How to reduce stress on the journey to our dreams
The price of our dearest endeavors could be quite high. This often gives a bad name to goal-setting while many people believe that the whole thing isn’t worth it if it kills the joy of life.
However, things aren’t as bad as they seem. There is a way to lower the negatives and thus make the whole process stress-free. That’s what we will be discussing today.
The two different types of pressure
There is hardly anyone who didn’t go through some struggle while pursuing their dreams. As confident as you might be in your abilities and regardless of the skills necessary for success, it’s perfectly normal to feel down at one point or another.
On the one hand, we have the so-called “positive” stress. It’s when a new and exciting opportunity is the force that kicks you out of bed in the morning charging you with energy and enthusiasm. Let’s call it for now motivation.
But it’s a matter of dosage after all.
When the pressure gets too much and keeps building up, it can just break you and that’s a serious problem. We would like to call this “negative” stress.
The question is how to avoid or at least minimize it. The statistics are discouraging – only 5% of people have fun while going after what they want. Don’t we all want to be like them!
Oh, well, it’s doable!
We had to try hard before we figured it out. Much of what contributes to this psychological strain could be easily avoided if not fully eliminated by the following:
- First of all, the correct definition of the objective;
- The good practices for overcoming obstacles in daily life and maintaining persistence in our behavior;
- And, of course – the role our Buddy
All of this is at the heart of our system which together with a set of easy-to-follow principles and rules makes for a smooth and even care-free ride.
The big plus here is that it is all accomplished with ease!
We went through all this too
No one is immune against emergencies and trouble, including of our making.
But these will become mistakes only if you fail to learn from them.
We would like to present here some examples of what exactly is straining us beyond our limits and how to deal with it.
Let’s start with a simple fact – much of our difficulties could go away as early as at the stage of defining the objective.
Reason #1: When everything is about the result
It’s not surprising when people fail to lose the 10 lbs by the beginning of the summer.
Formulating your goal so that it is focused exclusively on the outcome is a sure way to get into trouble. You can’t make things just happen.
One of the cornerstones of “GoalBuddy” is that you can control only your actions and not the result.
So, the solution is to define your objective in a way that it’s solely in your hands. In our example, it’s best to aim at going to the gym three times a week.
Let’s say you want to reach some result. But you should view it as a measuring tape. You have to use it to make sure you are heading in the right direction or a change, of course, is required. If there is no fixation on the outcome, therefore there is much less disappointment and frustration.
Reason #2: Impossible timelines
Dan Sullivan said it best: “There are no unrealistic goals, there are only unrealistic deadlines.”
The truth is we all live in high-paced times – we want everything here, right now, and preferably, with no shipping fee.
But rushing it all will not take us far, and it can put some unnecessary psychological pressure on us. That is why it is good to know how to work on your dreams in a cool and level-headed way.
The long-term, 20 – 30 years, vision is to be reached little by little with short-term objectives. Every quarter we set one 90-day action goal and then we accomplish one small step forward every single week
We’d rather register progress in discrete advancements. The accumulation of small achievements over time brings greater success and does so without stress-testing your ability to perform.
So, so far, we’ve looked at the first two issues but the next one is so much worse. Just imagine what would happen if…
Reason #3: … the goal is entirely conditional on other people
You want something but you left it to someone else (the boss to raise my salary, the neighbors to move out). Or, to put it mildly, you need the active co-operation of someone (to marry your partner).
The examples may sound far-fetched but you would be surprised how common this mistake is. We fell for the same when we expected the software engineer we contracted to quickly develop the mobile app for our system.
The solution is to have a firm and clear stake what you, and only, you can do. Don’t forget that the rightful place of the result is in your vision, and there is no deadline for it.
Reason #4: Too Many Goals
Most of us usually have just a couple of big dreams, but we witnessed it too many times how at the workshop people overdo it and come up with more than a dozen.
Well, we found the hard way that less is more. The more effort you apply, the likelier it is you would succeed.
Our system allows you to work on only three 90-day action goal which means only three weekly steps for each one of them.
There is time for everything – next quarter you will set new objectives. Certainly, 12 goals for the year, each taken care of in turn and with enough focus, will be much more effective than pushing all 12 at the same time.
Reason #5: Leaving your comfort zone
We would say that there are several levels to go through here:
- You operate in your usual way and you do what you’ve always done and achieved what you have always achieved.
- You step just a little bit beyond your boundaries and challenging yourself. Like Niki, who felt highly uncomfortable speaking to a live audience. In such cases, it is the thrill and excitement that are taxing but still on the positive side.
- But when you aim too high and far beyond your abilities then you run the risk of getting stuck and burn out.
That’s why we badly needed in “GoalBuddy” the technique of small steps:
We have to leave the comfort zone making only small steps so that we can make some progress at the end of the quarter. We build on this with each week passed gaining confidence in the process.
How the two of us stressed out almost to the breaking point
We decided that the end of the year was the perfect time to launch our book. We’ve aimed at 11/29/2019. If we missed it, we had to wait for the next publishing opportunity within the next 2-3 months.
But what happened? We have set our objective to be something that depended on a whole bunch of people and which had almost an impossible deadline.
We were under incredible pressure!
Those who have ever tried self-publishing are well aware of how many uncontrollable factors are involved. A designer, a proofreader, an editor, and not to mention the two of us who did the writing – we all had to deliver 100% so that the publisher got the manuscript on time.
We did indeed suffer some negative stress but the positive one was much more as well as the phenomenally good outcome!
From this, we learned that talking to the Buddy every week and not forgetting why we were in this stopped us from giving up in the most of difficult times.
After all, we all have our dreams, but not at any price, especially when it comes to our health. We want to be successful and feel great at the same time.
With small and measured effort anyone can make some progress. A little bit of excitement can start you on the action but if you are well too obsessed and hot-headed then we have these to consider:
- Commit to act, not to the result;
- Set realistic deadlines and move forward at a steady pace;
- Be extra careful when your objective relies on someone else;
- Work on a few things at a time, not everything;
- Last but not least, have a support system of the Buddy at your side.
What we want is to help many more, and not just those few lucky ones of the 5%, to enjoy fulfilling and happier lives. Don’t you want to join us on this journey?