Do you believe your life could be better and more fulfilled? Are you suffering from stress? Do you feel caged in by your commitments or life choices? This article is for you. So many of us are living life at such a fast pace that we don’t have time to ask ourselves if we are truly happy. We see our peers living at the same pace and working hard and long hours too. We may know we are stressed but think it’s the norm, it’s just life. But surely there is more to life than living with stress?
Hello and welcome to a five part series on stress.
• Week 1 – Take The Stress Quiz
• Week 2 – Finding Meaning In Your Life
• Week 3 – Living Without Conflict
Week 4 – Today we will set goals for change to reduce your stress and help you live more fully
• Week 5 – Next week we will put these goals into action and review
I hope you will get a lot out of this series. Please get in touch with any comments.
To get the most out of setting goals today I would encourage you to complete the exercises from the past three weeks, links are above.
Tying it all together to set goals
In the past three weeks we have looked at the areas of your life that are causing you stress, we have discovered what life means to you and how you want your life to be and we have identified areas of conflict in your life between how you are living right now and how you want your life to be.
Today is about making steps towards living without that conflict and starting to live your life in line with your personal meaning and purpose. By living your life with meaning you will be better able to manage stress in your life as you will be making decisions based on what you want and you think is best for you. No longer will you be living by someone else’s standards or living how you think you ought to. You will be taking control of your own life and be truly yourself. This will allow you to live more fully, with less stress and more happily.
How to transform your meaning into goals
You now know your meaning but we need a plan to make it a reality. We can do this by creating clear actionable goals. When we set goals we are more likely to achieve what we want. Successful people tend to have set goals. Goals allow us to focus on what is important, they help us make decisions based on what will help or conflict with our goals, they help us brainstorm ideas to move us closer to reaching our goals, to anticipate obstacles and they keep us motivated.
Look at your table from last week and for each stress area answer the following questions
How do you want things to be in a month’s time?
How do you want things to be in a year’s time?
How do you want things to be in five years time?
Now for each of these questions write down your goals. Write down what you want to achieve within each of the timeframes. Make your goals SMART goals. Ask yourself are they SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTRACTIVE, REALISTIC, TIME FRAMED?
Here is an example from a past client for the first question in a month’s time:
|Stress Area Work||Next month I want to have spoken to my manager about promotion and future opportunities within my current role.||S – yes its specific
M – yes I will have either talked to my manager or not
A – yes as I want to do more in my current role
R – yes I am completely capable of doing more within my role and I am able to set up a meeting
T – yes this month I will do this. My manager is in the office so will have time to meet with me.
Over this week continue to think about your goals and tweak them to ensure they are SMART. Next week we are going to look at how we put these goals into action and prepare for any obstacles that we may face. Until next week have a great one. If you want help managing your stress now, please look at my past articles including Combat headaches with stress management – Release the pressure.
With thanks to Luke Bennett Photography for this week’s feature image.