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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.

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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.

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      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

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        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.

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            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

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                Kayla Matthews

                Productivity and self-improvement blogger

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                Published on August 4, 2020

                How Smart Goal Setting Helps You Make Lasting Changes

                How Smart Goal Setting Helps You Make Lasting Changes

                SMART goal setting is one of the most valuable methods used by high achievers today to actualize their life goals time after time. SMART goal setting is the inverse of random or carefree goal setting without strategy.

                Perhaps, you’ve always wished to get back in shape, get an annuity, or take control of your finances, but you failed to act. When you approach your goals with a care-free and nonchalant attitude, you’re less likely to achieve them.

                You should have a strategic goal setting method in place, and learning how to set smart goals is imperative in this case. The method is time-tested and purposeful, meaning it can help you achieve your goals now.

                To achieve your goals consistently and join the pack of high achievers out there who have consistently achieved many of their goals, you must be prepared to do what these people have been doing, and be ready to do the right thing: SMART goal setting.

                What Is the SMART Model for Setting Goals?

                SMART goal setting is a goal-setting method that considers certain factors about a goal relative to the person setting it. These factors are simply the five different letters in the SMART acronym for goal setting.

                It is relative to the person setting the goal because what is true for A may not be true for B; or what is possible for A or within A’s ability to achieve may not be possible for B or within B’s ability to achieve.

                What does the goal setting acronym SMART stand for?

                • S—Specific
                • M—Measurable
                • A—Achievable
                • R—Realistic/Relevant
                • T—Time-bound

                Is it possible that this acronym can make a long lasting impact in your life?

                Is it possible that a mere goal setting metric like SMART can help you achieve so many of your unfulfilled goals?

                Is it possible that if you practice SMART goal setting, you will be able to have faster results, understand your goals better, overcome the habit of procrastination, and achieve a lot?

                The power to achieve your goals is in your hands.

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                It is important to extend the inquiry by asking: How many times have you said you’ll do “X,” but failed to do so?

                We all have goals, and we all have 24 hours each day at our disposal. While some people find it easy to achieve their goals without procrastinating, some find it difficult to do so.

                For some people who have succeeded again and again in achieving their goals, they have simply found an easy way of doing this. Is there something they know that you don’t?

                How Smart Goal Setting Makes a Lasting Impact

                Smart goal setting examples can be found all around you. Through SMART goal setting, Stephen Cooley was able to grow his real estate business to the point of closing at $110 million in sales when the average price point of homes was between $100,000 – $200,000 in South Carolina[1].

                Through SMART goal setting, Steve Jobs was able to improve the fortunes of Apple and prevent the company from going bankrupt, even when it had barely 90 days left before being declared so.

                SMART goal setting can make a lasting impact in your life in several ways.

                Make Your Goal Clearer

                When you use the SMART criteria to set goals, it is easier for you to understand the various phases of your goal.

                By using SMART goal setting, you’re able to ask yourself relevant questions pertaining to your goal.

                Motivate You Into Acting on Your Goals

                When you use SMART goal setting and break down the goal into smaller goals or milestones, the bigger goal no longer looks intimidating or impossible.

                Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, wrote in his book How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be about how they applied the rule of five in marketing their book, Chicken Soup, and were able to make the book a best seller after some months[2]. The rule of five simply means doing five specific things every day that will move you closer to achieving your goal.

                In order not to be overwhelmed, you would have to measure your performance using the right metrics. Here we are considering the Measurable and Achievable aspects of the SMART acronym. It is critical that you measure yourself in terms of lead measures.

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                What are lead measures? They are the things you do that leads you closer to your goals. On the other hand, you would have to avoid “lag measures.”

                While lag measures mean a successful outcome that you wished for and got, they can be emotionally draining and deceitful because, whenever they don’t happen, you can become discouraged.

                Therefore, it is better to stick to lead measures.

                Help You Save Time

                You can achieve more when you use SMART model goal setting.

                To be strategic, your goal would have to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. If you can’t identify any of these points in your goal, you probably will be wasting your time on a wild goose chase.

