Friday, August 24, 2012

Handling Big Goals

Sometimes there are big things we need to complete or accomplish -either because it's required by others or because we need to do it for ourselves.  When the task at hand is dauntingly big however, the pressure can escalate and can often be a bigger hindrance than a motivation to 'get-it-done.'  I am guilty of this on many occasions.  I can quickly get overwhelmed by the pressure I myself have put on this particular goal, and I instinctively run away from it.  Talk about counterproductive! 

Lately, I've noticed myself doing this over and over again- only to be further stressed by my procrastination.  (It's really a vicious cycle!)  I know I'm not the only one who gets this way, so I think it'd be a good idea to discuss different ways to handle these bigger, frequently seemingly-overwhelming, goals without getting drowned in the stress of it. 

Here are some steps:

1. List everything you have to do! 
Although this list might seem like it just further aggravates your stress, remember: we have to start somewhere. Unravelling the nervous bundle of 'things-to-do' that's snowballing in your head, is a great place to start.
2. Prioritize.  Which one is most pressing and important? Reorder accordingly.
3. Break down each goal.  Let's go through an example:
Example i) Goal: Complete application.
So, let's break it down: Start with dividing the application into parts.  Just focus on  completing just that ONE part at a time. Forget about the remaining sections while you're working on that one section.
4. Give yourself rewards.  At the completion of each goal, give yourself a reward.  They don't need to be expensive or time-consuming.  Examples include: A relaxing bubble bath while reading your magazines, a nap, a relaxing 20 min yoga video from iTunes, baking your favorite kind of cookies for yourself, or giving yourself a manicure/pedicure.
5. Cross each task off your "to-do list" as you go along.

Lastly, if you can't finish everything you want to today, don't beat yourself over it.  Just focus on each task at hand- not the whole list.  After all, life is not a short-distance race, it's a marathon!

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