. Check out organizations such as Toastmasters. Are there any groups in your city? Joining such a group will give you not only practice but also like-minded friends pursuing the same goal.
- Volunteer. When he was becoming a better public speaker, Tony Robbins spoke anywhere and everywhere that would have him. Consider reaching out widely, offering to give beneficial talks. You’ll be offering value to those you speak to, as well as improving your skills.
If better public speaking would make a profound difference to your work and personal life, make it a must rather than a should. Take action and start building momentum now. At the end of this year, you’ll be amazed how far you’ve come.
Chase Your Writing Dreams
In my experience, if you’re reading this, there’s a part of you that would love to write a book.
Typically, most people either have becoming an author as a bucket list item or if they don’t, they have loved ones that do.
I’m not saying that everyone reading this should become a published author in 2020. However, I do truly believe that if you have the desire to become a writer, you should at least explore that.
There’s nothing worse than living with regret. Life always flies by quicker than we expect.
Exploring whether writing is right for you is always worth doing, as it inevitably results in one of two outcomes.
Either you discover something you love doing, or you gain the knowledge that writing isn’t something that’s for you at this time.
Both are incredibly valuable.
So if your soul yearns to write, how do you start taking action?
- Build the habit. While there’s an element of writing that’s essentially creative magic, there’s also a mundane side to it. It’s a habit, a routine, just like anything else. Start making writing a habitual part of your life by committing to a regular practice. Get inspired by writing prompts or other small activities.
- Pick a project. If you are already able to write regularly, picking a more substantial project can inspire and motivate you. If you aspire to write fiction, a short story might be a more manageable target than a full novel. There are also plenty of resources to help you write fiction, even if you’re not sure what to write about.
- Start with the end in mind. Some people are motivated to begin writing by starting small, but that might not be you. Perhaps you need a big vision to get motivated. If that’s the case, look ahead. Picture releasing a book each year over the next decade. Imagine the sense of satisfaction you would feel. Then work backwards. Make a plan for each book. Small chunk the tasks needed. Take that first step to get started.
So many people dream of becoming a writer, but almost all of them delay it indefinitely!
Please don’t be that person. If you’ve got half an hour free today, try out a writing exercise.
It might just be the start of your dream career.
Serve Others With an Online Course
The online world has given us more chances than ever before to share our knowledge, experience, and skills with others.
I think one of the best manifestations of this is offering an online course.
A lot of people feel some resistance to the idea of creating a course. Some of the most common objections are not having anything valuable to offer, not knowing where to start, or feeling that no one would want to learn from you.
While these objections are understandable, they are also mistaken.
You don’t have to be a leading world expert to teach people through a course. No matter what level of skill you have in any area, there are people at an earlier stage in their journey than you. You can help them make progress and move forward.
Also, if creating a course seems like an intimidatingly large project, it doesn’t have to be. You can start small, give it a go, and scale up if you like the experience.
If the idea of teaching others through a course is appealing, how do you go about taking action?
- Start small. For most people, it’s best to start small and build up. Could you offer a short email course? How about a low-priced Udemy course? Rather than investing a massive amount of time and other resources from the start, take a small step. See if you enjoy teaching, and build up from there.
- See what’s out there. Actively seek out ways your course could offer value. Is there a group of people, currently underserved by existing courses, that you can help? Are the current courses missing important information you would be able to offer? When you spot a genuine gap in the market, you are likely to feel very motivated to be able to fill it.
- Consider personal pain points. Sometimes, the best ideas come from thinking about the course you wish had existed in your own life! If there was something you had to learn the hard way, there are others out there experiencing the same challenges. Sharing what you’ve learned is often the most valuable contribution you can make.
When you teach people online, you make a positive difference to the lives of others, boost your authority, and even gain an extra personal income stream.
Surely that’s worth trying?
Seize the Decade
Have you heard the quote about people overestimating what they can achieve in the short term but underestimating the progress they can make in ten years?
We are at the dawn of a new decade. You have a huge opportunity to dream big and pursue the projects that will bring meaning to your life.
Whether it’s one of the three ideas found here or something else entirely, I urge you to take action. Start building momentum today.
After all, time flies. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back on the 2020s after they’re over.
Will you look back with satisfaction or regret?
The choice is yours, so choose wisely!Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
Chandler is the founder / CEO of Self Publishing School (the #1 online resource for writing your first book) and the owner of selfpublishing.com. His most recent book is titled: Published.
Self Publishing School made the INC 5000 in 2018 (#2,699) and in 2019 (#1,483) as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US.
Through his 6 books, podcast, TEDx talk, and Self-Publishing School, he’s helped thousands of people on their journey to writing their first book.