How often do you tell yourself, that planning is not for you? I constantly do. What if we are just doing it wrong? In this post I am going to share with you my favorite method of planning, that works long term and eases my anxiety about not being able to achieve my goals.
Do I really need to plan my life?
While it’s important to know where you are going, sometimes you just don’t know, and it’s ok. As human beings we are conditioned to always have a plan and be in control of our lives. If you are “lost” or maybe overwhelmed by the amount of options or think you don’t have any, you can start feeling anxious, depressed and/or experience certain physical symptoms such as fatigue, light head, headache, muscle pain, etc.
It’s important to remember that it’s ok not to have all your life planned. Some days you might not even know what you are going to do tomorrow, and it’s ok as well. We have all been there, and even though other people can be judgmental at times about it, most likely they themselves have at least once experienced inability to figure everything out.
Despite knowing that it’s ok to not really know what our end goal is or main purpose in life, we as human beings don’t usually feel good without any direction, we tend to want to change the way we feel about ourselves and our lives as soon as possible, because the feeling of uncertainty is very uncomfortable (especially for those who have anxiety disorder). However many of us fall victims to this “all or nothing” approach. We want to have it all figured out and succeed in what we do, yet we are scared to fail, so we never even try. Most of us would be ready to pay for a step-by-step life guide or for insurance from failure. But unfortunately, nobody sells those (at least yet). So, we will have to find a way to set goals and plan how to achieve them.
Before we start, let me remind you, that failure is a perceived lack of success. Something you see as a lack of a positive result (result, that you want to get), another person would consider success. Remembering that success is relative may help ease stress.
Setting realistic goals
I know, motivational speakers keep talking about dreaming big, but realistically how many of us can do it without second guessing ourselves to the point we are stuck and don’t want to do anything at all? Also, if you are a deep thinker, you might come up with a big dream and at the same time with 100 reasons why you can’t make it come true. Been there, done that!
Set realistic goals! Goals, that you can achieve fast (start with one week). Goals, you know how you can achieve, but need a little bit of will power and dedication.
What about stepping outside your comfort zone, not being afraid to fail, and all that good things? - you’ll ask. Well, it’s all good, but it’s not always the most practical advice. We might find all those speeches motivational, but they only inspire us for the moment we hear them. After a while we forget them and give up, because our original goal was too big. It was a high mountain to climb, when we had just started going to the gym. Does it make sense?
What is practical is setting an achievable (in your mind) goal, working for it, achieving it and moving on to another goal. You will eventually see that setting "small" goals is very effective.
Finally, acknowledge your success. No matter how small it seems to be. Have you achieved your set goal for a week? If the answer is yes, reward yourself, you did a good job! Your reward can be anything, including you telling yourself how awesome you are. It might sound silly, but very often we are faster to judge ourselves than praise. We call it humility, while in reality it is inability to love ourselves. How often do we pat others (especially kids) on the back for making a tiny progress? Yes, you should treat yourself the same way!