How to Achieve Anything You Want - One Day at a Time

Goals, goals, goals… yes, they can be fulfilling. Achieving our goals can help us feel like we’re progressing and moving forward in our lives. And yet, they can be oh-so-overwhelming and scary. In some cases, we’re motivated to achieve our goals because they scare us. We don’t want to play it safe. We want to reach higher, do better, achieve more.

So what happens when you have a competing mix of anxiety and ambition?

Well, first of all, if you’re anything like me you probably have a weekly panic attack and/or existential crisis. It’s great to have a goal that pushes you to achieve more - but it’s not good when you’re so overwhelmed that you feel debilitated. In these cases, you have an interesting challenge. How do you balance ambition with high-stress levels and an anxiously wired brain?

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It’s something that’s constantly on my mind. As someone with frequent anxiety attacks and levels of full body anxiety so high that I experience derealization almost constantly, it would be tempting to play it safe. Why wouldn’t I make the goals easy so that I can reach them with ease and (presumably) less stress?

Because playing it safe has no appeal to me.

I have a theory that with anxiety also comes ambition. When I’m not achieving, I’m restless. When I’m restless, my body is tense. I feel shaky. My mind is off in a million other places than where it should be - the present.

This is why whenever I have a goal I want to achieve, I break it down into a daily task. The power of setting your dailies is absolutely magical.

For example, one of my constant goals is to reduce my anxiety and derealization sensations. When I start to think about this goal in broad, general terms, it gets really scary. Looping thought patterns make me feel as though it’s too big of an ask, or that it’ll take too long to get where I want to go. These are all thoughts that can lead to an eventual feeling of hopelessness. That’s what we want to avoid! Let’s put hopelessness back on the shelf and leave it there forever, okay? Okay.

If I break it down into dailies, it’s more manageable. Every single day that I complete my daily task, my mind is at rest. It’s like my brain lets out a giant SIGH and thanks me for taking that small step towards the goal. My brain is basically all like, “Thanks, Liz. Now that you’ve written half of a blog post, we can stop sending panic signals throughout your entire body.”

If we’re getting specific… some dailies for my reduction of anxiety goal have been:

  • 5 -minute mindfulness meditation

  • Relaxing exercise like walking or yoga

  • Journaling

I never introduce more than one daily at a time. Rather, I introduce them one at a time… if that first daily is fully integrated into my routine at a certain point, it’s then that I’ll move onto introducing the next.

If I’m moving forward, then I don’t have to worry about the lack of forward movement. The less I give myself to worry about, the better.

And if I slip up one day? Ah, whatever. It sucks to lose the streak, but it’s just back to the daily the next day.

How do I track my dailies?

I’m so glad you asked! I love to talk about my favorite methods for to-do tracking. I am a Virgo, after all.

For an all-in-one awesome platform with desktop and mobile compatibilities, I recommend Todoist.

For a super fun tracker that game-ifies your daily to-do list, I recommend Habitica.

For the analog guy or gal, I recommend using a Bullet Journal. (My favorite journal for bullet journaling is the Moleskine with squared pages.)

What are your favorite methods for achieving your goals?

Let me know in the comments below.


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