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December 30, 2010 / Justin Hamlin

Your Life is a Business: Why You Need a Plan Pt. 2

This is part 2 in a 3 part series about using a project plan to accomplish any goal you have.  Part 1 can be found here

So you have defined your goals, picked a deadline, laid out a plan and are ready to put that plan into action.

Then life happens.

Suddenly your well-laid plan, has become unrealistic.  The schedule doesn’t work, you get sick, other projects/goals pop up, or any number of things that can slow down a project.  These are things that can be expected, or unexpected, but you have to plan for them.  That’s life, and life happens.  Sucks, doesn’t it?  Well, it doesn’t have to.

Plan Accordingly

In project planning for business, it is always good to build in a little bit of extra time to the project, for any unforeseen, or unplanned, deviations to the plan.  That aspect is very important in your planning for personal goals, as it allows life to happen.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could set out to do a goal and could dedicate 100% of your time to that goal until it was achieved? YES!, but who are we kidding, that is unrealistic.

Using the 5k metaphor from the first part in the series, it is conceivable that if you worked out, 8-10 hours a day for 2 weeks straight, you would have put in the requisite amount of work to train your body and mind to run a 5k.  But aside from the professionals and the unemployed, it is unrealistic to expect that of yourself.

Your body needs time to rest, your life needs your attention elsewhere.

Instead, plan to workout for 1-2 hours, 3-4 times a week, or every other day.  Now you have a plan that does not compromise the rest of your life, while allowing you to accomplish the goal you set out to accomplish.

Be aggressive.  An unrealistic plan that forces you to sacrifice other necessary aspects of your life is not a plan you are likely to stick to.  Similarly, a plan that has you working out once a week for 6 months in order to train for your 5k is also not likely a plan you are going to stick to.  Plan for life to happen.  Build in the flex time.  Set yourself up for success.


Prioritizing might seem simple, but this is the only way to establish balance with your projects and your life.  Your dedication here is what will help propel you the rest of the way through your goals.

At any given time when you have more than 1 item needing your attention, it is important to prioritize them based on the timeline you want to accomplish them as well as the value they add to your life and the lives of those around you.  This will help ensure that you are choosing the correct project for yourself to dedicate your time to right now. Do not bite off more than you can chew.

Joel Runyon from the Blog of Impossible Things marks the stages of separate goals as things you can do right now, things you can do soon, and things you can do in the near future.  Defining those tasks as part of your plan will help you multi-task and ensure success across all of your goals.

Generate Momentum

The latest piece to this puzzle, and one that I only recently defined for myself. (thanks again to Joel for his very well written series)  But it is also the one I think is what makes me so successful at accomplishing my goals.

I have always been a person to get on a roll, and spend hours on end getting lost in a project, in a book, in a conversation, in a bottle of wine.  I realized that the reason I get lost in those tasks is because I ENJOY THEM.  I enjoy what I am doing, the concept of what I am doing, and I am (with some) eager to get to my goal, to see my results.

If I can get momentum generated from one project, it makes it increasingly easier to transition that momentum into another project.  The hardest part is that first bit of momentum.  That first step, that first project.

If you are just starting a new journey, I recommend starting with something that you know you are passionate about and can get behind early and often.  I started out with something small, and am working my way up.  Mine started with a blog.

Can I migrate my blog over?  Yes I can.

Can I make 1 post a week?  Yes I can.

Can I get immersed in the blogosphere? Yes I can.

Can I de-clutter my life? Yes I can.

Can I <insert my next goal here>? YES I CAN!

The next step easier than the one before, thanks to the momentum I have built from the previous tasks.

Now you have identified and set your goals, created deadlines and project plans for them.  You learned how to build in flex time to deal with this thing we call life and the importance of prioritization.  All that is left is to get out there and start generating momentum and telling yourself YES YOU CAN!

Stay tuned for part 3 where we will tackle what to do when your project fails, what to do when your project grows, and how to motivate yourself through either scenario.



Leave a Comment
  1. Bryan / Dec 30 2010 1:14 pm

    Another well written blog post.

    Although I am not one myself, from my layman’s perspective, you sound like a project manager (the rational and realistic type… you know, the ones that are difficult to come by).

    • Justin Hamlin / Dec 31 2010 12:31 am

      amazing what happens when you project manage your own projects for 8 years as a consultant huh? Start talking like a project manager.

      Thanks for the comments, always appreciated.

  2. Joel / Dec 30 2010 1:30 pm

    Thanks for the shoutouts Justin! Glad you have your own system in place too! Shoot me an email…I’ve got something for ya….

    • Justin Hamlin / Dec 31 2010 12:35 am

      The distance your blog and brand have come recently are very inspiring. Keep that up, would ya? You deserve the traffic, this is the least I can do.

      I think everyone needs a system, I am just glad I have an avenue to help even a few people accomplish their goals.

  3. jonathanfigaro / Dec 30 2010 5:13 pm

    Another great post. Momentum is the best way to create massive success. Why do you think tsunamis have more sucess wiping out an entire nation than just a All that damn momentum..Another well written post.

    • Justin Hamlin / Dec 31 2010 12:52 am

      Exactly. I think the biggest misconception is that some people think that just because they set a goal, they should be able to accomplish it, hence why almost all new years resolutions fail. Momentum is key.

  4. Ryan Renfrew @LifestyleDesign / Jan 14 2011 6:14 pm


    I have heard of people setting a realistic timeline then just halfing it to add greater pressure and huge sense of urgency.

    Momentum is key, live by the advice “never leave the site of a goal or an idea without taking some sort of action”


    • Justin Hamlin / Jan 15 2011 5:00 pm

      Ryan –

      Exactly, momentum is key. You slow down or stop when moving towards a goal, the effort required to start back up is almost more than the effort required when you started the journey.

      In regards to the timeline, I definitely agree that urgency is important. You will see me reference it as aggressiveness in defining your timeline. I know for a fact that when there is no sense of urgency, the path to reach the goal becomes harder.


  1. Your Life is a Business: Why You Need a Plan Pt. 3 « Get Busy Living

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