Lately, many people I come across are emotionally exhausted, and are exhibiting stress symptoms such as, panic attacks, constant colds, headaches and fatigue. These are ambitious people who are doing extraordinary things- taking a full load in college, working full time, and handling the responsibilities of family life. However, in time, a high price is paid for this extreme stress.

A client confided in me, " I don't know how much longer I can do this. I feel totally out of balance, I'm sick almost everyday, and I worry about meeting all of these deadlines. Is going to school worth it?"

Of course our goals are worth it. However, the methods we use to achieve our goals need to minimize stress and be evaluated from time to time, insuring our route to success is in concert with our life responsibilities. Otherwise, stress and frustration mounts, our health can suffer, and our loved ones can feel neglected. Here are a few ways to insure you're approaching your goals in a realistic way.

Cut out the Unnecessary

Step back and objectively view your day. What unnecessary activities can you limit or cut altogether?

TV watching? Time spent with negative friends? Time-wasting mental habits?

Protect your time and energy, and channel it toward your goals. You'll find yourself more productive and less distracted as you galvanize your time to serve your dreams. Occasionally, reassess how you are spending your time, and make adjustments.


Success is not success unless we recognize that our lives are composed of many aspects. Your friendships, hobbies, health, family, social and spiritual life deserves attention. Nurturing these aspects of your life brings balance, happiness and satisfaction.

Pastor Young reported to me. "When I went to seminary school, I got realistic. Afterall, I just got married and had other responsibilities. I decided to aim for a B in my classes. Yes, other students thought I was lazy for "going against the grain," but in my case, the strategy worked. It helped me keep the big picture in mind. I am not just a graduate student, but a husband, pastor, minister and friend. I got the degree and kept the rest of my life in balance."

Strive to attend to the other segments of your life, and you'll reduce stress and remain satisfied.

Mini Vacations

Relaxation and frequent breaks need to top your list of priorities. For every forty to fifty minutes of concentration on projects and activities, I take a ten minute "mini vacation." Doing something playful and relaxing is refreshing, and restores your energy. The trick is to find that activity that de-stresses you. Oftentimes, I play games on my cell phone, or socialize with friends in the next room. You can eat a snack, draw, do yoga, stretch, pray, read motivational material, play with your pet or doodle on the computer. Whatever restores your sanity do every hour.

Addressing Your Needs

It is easy to lose sight of ourselves as we are bombarded with the demands of life. Work deadlines, family emergencies and our overbooked schedules seem to demand immediate attention. However, you're at the epicenter of all of this activity, and it's vital you take care of your basic needs. If you forgo your needs, the consequences will scream----TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Are you:

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep?
Are you eating healthy meals and drinking water?
Are you taking frequent breaks to restore your sanity?
Can you delegate some tasks to others?
What activity can you put off until tomorrow?
Do you regularly exercise?
How do you unwind?

There are other questions you can add to the list. But the point is this, if you want to stay energized, sharp and productive take care of your needs. It's a must.

Respecting your Limitations

Angelica was a single mother with two kids who needed to finish her psychology program. I had a position, however, administrators hounded me to hurry and complete my program." Although I was pressured, I realized I had another important priority to consider -- staying involved in my children's lives. They needed me too.

Many of my younger peers were taking two and three classes a semester, but through trial and error, I realized one class per semester was my limit. I finished the program, a little later than my colleagues, plus retained my job. More importantly, I felt very proud that I did not sacrifice my family for this degree.

Understand your lifestyle needs. Are you married? Are you a mother? Or father? Are you under more stress than usual? Do you work full-time? Are you disabled? Think about your needs and priorities in life, and factor that into your unique path of success.

You can minimize your stress as you reach for your goals. Decide which activities you can eliminate or limit. Create balance in your schedule. Attend to all areas in your life. Schedule it if you must. Mini vacations will keep you fresh and restored. Know yourself well, and strategize how to reach your goals while respecting your lifestyle. Finally, remember self-care keeps you healthy so you can have the stamina and energy to reach your dreams. Success can be done YOUR way.


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Author's Bio: 

Rosalind Henderson is a speaker, author and Peak Performance expert. She is the director and founder of Life Keys Inc, a resource center dedicated to empowering individuals to live life on purpose and with passion. She has presented over 500 presentations to businesses, churches and college students across America. To book Rosalind for an event and/or to view her products contact her through