                When your goals are written down, it’s easier for you to go into action mode.

                Improve Your Self-Discipline

                Self-improvement is an important thing for everyone to do periodically. When you set SMART goals, it makes you realize that you have to sit up and work on achieving them.

                How to Set SMART Goals

                See the source image

                  To make your SMART goals work, use the following tips:

                  Specific

                  Every goal ought to be specific. It is important to guard against making vague goals because even when they have been achieved, you may not know. This is because you weren’t specific enough.

                  For example, “I will start planning toward retirement” is vague. Rather than write that, you could say, “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan.” This is more specific.

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                  When you are specific on your goal, it’s easier for you to identify all its components and work accordingly toward achieving it.

                  Measurable

                  Your goals must be measurable. When they are measurable, it’s easier for you to follow through.

                  A goal like this is not measurable: “I want to make millions of dollars.” You can make it more measurable by saying, “I want to make one million dollars selling one hundred thousand copies of my book at ten dollars each.”

                  Also, using our SMART goal setting examples while explaining the Specific acronym, you can make the goal more measurable by saying, “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan and saving $500 every month.”

                  Achievable

                  How realistic or actionable is your goal? Is it practical enough to fit into a given time frame? Is it something you are able to achieve in your capacity?

                  You would only be setting yourself up for failure if you sets goals that are not reasonable.

                  A goal like this is highly unrealistic and, therefore, not achievable: “I want to be the Governor of Texas in six months,” especially since the elections will be coming up in three years.

                  Goals must be written down relative to the experiences of the one setting them. They must resonate with you. It is important that you have at least some of the resources needed to actualize this goal.

                  It is also important that you consider your time frame. When the time frame to achieve a complex goal is too short, it is rare that such goal will be completed.

                  Thus, using our previous example, if you write “I want to make one million dollars in ten days selling one hundred thousand copies of my book at ten dollars each,” you would only be setting up yourself for failure.

                  This is especially true if you’re not a popular author or if you’ve never sold even up to one thousand copies of any of your previous books, whether e-copy or in print.

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                  Realistic/Relevant

                  Before you proceed to making the commitment toward that goal, you need think about how realistic and relevant it is.

                  Being realistic means you should be willing to make all the commitments required for that goal to be achieved. If your goal is relevant, it fits into the life you’ve imagined for yourself.

                  Time-Bound

                  Every goal must have a commencement date and an end date written down. It is also important that you break down your goals into phases, chunks, bits, or milestones.

                  The act of having deadlines set to your goals is ample motivation that drives you into action. Without a deadline, it is not possible for you to know if you’re making headway with your goals.

                  “I will start planning toward retirement by starting an annuity plan and saving $500 every month for the next twenty five years” is a time-bound goal.

                  Remember that some goals are short-term while some are long-term. It is important to always bear this in mind, because this will help you in making a clear and realistic strategy when SMART goal planning.

                  Without SMART goal setting in view, much of our goals may likely end in our minds, on paper, or just midway into implementation. SMART goal setting reveals to us all the action points of our goals and helps us to have an awareness of every aspect of our goals.

                  The Bottom Line

                  What matters at the end of the day is what you do with the contents of this article because the power to achieve your goals is in your hands.

                  It is not enough to have a goal. It is not enough to put it down in writing. It is important to have a strategy in mind while putting it down. This strategy is a guideline or set of rules that point you in the right direction. It is SMART goal setting in the given circumstance.

                  After writing down your goals, you will have to be ready to take action. There should be a clear action point. Write down what you need to do on daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

                  When your goals are realistic, they make them worth the chase. One of the things to bear in mind is that, in order not to be overwhelmed by the daunting nature of your goals, remember to always break them into milestones, chunks, or bits. In fact, take one day at a time.

                  Do not bother yourself with the one-year, three-year, five-year or ten-year plan as this may likely overwhelm you with fear and doubt. Let your focus be on each day. What will I be doing today? Consider this and go for it.

                  More on the SMART Model for Setting Goals

                  Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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