Category Archives: Goal Management

Don’t Listen to the Doubters

doubt diceThe truth about success is that most people fall into one of three categories. The first are those who do not want you to succeed. We will call them Leadweights. These people are easy to identify. The second group are those who want to help you succeed. We will call this group the Pullies. This group generally is very small and often overlooked. The third group are those who you carry along in life, who neither help you up the ladder but are not obviously trying to drag you down. We will call them ChosenWeights.

Think of these three groups on a ladder you are trying to climb. Their hold on you will determine both the rate and difficulty of your goal to reach the top of the ladder. The goal can be a simple promotion or the achievement of a complex, critical project. It can meld with personal goals such as buying a new home. Business or personal, the objective is the achievement of the goal.

All of these groups have doubters in them, though rarely are they found among the Pullies. The majority of doubters can be found in the ChosenWeights, those people you highly value for one reason or another, but too often stand on the sidelines instead of helping you up. They can be co-workers or family and friends. This is a difficult group to interact with because of your attachment to them. However, the danger is placing too much weight on what they say, making their weight greater than it should be.

It is not that they do not want you to succeed, but they do not know how to be supportive in a tangible way. A long time best friend may be used to sarcasm as a way of having fun, but if this happens when talking about something that is extremely important to you it can transform into doubt. The well-intended criticism you get from a parent may feel like a barb directed at your potential for success. A co-worker’s zeal for excellence may have you questioning your goals altogether. People believe they are being helpful, but in reality are only creating doubt in your mind.

In general, people have all kinds of good advice, and some of it is actually useful. But even with the good advice, unless people are willing to get their hands dirty and turn the advice into action, good or bad advice is just advice. The advice that is often offered is how something should be done, and if the advice isn’t taken, the adviser will doubt you. Why shouldn’t you heed their advice? The simple answer is because they are your goals, personal to you. And whether you succeed or fail it will impact your life significantly more than anyone else.

Returning to the ChosenWeights, it is hard not to listen to their perspectives. The people closest to you are the ones we presume know us the best. That translates into their views and opinions having more importance than others. But as you move forward in life and begin setting and achieving goals, you change. Those who were once close to you want to remember the “old” you, so doubt that the changes they are seeing are really what is best for you. Their problem is that you may have outgrown them. Your problem is they can be slowing your climb up.

Who to listen to is the most important question that will direct your long term achievement. You have the right set of goals, a plan to achieve them, and now need a support group to help move you forward. This group will likely be a combination of Pullies and ChosenWeights. Through the journey, do not perceive all criticism as doubting. Sometimes the harshest critics are your best motivation – because they are right. But someone who neither helps nor offers constructive, positive, criticism is usually a hidden doubter.

Over time, you will discover that achieving your goals is a path full of opportunities, supporters, doubters, and well-meaning friends and family. Along the way it is almost certain you will have to choose to leave some of these behind for one reason or another. These are times when the voices of doubt come from within. Most of the time the discussion about people doubting your goals is focused on those outside of you. Strange as it may sound, do not forget that there are times you cannot listen to yourself. It is during these times the voices you need to listen to are those who have consistently been supportive of your journey.

Advantages Of Setting Project Milestones

MilestonesA milestone can be defined as an achievement that is being worked towards which will be celebrated when it is achieved. Milestones can be used as a motivational tool as it is a specific goal that usually has a timeframe. In terms of business there are a number of advantages to setting milestones for a project that is being undertaken in addition to them being used to motivate staff.

A Schedule Is Created

When milestones are set for a project, it creates a schedule for when key points of the project will be completed. This will ensure that everyone knows when the deadlines are for different aspects of the project. If it begins to appear that the milestone will not be reached, action can be taken to get the project back on schedule which can help keep future milestones on track.

Success Can Be Celebrated

When a milestone is reached this should be celebrated with all members of the team. This presents an opportunity to acknowledge members of the team who have gone above what is expected of them in order to ensure that the milestone has been reached. The success of the team as a whole to reach the milestone can also be acknowledged. When employees receive this type of feedback it helps to keep them motivated which on turn will make them more productive.

The Project Can Be Evaluated

Setting milestones means that the project can be evaluated as it goes along. When each milestone is reached the project manager will be able to assess which aspects of the project worked well and where things could be improved. This information can be used to inform the planning for the rest of the project and help to decide whether the project is on track to meet the next milestone or whether it needs to be moved forward or back.


Milestones do not need to be set in stone and in some cases the more flexible they are the better as they can adapt with the project. When considering the benefits above it is clear that they can help the project move forward.