Advertising
Advertising

Why You Should Stop Planning and Embrace Uncertainty

Why You Should Stop Planning and Embrace Uncertainty

Let’s face the inevitable: life comes at us fast. In the blink of an eye, change happens and opportunities come and go. We look back and reflect on where all of our time went and how well we spent it. In actuality, it seems like a lot of calloused and brush-burned hands. How can we really control everything that happens?

Reality check: we can’t. Too much stress and energy are placed on our futures, on the ideas and events that we cannot even begin to anticipate or change. Yet, we continue to try to micromanage our experience, without actually living in the moment. In essence, we are slaves to our own devices.

How can we break this vicious cycle? Put that ridiculous color-coded schedule and pencil down so you can begin with yourself.

Start as a “clean slate” and work on how you can shift your perspective and embrace uncertainty with these seven reasons. You’ll start to feel a release of pressure and stress in no time.

Advertising

1. It’s Out of Your Control

out of your control

    Easier said than done, right? Just remember, that if you have an idea about how your future will play out, think again. Life never goes according to plan. There are too many factors and elements that can positive or negatively affect our anticipated future. So, why dwell on what we can’t control? Honestly, we can do everything in our power to land a promotion and someone else may just be a better fit. You cannot force that change to happen in your favor.

    2. Now’s the Time to Shift Your Focus

    shift your focus

      Shift your focus from what you can’t control to what you can. Let it go and do whatever you can in the present. If you want a promotion, work hard, learn new skills, take a class, seek advice and do your personal best. Then, the future is out of your hands. Make use of your time wisely, because stressing over what may happen will only give you a headache and a little paranoia.

      Advertising

      3. You Should Be Comfortable With Discomfort

      discomfort 2

        While that sounds like a lofty contradiction, there is some merit in this idea. Since the future is out of our control, so is everything along the way and you need to be prepared to get a little uncomfortable. Maroon 5 said it so well: “Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along.” We can’t always have things turn out in our favor. So, how do we deal with this stress? Baby steps.

        Life isn’t easy, so try to train yourself to learn to handle being uncomfortable. Think of what it’s like to exercise. It is hard, but in order to get better, you have to deal with a little pain or discomfort. Over time, things get more manageable. Adopt that idea into your life and your body and mind will start to endure as well.

        4. Accepting Change and Being Flexible Are Soft Skills

        Advertising

        soft skills

          You want to be successful in your future? Let go of the past and live in the present. Once you let go of control, you’ll be able to understand that change is a part of life and you need to be flexible to have some grasp of what happens in your future. Believe it or not, but these skills are essential for working alongside others and having the best possible outcome for your future.

          5. Life Shouldn’t Be Put on Hold

          life on hold

            Fixating on your future is time consuming and, honestly, a waste of time. Yet, we all fall into this trap. Instead of living in the moment, we are trying our hardest to anticipate the next moment. Let go of the reins and let life take its course. Think of how much you miss when you aren’t really looking.

            For example, say you are vacationing in St. Thomas. You’ve got one day on land before your cruise sets sail again. But instead of smelling the ocean breeze and taking in the glorious sights, you’re running boarding times through your head and what you need in order to leave. You’ve now missed a day of relaxation and luxury.

            Advertising

            6. You Need to Know Yourself

            know yourself

              Don’t let fear run your life. Be aware of when you begin to lose focus on living in the moment and when you get caught up in something you can’t control. Take a deep breath and think of what you can do to keep your life moving forward. Experience. You’ll be less stressed and able to tackle anything.

              7. When Opportunities Knock, You Need to Answer

              opportunity

                By letting go, you’ll be able to seize the day. With your newfound skills of flexibility and acceptance, you’ll be able to consider more options and paths to take. Don’t let yourself become trapped into one option. Keep an open mind and live in the moment!

                No matter your current career or personal status, these seven tips can apply to your life. Stop stressing and start doing!

                Featured photo credit: Diogo Tavares via unsplash.com

                More by this author

                Kayla Matthews

                Productivity and self-improvement blogger

                41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About 50 Best Documentaries Of All Time That Will Change Your Life Try One of These Nighttime Routines for a Better Morning 10 Self-Improvement Tips for Winter (None of Which Require Leaving the House) 9 Ways to Donate to Nepalese Earthquake Victims

                Trending in Productivity

                1 10 Huge Differences Between a Boss And a Leader 2 Why Perspective Taking Is an Essential Skill for Success 3 How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve Success 4 How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates) 5 How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

                Read Next

                Advertising
                Advertising
                Advertising

                Last Updated on June 3, 2020

                How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

                How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

                Everyone needs a goal. Whether it’s in a business context or for personal development, having goals help you strive towards something you want to accomplish. It prevents you from wandering around aimlessly without a purpose.

