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Conquering Stress! With Dr. Arlene — Not Planning Ahead Causes Stress

Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 – 5:21 PM

Dr. Arlene Barro

Can you articulate your goals? To achieve those goals, you will need a plan. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” I have observed that indecision is a common malady. For those who can make decisions, they are often wrong, resulting from wrong goals. Let us look at what is involved in determining the Right Fit goals for you. Implementing my Right Fit Method will set the stage for personal and professional success with minimal stress in 2017.

Making Decisions

Figuring out the Right Fit decisions is critical to establishing the Right Fit goals. To be successful in this endeavor, you will need to be honest with yourself. For example, if you are contemplating moving from one state to another, chat with yourself and determine if you really want to move. Executives are frequently asked to relocate. Some move and are miserable. Others, quickly determine that the location is the Wrong Fit, or they will never move. And then there are others who are eager to move. Thousands are downsized at the end of every year. Willingness to move could shorten the time to find the Right Fit job. Even in these situations, it is important to be honest with yourself. Do not go through extensive interviews and then decide you do not want to move. You will have wasted your valuable job searching time and that of the employer. Moreover, you will decrease your stress, if you are decisive from the outset. Indecision causes stress.

Overcoming Indecision

If you change the way you make decisions, you will become more decisive and reduce the risk of making the wrong decisions. Use my Right Fit Method, here is how it works: Create a written blueprint of the Right Fit for which you are searching. Perhaps it is a house or spouse. Specify exactly what you want. If you are planning to buy a house, include specific criteria including unique details that are important to you. Then, only look at those houses that match your blueprint. It is highly likely that you will have a short list of houses, if you narrowed the field with a highly detailed blueprint. Then, when you start looking at the houses, do not compare and contrast them. Instead ask, “Does the house that I want to buy match my blueprint?” If it does, buy it. Remember you are searching for the “Right Fit” not the “Best”. When you use my Right Fit Method daily, you will become more decisive. Fill your life with Right Fits and reduce your stress. To read more about indecision, refer to my column Indecision Causes Stress.

Establishing Goals

When you make decisions using blueprints, you are ready to establish goals. At the end of the year a lot of changes occur. Businesses open, businesses close, businesses merge. Employers hire, fire, and rehire.

In all of these situations there is a common goal: hit the ground running in 2017. To achieve the big goal, a long string of smaller goals must be created and completed. To succeed in this endeavor, you cannot have loose ends or errors of omission. If you do, then you could jeopardize reaching the big goal. Of course, some errors of omissions will have more impact than others. Avoid putting that to the test. Seek the advice of others to evaluate your list of goals and identify the loose ends. When you have a polished list of goals, you are ready to create your plan.

Planning Ahead

Visualize achieving each goal to determine the specific steps that you need to take to accomplish it. Depending on the complexity of the goals will determine how many steps you will need to take. Document each goal, the steps, and completion date. Be sure to assign dates and times on which you will do each step. If other people are working on this plan, list them as well. After you finish designing your plan, read through it and be sure it is achievable. Make the necessary adjustments. Now it is up to you to execute your plan. Refer to your plan several times a day and be sure that those daily tasks are on your agenda. You will be amazed how stress disappears with Right Fit planning.

I suggest wearing a wrist watch. Many of my clients stopped wearing watches and just refer to their phones. That may not be sufficient. If planning is difficult for you, I recommend a wrist watch and a clock. I use both. Staying focused on the passage of time is essential to successful planning and stress reduction. Start planning for 2017 now.

Share your successful planning stories with me. Email:

Dr. Arlene Barro, the creator of the Right Fit Method, is a UCLA-Trained behavioral educational psychologist. She is the author of WIN Without Competing!, talk show host, motivational speaker, behavioral strategist, and CEO. Her company, barro global search, inc., is on Wilshire Boulevard. Episodes of her radio show are available at

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