I don’t know about you, but more often than not, I find myself uselessly rushing around like Miracle Mike, the chicken that lived 18 months with its head cut off! And I don’t like the feeling—not one bit! The minute I accept I’m out of control, it’s time for a gut check: Nancy, what’s the most significant issue causing me to overstress right now?

Perhaps, you’re shaking your head arguing: Nancy, the world is crazy for all of us. You don’t get it. You need to adjust and get accustomed to it if you want to be successful.

There is little doubt all of this is true. I recognize companies today expect employees to achieve more with fewer resources than ever before. Yes, everybody is overwhelmed as they live in a 24/7 work zone. But does it have to be this way?

Capitulating, when faced with overwork and overstress, isn’t the answer for me. It should never be a long-term option for anyone.

More often than not, when you look at the root cause, you’ll bump smack dab into yourself. You discover you’re the one producing the pressure because you want to look good or you haven’t found your no, yet, rather than any external force you’ve been blaming.

You see, acting as though all the locus of control is outside yourself doesn’t solve a single thing. Additionally, any harmful, inner dialogue mires you. It only perpetuates being stuck right where you are! Conversely, investigating solutions and engaging in changed action will reduce or eliminate the issue. It’s your decision whether you live as your external circumstances decrees or reframe the situation to be more workable for you.

Are you solution-driven, or are you enshrining yourself in the same old, same old? You have the wherewithal to shift not only your perspective but also the situation should you choose.

Okay, let’s return to my original question, remember: What’s the most significant issue causing me to overstress right now?

Let’s take a quick look at the A.I.M. reinvention master plan.

Asking a question helps you spot the problem. Once pinpointed, you progress to the next step by putting into practice ways around-and-out of overload.


As An Example: Let’s say interruptions are the hindrance my question surfaces for me. They’re what I resolve to stop (The Target)—no kidding! Now imagine, fully embracing what you’ll gain once your new behavior is in place (The Results).


Specifically, define the problem and what activities you’ll take on to enhance your experience. In the case of interruptions, you’re in a time-sucking vortex you can’t seem to eliminate. Next, what system do you intend to create as well as all the factors required for achieving a positive outcome? (Example: Create an interruption log to isolate where breakdowns reveal time disturbers. Then design a process just as you would any other system failure.)


Audit your new actions for 63 days (Contemporary research indicates that’s how long it takes for new habits to take root and become integrated.). These improvement steps necessitate consistent tracking to determine you’re now aligned with your intended results. If the changes you initiated don’t bring about the results you expect (Freeing up time to eliminate overstress.), reset and begin the process again.

It’s easy, and yet, it requires commitment, perseverance, and attention, that is, if you want to free up time to do what’s important to you. Without this ability to convert external barriers into internal A.I.M. actions, you’ll discover your circumstances always own you.

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