How To Set Smart Personal Goals, Even If They Make You Anxious
If you make your personal goals attainable in the first place, half of the job is done.
Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on December 16, 2022
// We recommend helpful products in our articles. Read our full disclosure here.
For an anxious soul, there’s always something about setting personal goals… You may find yourself surprisingly anxious when you’re sitting with your goal planner, sipping tea, and trying to decide what’s next.
Why does that happen? Why do we get so nervous thinking about our personal goals? Why are we so scared to have BIG personal goals that could skyrocket our life to the next level?
It’s because whenever you set your personal goals, your mind likes to visualize it as if you’ve already achieved them. You crave that feeling, you dream about and it makes your heart beat faster – you really want to achieve that goal!
But trying to achieve any goal always comes with a risk. There’s always a chance that you won’t do it… And you know it. You are afraid to fail. You don’t want to lose that feeling you just had when you imagined yourself having that dream come true. This fear of failure is even more prominent if you have struggled to succeed with your personal goals in the past.
This can discourage you from setting personal goals altogether – especially if they happen to be big! Thankfully, it’s actually not that hard to overcome. It would be a shame to throw your personal goals in the corner just because you’re scared of them right?
Set SMART Personal Goals – a Mini Guide
Personal Goals And Your Mindset
You see, everything comes down to your thoughts and how you view the things and situations in your life.
Fortunately, you can control both your mindset and your thoughts – and make them work for you, not against you.
The secret to setting your personal goals and avoiding anxiety at the same time hides in the process. To be confident, consistent, and brave with your personal goals, it’s important to be smart through the whole process.
How To Set Smart Personal Goals, Even If They Make You Anxious
1) Be Realistic
Believe it or not, the process of setting personal goals stimulates the release of dopamine – a happy hormone that can lift our moods. This excitement can cause us to be more ambitious and set our expectations a little too high. That’s something you should avoid because setting your expectations too high can cause unnecessary pressure and stress.
So, when setting a goal (even if it’s a big one), keep it realistic. It should be something that can be completed with a reasonable amount of effort, in a normal amount of time.
Not too long, not too fast, not too much, not too little, not too easy, not too hard…
Try to look for that optimal balance between your personal goals and the way you’re planning to achieve them.
Also, if you feel very intimidated, start with smaller personal goals that feel more attainable, before building up to higher ones.
Read more: 4 reasons why you are failing at your goals
2) Ensure That Your Personal Goals Are Specific
When setting personal goals, be very specific on what they are.
“Okay, but what’s a specific goal?”
A specific goal is something that can be measured.
For example, my personal goal is to go through 3 online courses in a month. I can measure this goal easily. It’s also a realistic goal because the number of courses is not too small and not too high for me.
Related: How to improve yourself with online courses
Having a specific personal goal makes it easier to identify the steps necessary to achieve it. It will also make them easier to track as time goes by. It’s a win-win situation!
3. Always Break Your Personal Goals Down
How to set your personal goals if they are huge (and scary)?
The secret is to break your personal goals down into smaller ones, especially if they are long-term.
Smaller goals are faster and easier to achieve and the more of these you checkmark in your planner, the more likely you will stay motivated.
Of course, smaller goals should ultimately lead up to a larger one (gotta challenge yourself, right?).
A great way to plan and create specific personal goals is by using a goal planner.
4) Identify Possible Obstacles
Personal goals often come with some avoidable or unavoidable obstacles that can be discouraging.
Try to understand that the way you deal with obstacles can make or break your success, but don’t panic about it!
Planning and working around possible obstacles can is key to stay on track.
So when you set your personal goals, identify all the possible obstacles, and highlight the possible solutions.
Do this before you start working on your personal goals. Repeat whenever you encounter new obstacles in the process (it’s okay, it happens very often, but you can find a solution every time!).
Make sure that the solutions you think of are realistic and specific as well.
5) Carry Your Personal Goals Out – Even If You’re Scared!
Goal setting can be nerve-racking at best, I know.
However, you should never let the anxiety get in the way of achieving your personal goals. Otherwise, your life will become a never-ending run from fear!
Sure, the chances of failing yourself and abandoning your personal goals are always there.
But even if you fail – does that mean you should stop trying?
If I ever answered “yes” to that question, you would never be reading this blog (I would still be lying on my bed and thinking about my miserable life.)
So set your goals, work on those plans, be courageous, and even if you’re scared – do it scared! Just never stop working on those dreams. Remind yourself why you wanted them in the first place!
Setting Personal Goals – A Recap
Let’s sum this up! To set personal goals and make them achievable, here’s what you should remember:
- Keep your personal goals realistic and specific. This will make it easier for you to break big personal goals down into smaller steps.
- The smaller the goal, the easier it is, the less anxiety you’ll have. If your goal intimidated you, break it down and start with small tasks.
- Stay positive. You may fail to finish a task today, but tomorrow is another opportunity to try again.
Last, but certainly not the least – never let failure, fear, or anxiety stop you from achieving your personal goals!
Life is too short to be afraid of your own dreams. They’re yours to take and by making your personal goals attainable in the first place, you’re tripling your chances of success.
Like these tips on personal goals? Scroll down for more content like this!
"We love to research, examine, analyze, and present to you the best ideas that make life better. You can learn about our editorial standards here."
This article was proofread by Grammarly