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PM Believer: How To Eat An Elephant Part 2

I am a believer in the power of project management.

As a professional project manager for nearly twenty years I have witnessed project success drive business results. I have also proven that project management can change lives and help achieve personal transformation. Now I am sharing some practical tips and techniques that you can use to help achieve your own personal goals, live your best life and become a PM Believer.

How To Eat An Elephant Part 2

This week is the conclusion of how to build your project plan; or, how to eat that elephant. Last week we used the work breakdown structure (WBS) process to break down your goal into bite-size pieces. Now it is time to organize the pieces into a roadmap for success. This means you need a timeline and some milestones.

Once you have broken your goal into one or two-week duration pieces, you can lay those pieces out on a calendar. This will define the timeline for your goal and will tell you what you need to do each week to make your goal come to life.

For your personal goal projects, each week may contain very similar steps executed over and over again – good habits repeated over and over. But there will likely also be some unique steps too and this is what your project schedule will define.

Like I mentioned in last week’s post, you don’t have to have precision in this process. You don’t need to know what exactly you will need to do six months from now, so focus on a shorter timeline for the specifics. Sketch out broader tasks further out until you reach your goal.

The final step in creating your plan is to define a set of milestones. These are targets for where you want to be by when to achieve your goal and are used to see if you are on track.

When I started my Operation Melt weight loss journey, my goal was to lose over one hundred pounds in under a year. I defined the following milestones.

  • Lose five pounds by Fourth of July
  • Lose ten pounds before my annual vacation that started on July twenty-first
  • Lose twenty-five pounds before the Columbus Oktoberfest in September
  • Lose fifty pounds by Christmas 2017
  • Lose seventy-five pounds by St. Patrick’s Day 2018
  • Lose one hundred pounds by my one-year Operation Melt anniversary in June

It turned out that I was already twenty-five pounds down by the time I reached my July vacation and I needed to update my plan. Without milestones, I would never have known that I needed to make this update.

Milestones are a tool to evaluate whether your time-based SMART goal is on track and give you an opportunity to celebrate success along the way.

Are you ready to be a PM Believer?

Have you identified all of the bites needed to eat your elephant? Once you know what the tasks and steps are that will get you to your goal, it is time to lay out a schedule and some target milestones in order to make sure you are on the path to meet or exceed your goal.

How have you applied project management for your personal success? Tell me about it at and make sure to join my email list to have updates delivered to your inbox weekly.

Make sure to help your friends achieve their goals by sharing this post on your social network and by following me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Want to know more about how I changed my life with project management? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.

About Operation Melt

Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

Published inPM Believer

Disclaimer: The Operation Melt website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. As health and nutrition research continuously evolves, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information presented on this website.

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