Project Management Institute

From Dream To Reality

5 Steps To Help Accomplish Your Goals

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By Alfonso Bucero, PMI-RMP, PMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow

I have been a dreamer my whole life. At my first job, as an IT engineer, I dreamed of a career in project management. It took several years, but I didn't give up. Eventually I was named a junior project manager.

When trying to figure out how I have converted various dreams into reality throughout my career, I realized I took several steps that others also could follow.

1. Make room for your dream

To achieve any major goal, you need to make space for it in your life. You might have to forgo activities that do not further your goal so you have the time and energy to work on your big dream. One of my current goals is to write another book, so I have temporarily cut back on volunteer work so I have enough time to write.

2. Share your dream with others

Tell friends, family and colleagues about your goal. This creates a group of supporters who can keep you motivated and inspired and put you in touch with others who might be able to help. I always share my dreams with my professional mentor, and he is able to give me useful feedback and direction as well as much-needed encouragement.

3. Set a deadline

Establish a completion date for your dream and then work backward, setting specific dates for reaching milestones along the way. Last year, I set a deadline to finish my PhD by this year. Next, I broke down the goal into specific activities that needed to be done by certain dates. I'm now making excellent progress.

4. Stay flexible

It's understandable to have very specific expectations when you're working toward a big dream, but you have to be willing to adjust. Maybe you've envisioned a career path that takes you from project manager to program manager to the goal of becoming a portfolio manager. But what happens if you're offered a job leading a project management office when you're at the project manager stage? The dream is still eminently achievable, as long as you're willing to adjust your plan to get there.

5. Be persistent

Remind yourself that it's not about if you will achieve your goal, it's when. There will be times when you feel like giving up because of inevitable obstacles or delays. I've had peaks and valleys while working on my doctoral thesis. I even had to stop a couple of times because of extensive travel and changes in the thesis program, but I'm committed to finishing it this year. You have to believe that you can and will achieve your goal—push aside all doubts. PM

img Alfonso Bucero, PMI-RMP, PMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow, is managing partner at Bucero PM Consulting, Madrid, Spain.
This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

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