What is Project Maple?
‘Project Maple’ is a year-long challenge given to me by a very dear friend of mine, named Josh (you can view his blog http://lifelikeariver.com), in an attempt to help me help myself.
For me it’s about growth and change. About learning to take care of myself and making myself a priority; because as Josh says, Only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others. But more than that I want this project to be about love. It is my hope that 2 more things will happen as I work through this project; I will learn to love myself, and I will fall in love with life again.
* Write down twelve things you wish you did for yourself.
* List them in the order of easiest to implement to hardest to implement. Take some time to think about it.
If you’re having trouble with that, then list them in order of what’s the least scariest to most scariest to deal with.
* Spend the next month working on #1 (working on it, not perfecting it… Don’t beat yourself up over it if it’s not perfect, but take it seriously, too). Break it down. Why is it important? Is it emotional when you do or don’t do it? Do you feel you grow or get more grounded? These are just starter questions to ask yourself. Next month we will ADD #2 to work on.
* Create a blog if you don’t have one.
* Write about why you’re doing what you’re doing, the challenges you face in creating these habits, any re-evaluations you feel you need to make as you dig deeper into them, etc.
At least three paragraphs (at least four sentences a paragraph) twice a week. You can write 24 sentences a week about this.
If you want to kick it up a notch,
* Make another list of 12 things you wish you did for others.
My Original List of ‘
12 13 Things I Wish I Did For Myself’:
- Read my bible daily and had a morning routine for my spirit.
- Affirmed myself daily.
- Took time to craft and create.
- Was more organized with important papers.
- Attended Church.
- Took care of my body by practicing self-control and self-discipline to exercise regularly and do my physio exercises daily.
- Attended social engagements with my friends instead of bailing on them.
- Stood up for myself more
- Let things go instead of being hurt.
- Stopped feeling guilty when I practice self-love.
- Was gentle with myself when I fail or think something I’m doing is not good enough.
- Believed in myself and my abilities.
- Took care of my body by practicing self-control and self-discipline to eat well.
Josh didn’t give me all the elements of the assignment at once. He just gave me one direction at a time, giving me the next direction upon completion of the first. As a result, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first began my list of 12. Had I known, I’m not sure if I would have picked the things I did, or ordered them in the way I did. I probably would have kept it to 12 things instead of 13 for starters (just to keep it to a nice tidy year-long project). Initially I have misgivings about having the list ordered from easiest to most difficult to accomplish because each thing will be added to the weight of the rest. When I questioned Josh on this, he said that the intention is to build momentum. To be honest, I’m not sure how closely I will follow the directions of the challenge as laid out above. My habit is to jump in with both feet, being that I’m prone to ‘all or nothing’ tendencies. However, as those who know me deeply would point out … that doesn’t usually work out all that well for me in the long run. Still, I am not willing to completely ignore the items on my list that I haven’t reached yet. As you can well imagine, not exercising any self-control to eat well for 13 more months would range from unwise, to disastrous. So, in short, I may jump around a bit and may reorder things. When I complained to Josh about only working on one thing at a time he suggested making another list of 12 things that I wish I did for others. However, that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Because I devote so much time to serving and taking care of others, and have huge difficulties taking care of myself, for now I intend to stick to a single list, ’13 Things That I Wish I Did For Myself’.
As to what this Blog will look like, and how things will play out, only time can tell. But it is my intention to attempt to post at least twice a week as laid out in the challenge. Josh has expressed a willingness to keep me accountable to that much at least, so this shouldn’t fall to the wayside as quickly as if I were attempting to do this completely on my own. Accountability is incredibly important to me and for me. Additionally I have a confidant and Shifu who I will refer to simply as ‘Shifu’. I choose to mention him now since by the nature of our relationship he is generally aware of the goals I am currently working on and will offer perspective, direction, and accountability from time to time; therefore I will likely reference him at various points without further introduction.
Should anyone stumble upon this blog and be inspired to do something similar, I would love to hear from you! 🙂