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How to go after your goals at work (without stressing yourself out)

You’re driven to succeed. You spend lots of time thinking about your future and what you want to achieve.

And that’s a good thing, for the most part. But how can you keep from overdoing it and letting your goals take over your entire life? At the end of the day, it’s all about finding balance.

Need some pointers? Read on for our best tips.

5 ways to go after your goals

1. Break big projects into bite-sized chunks

Avoid overwhelm and do yourself a favor by breaking major undertakings into smaller, more digestible pieces. Not only does this make a big goal with lots of moving parts easier to approach, according to the University of Georgia, doing this helps keep you from feeling overwhelmed and procrastinating.

And once you have the project fractioned off into more manageable subgoals and specific tasks, it’s time to...

Projects and goals are like pie--you should really slice them into pieces.

@heftiba via Unsplash

2. Organize it all into a (reasonable) timeline

Having your goal broken down into manageable chunks can work wonders. But it only works when you drop those chunks into slots in a well-thought-out action plan. What do we mean by well-thought-out? Ideally, your action plan will include specific tasks with times and dates for start and completion.

For example, instead of planning something deliberately vague like "work on presentation next month", you’d add "find appropriate visuals for presentation on x topic" to a specific time on your calendar. Also, don’t forget to delegate and ask for help when you need it (and you will).

And before you finalize that production calendar…

3. Give yourself margin for surprises (good and bad)

Allow time and space for false starts and bad days. Life isn’t a straight line from A to B—for most of us, it more closely resembles a scribble with lots of loop-de-loops.If you allow time in your agenda for the inevitable ups and downs and trade-offs, all your hard work planning will hold up much better.

And beyond building time and space into your calendar for "just-in-cases", you’ll also need to…

4. Schedule regular breaks

Your brain (and body) need more time to rest and recuperate than you might think. Scheduling time off into your project calendar (short breaks, lunches, days, and weekends off) gives you something to look forward to when you’re feeling stressed. And when you take that time off, you also get some space so you can come back to what you’re doing with fresh eyes.

Finally, it’s really important to…

5. Prioritize wellbeing

Since bringing a big goal to fruition is no easy undertaking, it’s more important than usual to take care of yourself while you’re working on it. Even (and perhaps especially) on your busiest days, hit pause regularly.

Get plenty of sleep. Take a few minutes to exercise your body and relax your mind. Go for a walk or do yoga on your lunch break. Or use Foundations to meditate, jot down thoughts or journal about the people and progress you’re grateful for. You’ve got this!

What are some of your favourite ways to tackle goals at work? Let us know at foundations@koahealth.com​.