Taking the Stress out of Goal Setting

May 23, 2011

Goal setting is a worthwhile and necessary function on the road to success. But over-striving to meet goals often results in burnout and more stress, and thus, the need to find ways to reduce it.

When attempting to reduce goal-oriented stress, Dale Carnegie Training recommends first examining the goals you’ve set for yourself. Goals should be difficult, but achievable with persistent effort. Goals that are too far fetched, such as doubling your income in one year, nearly always lead to failure and discouragement. Attainable goals work because you persist and focus your efforts in a specific direction and see tangible results. Without that direction, we’ll often find ourselves bouncing from one task to another like a pinball, more at the mercy of outside forces that have no stake in our welfare or success.

The good news is there are ways available to us to combat goal-induced stress. The first line of defense is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Also consider establishing a firm time each day that you won’t work past. Pre-plan vacations and weekends so that you have something to look forward to outside of work, and schedule social events with friends at least once per week. However, be mindful of not over-booking social activities so that you can build in some time rest and recuperation.

Also keep in mind that goals need to be set for all aspects of your life, including relationships, finances, home, physical and mental health, as well as spiritual development. Be specific and reasonable when setting goals so that you don’t invite more stress into your life. The more you regularly review your goals and focus on them, the more likely it is you’ll meet them. Write down your goals, read through them periodically, visualize them and consider keeping a picture journal that represents your achievement of those goals. And don’t resist making adjustments to those goals when necessary. Career plans seldom unfold exactly as plotted, and you need to be flexible and adaptable in order to keep an overload of stress from creeping into your life.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.


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