The Stress in Goal Setting

stress goal

In the last post, I talked about the Goal Setting Stress. What I did not describe for you is how I was using stress as it relates to goal setting. In this blog, I will connect the two for you. According to Psychology Today, stress is a reaction to a stimulus (in this case goal setting) that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium.

In the case of goal setting, a person is either moving towards a goal or away from the goal. The fact that it is a goal means it is different from the current reality. If the goal is perceived to be a contradiction to the current reality, then cognitive dissonance occurs. In the explanation, cognitive dissonance is defined as stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs or ideas at the same time. Here cognitive dissonance is the stimulus, and stress is the reaction to the discomfort between the current reality and goal. The stress in goal setting is the reaction to two or more contradiction that can occur in goal setting.

Here is an example, you want a new position that requires additional education. Your goal is to enroll in college next semester. However, your current schedule does not allow you to take day or evening classes on campus. To be successful you would like to take classes on campus, because you learn better when there is face to face interaction. The goal setting stress here is the current reality and the goal of enrolling in college work against each other.

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to focus on how to reduce goal setting stress to achieve a goal when intention along is not enough. According to Heartmath, here is a Quick Coherence tip to help relieve stress and the fight or flight response.

Step 1: Heart Focus. Focus your attention on the area around your heart, the area in the center of your chest. If you prefer, the first couple of times you try it, place your hand over the center of your chest to help keep your attention in the heart area.

Step 2: Heart Breathing. Breathe deeply, but normally, and imagine that your breath is coming in and going out through your heart area. Continue breathing with ease until you find a natural inner rhythm that feels good to you.

Step 3: Heart Feeling. As you maintain your heart focus and heart breathing, activate a positive feeling. Recall a positive feeling, a time when you felt good inside, and try to re-experience the feeling. One of the easiest ways to generate a positive, heart-based feeling is to remember a special place you’ve been to or the love you feel for a close friend or family member or treasured pet. This is the most important step.

Aside | This entry was posted in Emotional Resilience, Goal Setting Tips, Leadership, Stress Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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