Do you ever have those moments when you’re so overwhelmed with worry that you just can’t think straight? How do you even begin to clear out the mental clutter (stress, panic, worry, frustration) and work towards a solution? What about when you’re in a situation where you’re not even sure there’s a solution? Or, when you feel like you don’t have any control? I’ve visited that state of overwhelm quite often as I struggled with ADD and anxiety. During high-school, I found this super simple tool to help me narrow my racing thoughts while allowing me to focus on small attainable goals. Today the guru’s call these goals SMART:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
But, I’m going to be really honest here – the idea of sitting down to write SMART goals can actually create a sense of overwhelm for me. I know it’s just semantics, but somehow calling them SMART changes the way my brain processes the task. When you’re overwhelmed the most important thing is to find a way to focus and find relief – so, by all means, do what works best for you. The first time you use the worksheet go through each task before reading the next step, this will help you focus on each part of the process so you can understand how breaking things down to smaller thoughts can help.
The thing I’m most concerned about in my life right now is that there’s a lot of things going on as I transition my life from “full-time employee” to “Entrepreneur/Freelancer” and I’m worried about being so overwhelmed with everything that I’ll fail. In my next post, I’ll share my finished worksheet, and walk you through my own thought process while doing it.
I’ve used this technique to work through so many situations in my life from expanding my social circle, to ending a marriage, coming back from a major depression, healing from a dysfunctional family, and even my goals for this blog. I hope you’ll find it helpful as well.
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