Revisiting Your Goals for 2020
Depending on your state’s current Stay at Home Order, today may still feel like Groundhog Day. The recent events involving the Coronavirus have altered how many of us think and plan for the future. So how do you set personal goals in a time where life is changing by the week? Whether your state has been open for a few months or just a week, going back to “normal” is highly unlikely. Some of the goals that you set in either December or January may not matter to you anymore – so it’s time to pay them a visit.
Give Time for Reflection
You can’t move forward with improving yourself without creating a plan of where you want to go. Goals can bring you renewed purpose, which is necessary during an unsettling time like COVID. Whether you feel like you’re thriving or not during this unique worldwide pandemic, setting goals (ahem, or re-setting goals) for yourself is something you can focus on that is all about you.
Specify Your Dreams
Be explicit about your goals, and don’t be afraid to write down exactly what you want to achieve. As we step into what is now our “new normal” and businesses get back up and running, think about what lifestyle you’ll need – and want – to lead to achieve your plans. Perhaps you made some realizations during quarantine and want to make some life changes. Now is the time to establish what ‘normal’ looks like for you today and in the future. You may decide to take on an online course, improve your health, or make it your goal to slow your pace of life and not return to the fury of constantly ‘doing.’
In the beginning, a simple goal for you might be to continue taking a walk outside every day as you did in quarantine. Before COVID started, this may have never happened often due to the long hours you worked. Sometimes, simple goals are the hardest because they don’t require much focus to complete. Challenge yourself to think about how you are going to work them back into your current schedule.
You may consider a growth goal for the rest of 2020. While in quarantine, you may have considered making a career change, and therefore, will need to pivot on your original 2020 goals and where you envisioned yourself being today. Now is the perfect time to reflect on what you want from your day-to-day life and career aspirations.
By spending more time at home and not commuting, there may have been more freedom in your schedule to concentrate on the activities that you have always wanted to try if you had more time. Realizing what you want to accomplish is the first step to making them a reality. Whether you want to take up a hobby, plant a garden, or read a particular book, jot down your personal goals in a list. The time you will spend investing in yourself is time well spent. Refer to your list whenever you want to try something new.
During such an unsettling time, develop just a few goals for yourself. Let this list be concise and focus two or three things you would like to accomplish throughout the remainder of 2020. Not everything is achievable at the moment due to COVID-related restrictions, so take time to really plan out the steps you’ll need to achieve your dreams.
Create a Schedule
Having a timeline can help you stay productive and creating a schedule gives you a tool to hold yourself accountable. Look at your long-term goals and see if you can turn them into micro-goals. Then, set a deadline for when you want to achieve each step. By having smaller goals, you can be realistic with both your time and knowing what you can accomplish. Give yourself grace if everything does not get done according to plan. If that happens, reset and try working on your goal again later.
More than ever, when focusing on your goals, it is easy to turn to social media or other nonwork-related sites and become distracted for hours. Times are different when working from home, and there are tools to help you stay productive. Consider adding in a website blocker such as Cold Turkey, Freedom or Focus@Will, or create an accountability journal.
It’s Okay To Pivot
No matter what we thought 2020 was going to look like, today is vastly different from what anyone planned in January. The COVID outbreak is not just happening to you or only to your community or even your country – but to the whole world. You may find that the goals you were working towards in the early part of 2020 are no longer what you would like to achieve.
Only you know what your current mindset is during COVID and what you have the bandwidth to accomplish. For some, setting intentions can provide comfort and structure in a world that is uncertain. Think about what is doable, perhaps online and while at home, and refocus your goals. Enjoy the satisfaction of crossing them off your list as it brings you a sense of accomplishment.