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What To Do As You Get More Stressful When Chasing Your Dreams

What To Do As You Get More Stressful When Chasing Your Dreams

Chasing your dreams can be liberating, and so much fun — then there’s the downside. Things start to go wrong, and it’s not working out the way you planned. Heck, it’s not working out at all (or so it seems), and this is leading you to become more and more stressed out as the days and weeks pass. You might be asking yourself, “Will I ever get there?” Or, “Is it even worth it?” Fear not, because by reading the rest of this article, you’ll learn seven ways to cope with stress when chasing your dreams.

1. Coaching

Find a coach who can push you through these stressful times. You may not be able to see past any barriers, but your coach can and will challenge you to move forward when you’re stuck. Coaching makes you accountable for your actions; your coach will ask you question that matter, and that will make you see a different perspective. A coach be your guide to achieving those dreams.

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2. Reset yourself and get some sleep

Chasing your dreams often means burning the candle at both ends with late nights and early mornings, leading you to become stressed out and unproductive. It’s important that you take time to reset yourself with a good sleep routine, which will allow you to be successful while getting things done.

3. Talk about your feelings with those closest to you

If you have close friends or family members, meet with them and share your burdens. Make sure you talk to someone who is going to listen — you don’t want to feel worse after trying to share your feelings with someone who isn’t paying attention. Discussing your feelings with others can take a weight off your shoulders, and the other person may even give you some practical advice from a new perspective.

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4. Admit what you can’t handle

Are you doing too much and can’t handle it? Maybe you need to admit it. Try asking someone else to give you some help temporarily until you get back on track. I did this once — just delegated work to some of my family members. And they were happy to help! You may need to abandon some of what you are doing if you aren’t getting any positive results, and focus on what is working for you right now.

5. Step back and take a break to clear your head

Re-evaluate your values, passions, and goals. As we evolve and grow, everything changes. Take a detailed look at what has changed for you, and see if you need to take a new direction in chasing your dreams. To do this, why not take a holiday or just do nothing for a while to give yourself some head space? Go have some fun.

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6. Review current life circumstances

Have you recently relocated, and have to deal with that as well as focus on your work? Maybe you’re struggling with family issues or illness? Or have you lost the meaning of life all together? Heck, maybe all of ’em! These situations can most certainly get you worried and stressed out, but they are temporary. Deal with what you can by being in the moment, doing the most you can to make things better. Take things one step at a time.

The storm will pass.

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7. Remember WHY you started

What made you decide to chase your dreams in the first place? Was it money, fame, success or something more — something meaningful that matters to you and only you? What is your WHY? What will you do when you have the money or success? Your “why” will get you through this; your “why” has the power to keep you motivated. When you get stressed out chasing your dreams, always remember WHY you are on the journey, and that the journey comes with ups and downs. So when it all comes crashing down, remember why you started in the first place. Your dreams are worth it.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have any ideas to add that will help someone overcome stress and keep on track chasing their dreams? Share them in the comments below.

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Featured photo credit: Allan Foster via flickr.com

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Diana Reid

CEO - Moxie House Ltd

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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