Posts by Seattlejo:
Did you make a couple of resolutions on January 1st? Are you now wondering how to execute on your vision and how to reach your goals? Did you realize that as we hit the 15th of the month that you don’t really have an action plan for your success? As a project manager I live and breath making and executing on plans. I take a vision, either my own or something given to me by someone else creation an action plan and help make things happen.
So here are the things you can do to make sure your resolution
Goals are great, but some are more achievable then others. Start small, or if you have to start big set milestones that can be completed easily. You’ll notice I have some financial goals on my agenda. In a couple of years I’d like to be buying my first house. That’s a huge goal. Instead of tilting at windmills and pushing ahead immediately, I’m employing some strategy. Small savings goals, milestones of controlled expenses and I’ve even included rewards for some of these smaller goals.
For example, part of my interim goal might be to control my dining out expenses. I’d average out my expenses for eating out over the past 6 months, then make a goal to reduce it by 1/2. Will this add up to a housing down payment? Not directly but it’s a step in the right direction.
2. Task it out.
Take your big goal and write out all the little things you’re going to have to do to achieve it. Think of all the little things that are going into your resolution. Write them out in a list. It’s going to seem overwhelming at first but remember we’re not doing all these things at once. This list is only a draft, expect to update it. If you know someone who has completed your goal in the past you might bring it to them and have them give you input. This is a living document
For an example, let’s look at my first goal, Skate Roller Derby. I know i want to skate the Rat City Roller Girls Making Bacon camp in 2013 so my list looks something like this:
- Join local gym
- Contract trainer for training sessions
- Research roller derby minimum skating requirements
- Research gear requirements
- Purchase skates
- Purchase helmet
- Purchase pads
- Find Roller derby practice sites
- Attend practice events
- Attend Roller Derby Matches
- Strength work-out
- Cardio work-out
- Volunteer at Rat City Roller Girls matches
- Register for Making Bacon camp
- Attend Making Bacon camp
Some tasks will become reoccurring. For example “strength work-out” and “cardio work-out” will become regular events. Other tasks won’t be possible until we’ve completed other tasks. For example, I can’t attend a Roller Derby skate practice until I research skates and purchase skates and pads. This leads us into our next item. Remember you want small, easy tasks, tasks that should take no more then 3-4 hours at a given time with few exceptions. This means you can sit down and complete a task over the weekend, without giving up your whole weekend.
3.Build a Schedule.
Look at your tasks that you’ve created and figure out what order things need to happen in, what items need to finish before others need to start and develop a sane schedule to make things work. You want to make sure you give yourself time to breath, plus wiggle room in case things don’t work out right the first time. Again, using my roller derby example, I might decide to have my skate research done by the end of January, so I can order my skates. Instead of scheduling my first skate practice for the first week of February, I’d probably push it out until mid- to late- February. Just in case the skates are delayed or I find the skates I order don’t fit, or I need more gear for skating.
With a larger, longer term goal like my goal to buy a house, you might schedule a couple of “goal review” sessions, to ensure you are on track, with some sort of bonus if you reach a goal. For example, if I can reduce my dining out expenses by 50% or more for 3 months in a row I might treat myself to a nice dinner out. Or there may be reoccurring rewards, for every $500 saved, I may put $50 in my free-spending money. Having a schedule lets you see when these milestones should be met and when the rewards would be met.
While many project managers use Microsoft Project, I simply use Google calendar and Google Docs to keep track of all of this. I have a spreadsheet set up for all of my projects, with an index recording what step the project is at, and a tab/sheet for each project. I’m also very fond of physical lists, and white boards to document ongoing projects.
4.You might fail
Project failure is a fact of life. You may not be successful at completing your project. However, by planning out your project like this, you’ll know how and why you got derailed and be able to retool your plan, so you can be successful. Most often failure comes from overly ambitious schedules or unrealistic requirements. You are your own boss and stakeholder in this project, you can decide what is imperative to success or what can slide until version 2.0. Don’t be afraid of failure, be afraid of being stagnant.
Someone, to remain nameless, decided to recycle Tristan’s big box over Christmas. To be fair, he’d chewed it up a bit and it looked like a hamster box with cardboard shavings. Tristan went hunting around the house for a suitable replacement and found this one a little…. lacking.
I spent last night in the company of those I love dearly. We played games, we ate, and we toasted to the New Year. It was exactly as it was supposed to be. Now all the guests are gone after a long day of lounging, movie watching and more game playing. I’m settled into [...]
We’re at the end of 2012 already. I’m not entirely sure where the year went but it’s time to look back at what happened. School As expected I graduated in June. This turned out to be more emotional and more satisfying then expected. I was honored to receive the department award for my major, and [...]
At this point I’ve backed 50 Kickstarter projects. This means that I’ve contributed anywhere from $1 to $100 in support of someone else’s creative ideals, helping them launch their work into a tangible product. My first, like a number of those that followed, was a friend’s project. !Zombre!: Part Zombie all hombre. Most of my [...]
So I’ve been living in Everett for two months at this point. I’ve also hit a milestone where I did not actually go down to Seattle at all in the past 2 weeks. (I did leave Everett to go to Kirkland once and Bellevue once, but beyond that it’s been all Everett all the [...]
There were fireworks at my house last night. So Everett is the home to an “A” Baseball team. Not AAA, not AA, but A. The Everett Aquasox statdium is a short walk from the house and I can see the lights from here. My friend Susan contacted me after I moved. “Lets go to an [...]
I’ve been in the apartment for 2 weeks now, and spent most of this weekend unpacking. I’m down to 6 boxes left, and those are waiting for the new bookshelf delivery on Wednesday. In searching through things I realized just how much I have and how much I am missing. For example: I have my [...]