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Wellness

Committing to your goals despite stress

In today's world, distractions are endless. The constant hustle and bustle of the world and daily life can be more than something that captures your attention for five minutes. The to-do list grows as the will to get things done dwindles, so how do we combat this issue? Fighting the endless struggle against motivation and sticking to goals we create? The answer is not as simple as we wish and requires a new level of self-discipline. 

While in school, the ease of turning in assignments or making the due date is easier to achieve. Notice it's easier, not easy. Multitasking and balancing school, social life, and work can quickly become overwhelming. This does not mean impossible. The harder the hike, the more beautiful the view. Or something like that, right? 

Personally, a to-do list and a good planner are two of the only things I need to be able to create a schedule for a week and usually stick to it. But long-term goals are different. They are harder to maintain and to really commit to, and this is why a new level of self-discipline must be created.

The first thing to establish before putting the weight of the world on your shoulders and taking on more than you can handle is what your goal is. The biggest part of this entire commitment is figuring out what exactly you're committing to! A goal can be anything from saving “x” amount of money before summer or getting all As for a semester. Notice, for both of these examples, there is a time limit or end goal date. Setting a deadline is the second step to success and maintaining motivation throughout your goal. Knowing you have three months to complete something can increase motivation and incentive to achieve it. 

The next aspect of this journey is learning how not to let stress and other obstacles distract you from achieving your end goal. At the end of the day, having ways to alleviate forms of stress that might pose a challenge to success can ultimately increase motivation. Ways to do this might be working out, journaling, or participating in a dance party in your living room. Whatever it might be, from managing your time and planning accordingly to getting the things on your to-do list checked off, can greatly increase your motivation to finish said tasks. 

Ultimately, you have a decision. When you make a goal, you can decide to achieve it or let it fall through the cracks. Although it might be easier said than done, really committing to yourself takes time, energy, and willpower. For some, it can be a to-do list, for others, a calendar or reminders on your phone. Putting in the work and effort to achieve what you desire takes the desire to achieve. Staying motivated despite stress can be dealt with in one of two ways: overcome it or let it eat you alive. Although this sounds very intimidating, stress can be a motivator or a detonator, but it is up to you as the goal setter to decide which one it is for you. Staying hungry and persistent throughout your process will ultimately result in success — it's just how self-disciplined you can be. 

Committing to your goals despite stress finding its way into your life can be a difficult task, but committing to yourself and eventually achieving your goals will ultimately be beyond satisfying. Sitting with yourself and achieving goals (along with other things) is one of the best ways to develop your character and continue to grow as an individual. Success can be hard to achieve, but the view from the top is worth it all.

Jackie Ailstock

George Mason University '23

Hey! my name is Jackie! I'm a junior studying Global Affairs at Mason! I love being outside and being active. Also always down for a spontaneous road trip!
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