project: Marah

project management for the things that really matter

On resolutions…

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I started this blog in 2009 as a way to keep in practice around project management.  I spent a large piece of 2009 in school, focusing on a mini-MBA and covering topics such as Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Information Systems.

Knowing that I would have diverted attention from project management, I created my New Years Resolution broadly to focus on my own projects. Specifically in the area of maintaining my PMP, to write once a month on an area of interest to me relating to project management, and to up the ante with  my PDUs . (professional development units, required for maintaining the credential and also often quite interesting)

Now that 2009 is well past, and I am spending a fair amount of time as a Business Analyst/Project Manager, I intent to refocus this blog.   It took me a fair amount of time to write this post regarding resolutions, since, as a project manager, I am not a large fan of the New Years Eve  tradition.  I find that many resolutions are too focused on the immediate and skip the larger picture.  Even if  they adhere to the SMART model (specific-measurable-actionable-results oriented-timely), they are often made hastily, and myopically.  We also tend to make too many resolutions.

In thinking about project management and resolutions, I was reminded of a PMI – NY talk I saw where someone presented on how they tried to leverage their personal life and goals using project management methodology for an entire year, and then presented the findings.  Unsurprisingly, certain areas faired better than others, and one of his largest pieces of feedback to himself was to take on less specific tasks. Not everything in life fits neatly in a Work Breakdown Structure.

The above may be heresy to say as a project manager, but as Lennon was attributed:Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.(1957 according to wikiquote)

So, for my New Years Project, I’ve realized that I take on more general goal statements, as there’s another quote I really like, by the French Philosopher Geoffrey F. Abert (1079 – 1142) – “The most important thing about goals is having one.”

in 2006, I’d just completed the purchase of my home, so my goal was to welcome others into my space, after bouncing around for so long. I built community, held potlucks, and created a great space for myself and others to come together.

in 2007, I decided “to try new things”, and this included learning how to drive a stick shift, and resulted in a wonderful adventure to Pamplona, Spain, where I learned a lot of things on the go – from how to pack a lot of luggage in a tiny Citroen, to speaking on the fly street  Spanish mixed with French to negotiate tickets to a bull fight.

I liked the goal “of trying new things”  so much that I kept it for 2008, and chose to travel around the country, getting out of the Northeast, learning a lot of local culture and customs, and spending a lot of time in New Orleans, a true melting pot.  A vegetarian for almost 20 years, living in NOLA,  I ended up finding an affinity for really fresh seafood , crab, crawfish, shrimp, something that was completely  new for me.

In 2009 I chose to “pay myself first” and re-focus from the myriad volunteer projects toward my own, including University (the aforementioned mini-MBA), speaking engagements, an article in PMnetwork, and shift toward consulting startups and non-profit organizations for pay instead of sweat equity.

This year, I’m continuing the theme of putting my own projects first, and I’m also choosing to re-focus this blog to feature more of those projects – as opposed to general articles on project management. Looking back on it, I was already writing that way in 2009, but feeling bad about not sticking to my original goal.

This is supposed to be a fun project, so be on the lookout for more regarding how to project manage like a ninja, musings on volunteer management, and other thoughts that come my way.

until the next one,



Written by marahrosenberg

25 January 2010 at 11:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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