                But there are good ways to write goals and there are bad ways. If you want to ensure you’re doing the former, keep reading to find out how a SMART goals template can help you with it.

                The following video is a summary of how you can write SMART goals effectively:

                What Are SMART Goals?

                SMART Goals

                refer to a way of writing down goals that follow a specific criteria. The earliest known use of the term was by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, however, it is often associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.[1]

                SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There are other variations where certain letters stand for other things such as “achievable” instead of attainable, and “realistic” instead of relevant.

                Advertising

                What separates a SMART goal from a non-SMART goal is that, while a non-SMART goal can be vague and ill-defined, a SMART goal is actionable and can get you results. It sets you up for success and gives you a clear focus to work towards.

                And with SMART goals comes a SMART goals template. So, how do you write according to this template?

                How to Write Smart Goals Using a SMART Goals Template

                For every idea or desire to come to fruition, it needs a plan in place to make it happen. And to get started on a plan, you need to set a goal for it.

                The beauty of writing goals according to a SMART goals template is that it can be applied to your personal or professional life.

                If it’s your job to establish goals for your team, then you know you have a lot of responsibility weighing on your shoulders. The outcome of whether or not your team accomplishes what’s expected of them can be hugely dependant on the goals you set for them. So, naturally, you want to get it right.

                On a personal level, setting goals for yourself is easy, but actually following through with them is the tricky part. According to a study by Mark Murphy about goal setting, participants who vividly described their goals were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve their goals.[2] Which goes to show that if you’re clear about your goals, you can have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

                Advertising

                Adhering to a SMART goals template can help you with writing clear goals. So, without further ado, here’s how to write SMART goals with a SMART goals template:

                Specific

                First and foremost, your goal has to be specific. Be as clear and concise as possible because whether it’s your team or yourself, whoever has to carry out the objective needs to be able to determine exactly what it is they are required to do.

                To ensure your goal is as specific as it can be, consider the Ws:

                • Who = who is involved in executing this goal?
                • What = what exactly do I want to accomplish?
                • Where = if there’s a fixed location, where will it happen?
                • When = when should it be done by? (more on deadline under “time-bound”)
                • Why = why do I want to achieve this?

                Measurable

                The only way to know whether or not your goal was successful is to ensure it is measurable. Adding numbers to a goal can help you or your team weigh up whether or not expectations were met and the outcome was triumphant.

                For example, “Go to the gym twice a week for the next six months” is a stronger goal to strive for than simply, “Go to the gym more often”.

                Setting milestone throughout your process can also help you to reassess progress as you go along.

                Advertising

                Attainable

                The next important thing to keep in mind when using a SMART goals template is to ensure your goal is attainable. It’s great to have big dreams but you want your goals to be within the realms of possibility, so that you have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

                But that doesn’t mean your goal shouldn’t be challenging. You want your goal to be achievable while at the same time test your skills.

                Relevant

                For obvious reasons, your goal has to be relevant. It has to align with business objectives or with your personal aspirations or else, what’s the point of doing it?

                A SMART goal needs to be applicable and important to you, your team, or your overall business agenda. It needs to be able to steer you forward and motivate you to achieve it, which it can if it holds purpose to something you believe in.

                Time-Bound

                The last factor of the SMART goals template is time-bound (also known as “timely”). Your goal needs a deadline, because without one, it’s less likely to be accomplished.

                A deadline provides a sense of urgency that can motivate you or your team to strive towards the end. The amount of time you allocate should be realistic. Don’t give yourself—or your team—only one week if it takes three weeks to actually complete it. You want to set a challenge but you don’t want to risk over stress or burn out.

                Advertising

                Benefits of Using a SMART Goals Template

                Writing your goals following a SMART goals template provides you with a clearer focus. It communicates what the goal needs to achieve without any fuss.

                With a clear aim, it can give you a better idea of what success is supposed to look like. It also makes it easier to monitor progress, so you’re aware whether or not you’re on the right path.

                It can also make it easier to identify bottlenecks or missed targets while you’re delivering the goal. This gives you enough time to rectify any problems so you can get back on track.

                The Bottom Line

                Writing goals is seemingly not a difficult thing to do. However, if you want it to be as effective as it can be, then there’s more to it than meets the eye.

                By following a SMART goals template, you can establish a more concrete foundation of goal setting. It will ensure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—attributes that cover the necessities of an effectively written goal.

                More Tips About Goals Setting

                Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

                Reference

                Read Next