Thursday, April 7, 2011

Project Manage Your Life

I have been immersed in Project Management for 8 months now and it has only recently occurred to me that the principles of Project Management are basically the same as for Goal Setting (I knew there was a reason why I took to Project Management so well).

The five stages of Project Management are typically

1. Define
2. Plan
3. Execute
4. Control
5. Close

So it’s easy to convert those five stages to the steps involved in achieving a goal.


o What is the ‘as is’ picture. What are your capabilities now, what can you do now. (This is important because there’s no point having a goal of running a marathon in four weeks time if you are currently extremely overweight and get puffed walking to the letter box)

o What are your strengths and weaknesses?

o Then consider the ‘to be’ picture, what is it that you actually want to achieve and what is your life going to be like once you achieve this goal.


o Steps - What are all of the steps which you have to take to achieve a successful result? List everything, all the tasks, all the steps. (If its running a marathon – then perhaps it’s walking to the end of the block in the first week, around the block in the second week and so on, it will take longer than 4 weeks but that’s all part of planning and setting realistic milestones)

o Resources - What resources do you need? Do you need other people to help you achieve the goal? Do you need additional training? Do you need to purchase something to assist you in achieving your goal?

o Milestones – set yourself some milestone dates (small goals within the big goal) for achieving your goal. Remember that it’s important to reward yourself as you successfully reach each milestone; it’s the small steps that lead to achieving the overall goal. (The reward needs to fit the goal as well, there’s no point in losing 5 kilos and then rewarding yourself with a big piece of chocolate cake)

o Constraints – what could slow you down or prevent you from achieving your goal. Is it lack of money, family, or other commitments? Come up with a plan of how you can deal with any problems that may arise. While you can never plan for every problem, if you’re prepared for the most likely ones then they are less likely to throw you off track and prevent you from achieving your goal. (If rain prevents you from your outdoor exercise then have a back up plan; a treadmill, an exercise video indoors, an occasional trip to the gym)


o Start following your plan, one step at a time.


o Ensure that you’re keeping track of your progress and that you’re on track to achieve a successful result. If you do happen to get off track then if you’re tracking your progress it’s much easier to correct your path sooner rather than later.

o Keep a journal, post it on your blog, or photograph the milestones; whatever works for you.

o Also, are you remembering to celebrate your milestones, why not record them too?


o Celebrate the achievement of your goal.

o Consider the steps that took you from start to finish and what you could have potentially done differently. All are learning steps for the next goal that you set.

Keep in mind that sometimes you may not achieve the original goal that you set out to achieve. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve failed because sometimes our goals change (especially the long term ones) as our lives and priorities change.

Be open to adapting your goals to suit you and the life you want to lead. Most importantly, achieving your goals is about making a better life for yourself. So ensure that you’re enjoying the process because it will make it that much easier to achieve success.

In achieving your goals, you may run into roadblocks. Don't let that stop you, go around, over, or under. If you are committed to your goal you will find a way - Catherine Pulsifier

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