Being consistent and showing up for long term projects, regardless of your feelings and circumstances can be really hard sometimes, or a lot of the time.
I speak from 11 years experience of working on the stars project.
As someone who is healing from severe depression, I’ve had to develop some strategies to manage my health, energy and time so that I can build One Billion Stars to its fullest and most beautiful potential.
I’m still learning and this post is as much a reminder of strategies to myself as I work towards growing a global community committed to weaving one billion stars by 2032.
I figured, if I need to remind myself how to be consistent, how to stay motivated, how to show up and remember what work is fulfilling and meaningful for me, then chances are, someone else is to. And that might be you. I hope this helps you, my fellow star weaver.
Let’s dive into these 10 strategies that are helping me to show up and practice consistency for our star weaving community.
1. Start with 1 clear goal.
My first unshakable goal was to weave one million stars. Next, I had to work out how I was going to do that. I knew then that I had to focus on how to get people together.
So, my next goal was to establish how many workshops I needed to run or how many people I needed to enlist to learn about the project and get involved. That’s when Mark and I came up with the idea of finding 100 communities who could commit to weaving 10,000 stars each. That’s 1 million stars. We ended up getting over 200 communities to sign up to be a Star Weave Community, which meant we received well over 2 million woven stars!
Establishing clear goals from the start and writing them down (I have a note book in my bilum/bag, in my car and on my bedside table for these moments) or creating a google document can help you stay focused. Crossing them off the list is also a great reward and helps you to see your progress.
2. Create a plan.
Creating a plan from the start that outlines the steps you need to take to achieve your goals is super useful. It doesn’t have to be set in concrete, just a consideration of your current resources and a timeline for your star weaving goals.
At the beginning of the project, my plan was simply to bring as many people together to weave one million stars.
It wasn’t until much later that I decided on a deadline, ie 2018. In hind sight, establishing this from the start would have been more helpful but I was learning on the go. Hence this list of strategies and my desire to create as many resources as I can to help you have a more smoother and stress free journey.
If you love to plan then this step will be a walk in the park for you.
Create a project schedule that allows for flexibility but maintains a consistent pace. Assign clear deadlines for each task, assign specific roles and responsibilities to each team member, and regularly assess progress against your plan and you should be on your way.
3. Be flexible.
Remember, we are working alongside humans, and we are complex creatures on our own journeys. While we may find our tribe and community of people who want to go all the way with us and achieve that goal of 1 million, 100,000 or 10,000 stars, there is bound to be some hurdles and that’s ok.
Understand that some tasks may take longer than anticipated Be open to adjusting your plan as necessary for your community or your own personal reasons to keep the project moving forward. Adjust your plan or your time line if you need to, talk to trusted people and recalibrate.
There will be days when things don’t go as planned, but it’s important to stay flexible and adjust your approach accordingly. Consider the impact of changes on the overall project goals, and communicate any changes with your community.
4. Stay in communication.
Find one platform or mode of communication that works for you and your community and check in regularly and openly with your team members. It might be via email or fb or IG messenger, be consistent on one and then make sure to reply to responses on other platforms.
I prefer email, but sometimes it’s easier to stay connected to some of my international star weavers via Instagram messenger. Ensure you respond within 48hrs. If your community doesn’t hear from you, they’re likely to send you a reminder which I always appreciate! Schedule regular team meetings to discuss progress, challenges, and next steps.
Use project management software, email, or messaging apps to stay in touch between meetings. Share updates, milestones, and successes with your team and celebrate accomplishments along the way.
5. Engage your community.
Involve the community in your project and seek their input and feedback. Use social media, press releases, and other communication channels to raise awareness of your project and invite community participation.
I love that our Ireland star weavers, in particular Shiobhan McQuillan, our Project Lead in Ireland, regularly invites me to their star weaving meetings online every few months. It helps to inspire me and them all at the same time.
Ireland Star Weavers and Austin Texas Star Weavers are great examples of how you can host community events, workshops, and art exhibits to showcase their star weaving project and gather feedback. Engage with community leaders and local organisations to build support for your project.
Step 6: Celebrate small wins.
I love to celebrate small wins and achievements throughout the project to keep myself and my community motivated and engaged. Celebrating progress helps star weavers feel valued and helps build momentum towards the larger project goal.
Like and comment on posts on social media, award certificates of appreciation, or small gifts to celebrate the efforts of team members.
This is the time to blow your trumpet and share with the world what your community is doing. Each woven star is a powerful story of who each star weaver is. Share celebrate this, share photos of your displays, how ever small or big.
7. Evaluate and reflect.
Regularly evaluate the progress of your project and reflect on what’s working and what’s not. You can create surveys and email them to your community or create polls on social media to see what they need help with.
I’m really keen to do more interviews with star weavers this year to learn more about their journey and build stronger connections.
You can also create focus groups to gather feedback from team members and the community.
The aim of this feedback is to make any necessary adjustments to your approach and ensure that your project is meeting the needs of the community. Reflect on the successes and challenges of the project, and document the lessons learned moving forward. Again, you might have someone on your team, or a friend that can help you with this if this isn’t your strength.
8. Build your team - identify strengths & assign roles.
One way to get to the activities you enjoy or do best, is to work with other people.
Even if you can’t yet delegate because you’re still finding people who want to work on the project with you, get into a community workspace where you can be inspired by others. Being around creative conversation and the energy of other like-minded people can be uplifting. Plus, you never know who you will meet in these communal spaces, they might even volunteer to help or recommend someone who does!
Knowing your team, their skills, experience, and interests can make a huge difference to achieving your star weaving goals. Ensure each team member understands their role and how it contributes to the success of the project. Regularly check in with team members to ensure they have the resources and support they need to complete their tasks.
9. Believe in yourself.
You don’t have to know all the answers. It is not expected that you will know all the solutions on how to end violence in your community. All you need is to be brave and start.
I had no idea that we would be displaying our one million woven stars at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
All I knew at the time that this is what I wanted to work on and I believed in it and myself so much that nothing else mattered. But I now know, I need other things on top of this belief, like planning, a community of support, my own personal cheer and chat squad and short term goals to sustain this discipline.
This is not a one person project or a one solution to solve all the violence in the world. One Billion Stars is about encouraging us to work with others, about bringing joy, fun, relaxation and beauty into our lives through star weaving. This can’t happen without organisation, planning, consistency and what I believe to be the most important thing and that is belief in ourself that we can and are worthy to lead our community on this journey, however long it takes.
10. Take breaks.
One Billion Stars is a long journey. It’s a big commitment and just like the topic of safety, respect and living free from violence for all humans, it’s going to take time, practice, conversation and more practice.
It took me a few years to re-launch into One Billion Stars because I needed to re-evaluate, reflect and decide if this was the right path for me to take.
I’m still not 100% sure but other days I am. What I do know is that to sustain this movement, I need to take breaks to avoid burnout.
I also have things in my life that bring me immense joy and fulfilment and that’s things like outrigger canoeing and weaving with my girlfriends, swims in the ocean and little trips away.
I encourage you to take time to rest, recharge, and pursue other interests to keep your creative star energy flowing.
By following these detailed tips, hopefully they can help you can stay consistent and make meaningful progress with your star weaving project and care for yourself and your community at the same time.
Remember that building relationships, fostering creativity, and engaging the community are all important aspects of this work, and getting what ever support and encouragement to help you stay consistent will help you achieve your goals and make a lasting impact in your community.
Yours in light, Maryann.