How to Smash Worry and Accomplish Your Goals in 2018

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Last night I went to bed a little worried about the future.

Yup, New Year’s Eve, in bed by 10:30pm, and I was feeling worried about my income goals for January, and the next 90 days.

I know why this happened. I’ve been working on my goals for the new year for the last couple of weeks. Over the last two days I’ve been working out my plan to achieve those goals, as well as what habits and practices I want to work on.

It’s easy to wonder, to the point of worry, if the plan will work. Of course my brain is thinking non-stop about all the variables, right or wrong, and “what if” scenarios.

You can’t control whether or not you will accomplish your goal

Let’s say creating $10,000 in income this January is a stretch goal for you. How can you “control” that goal so it becomes reality?

(Use whatever number in place of the one above that scares you.)

There’s only one thing you CAN do

Take steps every day to accomplish small tasks. Each small task adds up to complete a small project. Each small project may lead to the completion of a larger project, or one of your goals.

If you do the work, if you assess and measure your productivity and traction along the way, you create the best potential for achieving your larger (scary or stretch) goal.

(Let’s use “stretch goal” — “scary” doesn’t help us feel any better.)

How the fuck am I going to create more money this year?

What a waste of your time, sitting there on your ass getting all worried about it.

What are you doing when you’re worrying?

Absolutely fucking nothing is what you’re doing!

Worry is about projecting into the future how you have no clue how you can accompish your big goals.

That’s normal. The end goal, the outcome is too big to break down in your brain. You can’t see all the steps and variable in a single vision.

What you can do is to create a plan.

Imagine you’re building a house

First you need a plan. A set of drawings that show you things like,

  • How deep to dig for the foundation
  • How to pour the concrete for the basement and supporting side walls
  • Materials needed
  • How to build the house one post at at time
  • The contractors and tools needed to complete various tasks

It’s a lot of work, and in the case of building a house, which is a very large goal, you will need outside help.

To achieve a big goal like this you need:

  1. A plan
  2. Tools
  3. People
  4. Time

If you’ve ever done construction, or a home renovation, you know the project is rarely done on time.

Completion is one of the aspects that’s out of your control because of things like,

  • People not showing up to work
  • Materials not shipped on time
  • Something unexpected happening that delays the entire project
  • The work simply takes more time to complete than imagined

What you can control is…

You can control the work flow, the frequency and the consistency of the tasks being done. You can control whether or not you take action.

You can review your progress by checking the plan and asking,

  • Are you making progress according to the plan’s timelines?
  • Have individual tasks and projects been completed as per the plan?
  • Can you see the project taking shape?

The last point is the most important. We want (and need) to see progress to alleviate worry.

Production proves that something is happening

With progress you start to see the manifestation of what was once a vision, but is now becoming reality.

Seeing your goal come to life could look like,

  • A number of sales in your business that validate your model. You haven’t reached the end goal, but sales are an excellent marker of progress.
  • If you’re building a business online, you’re witnessing an increase in new followers, and better yet more comments, emails, and interactions. This means you’re “touching” people and they want to find out more.
  • If you’re writing a book, you can see how many words you’ve written, chapters you’ve completed, and how far you’ve progressed according to your outline.

Check the plan to stop your worrying

If you don’t have a plan to achieve your goals this year, good luck!

Seriously, if you don’t have a plan then you SHOULD be worrying!

If you have a plan, and when your head hits the pillow at night and you begin to worry about how you’re going to achieve your goals, remind yourself to check the plan.

Read your plan out loud (seriously, this helps)

How does reading your plan aloud make make you feel?

  • Less worried?
  • Do you need to add something new to the plan or make a revision?
  • Schedule a recurring task in your calendar?
  • Ask someone for help?

When you read your plan aloud do you find yourself itching to move; to do something?

The solution to stop worrying about achieving your goals is two-fold:

  1. Review your plan and make adjustments as needed.
  2. Take action.

When we do something we are in motion. When we are doing a task that’s part of the plan, we increase our confidence that we can achieve our goal.

Confidence feels good. When we feel good, it’s harder to worry.

Planning and taking action work best as a continuous loop.

You review, then you take action. Assess your actions, confer with the plan, then take a new action. Over and over, with persistence, frequency, and consistency.

Worry is motion and action-less.

Take action, get into movement, and the worry is gone.

Still feeling stuck?

Find out what’s holding you back with these 7 short, insightful, and fun videos and get back to being who you really are!

Written by

I help human-hearted creatives cultivate their purpose to experience more freedom, impact, and joy in their lives.

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