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Why Project Management Is The Secret Unlock For Your Goals

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a believer in the power of project management.

In my twenty years as a professional project manager, 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 use project management principles as a coach to help clients achieve their life, health and professional goals.

In PM Believer, I share practical project management tips and techniques that you can use to help you achieve your own personal goals and live your best life.

Are you ready to become a PM Believer too?


Before we jump into today's post, I offer you this "dad joke" as a light "amuse-bouche" to entertain your mind before we get serious. Like any other amuse-bouche, you may hate it, but it is worth every penny you paid for it, right?

What happens when your throw a green rock into the red sea? It gets wet!

Why Project Management Is The Secret Unlock For Your Goals

As you know, I believe in the power of project management … it is the secret to achieving life’s biggest goals. I thought this week would be a great time to share six reasons project management is your goal-crushing superpower.

1. You Can Use What You Know

As I explained in my 2021 post, Never Start Fresh, one secret to getting started with a new goal is to draw on your transferrable skills.

It is natural to be a little nervous when you are doing something for the first time. Mark Twain said that "the secret to getting ahead is getting started" but the secret to getting started is to remember that you aren't starting fresh. You have many skills and experiences that are transferrable and can help you succeed in this new space.

Never Start Fresh
Operation Melt, 5/9/2021

Through our jobs and lives in general, many of us have developed at least a basic proficiency in project management. For example, if you have ever planned a wedding or other big event, you probably had a crash course in project management.

Proficiency in project management means you have an essential tool in your toolbox (e.g., a transferrable skill) you can use to build the life of your dreams. By using what you know, you can avoid quite a few headaches trying to figure out how to get started on your journey to crush your goals.

Less time spent figuring out how to crush your goal means you can get started quicker and build that all-so-important momentum.

2. Centuries of Proven Success

Look around you… nearly everything you see was created using project management. The process used to manufacture your chair, mass-produce the device you are using to read this, and even grow your food leveraged proven project management principles. This has been the case for centuries!

While modern project management may have officially started in the fifties and sixties with the birth of Henry Gantt and Frederic Taylor, project management’s history extends far earlier. In the late nineteenth century, attempts to bring additional structure to construction, manufacturing and transportation led to the creation of many of the project management techniques still in use today.

The creation of the Transcontinental Railroad is considered the first large-scale use of project management. But many other projects, such as rebuilding the South after the Civil War, were other major project management successes.

Since project management has produced centuries of success spanning every imaginable sector, industry and deliverable, it is hard to imagine it won’t work for your goal.

3. Goal-Focused, Process-Driven

Goals are powerful tools and are the basis for project management. Whether you want to build a bridge, remodel a house, plan a wedding, start a business, get a new job, lose weight or anything else, every project starts with setting a goal. At their core, “goal” and “project” are essentially interchangeable words.

Once you have defined a goal (a.k.a. chartered a project), project management provides a structured, repeatable process for breaking that goal down into tasks, timing and required resources needed to accomplish it. Because this process has been repeated millions of times per year for hundreds of years, it continually improves and just keeps getting better and easier.

Project management starts with setting a goal and gives you a process to accomplish it; why would you look anywhere else?

4. Ready for the Unknown

When you start your journey to achieve your goal, there is plenty that you don’t know and will learn along the way. For example, if you have planned a wedding, did you know the date, venue, size of the guest list and colors at the outset? Probably not. Each of these decisions had a material impact on your final product, but you didn’t finalize them until you were well into your planning.

The heart of project management is a concept called progressive elaboration. Progressive elaboration means that a project manager defines work and manages it at a greater level of detail as the project evolves. This allows you to start a project to achieve a goal without knowing the whole journey at the beginning.

In a project, you can start working on step one without knowing exactly what step two will entail. This is very similar to our life goals, especially the big ones. You start with what you know and a general roadmap to success, and then fill in the details when needed as you learn more.

Using project management to achieve your goals is like building a house. You start by acquiring and clearing a space, pouring the foundation, building the structure and so forth… none of those steps require you to have chosen paint colors. Despite that, you are still moving closer to your new home.

5. Following in Footsteps

No matter your goal, someone has probably done something similar before you. That is good news for you in a couple of ways.

First, if someone else has achieved something similar to your goal, you can do it too. This is more than a boost of confidence; it also validates the A (or attainable) in your SMART goal. I call that a big win!

But there is an even more important reason it’s good to follow in somebody else’s project footsteps… it is another case of not starting fresh.

As a project manager, I often begin a new project by looking at the plans, results and lessons learned from similar projects others have completed (successfully or not). This process in project management is often referred to as analogous estimation.

When you use project management to achieve your life goals, you can do this too. Take steps to find people who have already done some or all of what you are trying to do. Then learn everything you can about the details of their goal, the steps they took, their timeline and any issues they encountered along the way.

But how do you find this information? You could contact the person directly and discuss their project with them. An excellent alternative to doing this is to find this information by reading books, blogs and watching videos. There are tons of resources out there to help you.

One helpful resource for you is my first book, Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds in Under a Year. In this book, I share the details of how I used project management to achieve my weight loss goal and how you can use a similar process for your goals.

Are you ready to be a PM Believer?

Do you have a goal that you want to achieve but aren’t sure how to do it? By using project management, you can leverage your existing skills and proven techniques that have led to centuries of goal success. This means that project management can quickly become your secret weapon to unlock your goals and the life of your dreams.

You deserve to succeed with your goals; with project management, this success is well within reach. Do you need a little help projectizing your goal? I have two decades of project management experience and am a certified Master Life Coach… I’m ready to help you build the life of your dreams.

Click Here to learn more about my Operation Melt coaching services.

Meet Coach Tony

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal. 

I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt. 

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals. 

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Published inPM Believer