Putting his ideas down on paper

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It’s easy to be pulled in multiple directions when you want to win. Unfortunately, if you embark on too many goals at once, your comeup—after years of toil— may actually be a Pyrrhic victory. According to a new study released by the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, pursuing more than one goal at a time can cause extreme stress. Is success worth your mental and physical health?

It’s not a fluke.

Researchers surveyed 200 young adults and discovered inter-goal conflict (the pursuit of more than one career objective at a time) was connected to anxious and depressive symptoms. Experts contend that only highly functioning individuals can manage the stress associated with organizing and delineating tasks that ensure goal mastery without sacrificing success in one area for another. That doesn’t mean you should abandon your pursuit of a few big wins. Your strategy is everything. Here are some things to consider.

Create a Short and Long Term Goals List

Instead of tackling all of your goals at one time, create a list of objectives you want to accomplish and categorize them with time as benchmarks, such as 12 months, two years, five years and beyond. This will help you organize your time and determine where you should invest your energy.

Create and Update Actions Steps Quarterly

Planning is paramount when it comes to success. Once you identify your goals, you can create actions steps that have tangible results. Best of all, these to-do lists help you stay on track to meet your deadlines.

Be Steady, But Flexible

Interests change. Opportunities arise. Keep your momentum and move forward but be open to re-working timelines and goals to make sure they accurately reflect your growth and updated wants.

Develop Stress Management Techniques

Regardless of how much you plan, there will be moments when you are stressed, doubtful or anxious. How will you handle this? Understand the healthy coping mechanisms that work best for you when it’s time to shift anxiety and release negative energy. Avoid using maladaptive coping mechanisms such as overspending, drinking alcohol, or indulging in drugs or sex to deal with stress. They will only compound the issue.