Life goes on and as we adjust to a new way of being, you can use these 4 steps to reset your 2020 goals. Of course, it’s been an intense year so far but we are now over halfway through.
Remember back to January when we were all making plans for 2020? In fact, the year started with clever and hopeful idioms that 2020 would be a time of perfect vision. 20/20 vision – get it? In hindsight, it’s a good thing we didn’t know what faced us around the corner. But, here’s the thing.
Certainly, one of the challenges is the sense that our lives are on hold. That we are lingering in ‘neutral’ and the uncertainty makes it difficult to plan ahead. Yet, setting goals and planning for the future helps combat a sense of disorder and loss of control.
FLOWING WITH LIFE’S GOALS
Still, we need to remember that goals are not stagnant. They should flow within our lives and adapt to life’s hurdles. People often forget that part. On the other hand, intentions centre around how you want to feel in any area of your life and that doesn’t change.
Let’s take a closer look. The intention for your personal realm may be: “I will nurture quality relationships with family and friends”. The goals you set will feed that intention but you can revisit and adapt them as the year goes along. For example, your goals may be to take an overseas trip to visit friends or sit at the table for three family dinners every week. Or, to write a monthly letter to people that are special to you.
Consequently, if family dinners are too difficult or not fulfilling your intention, you can change the goal so it’ s fluid and meaningful.
There is a wave of despair and it’s tempting to give up on 2020. But, we are on this planet to live life and sometimes it doesn’t look like we expected. Still, it can be beautiful if we take stock and reload to achieve, celebrate and share.
In other words, all is not lost if we take the time to reflect on our original intentions for the year and adapt it to our new world. Here’s a guide with 4 steps to reset your 2020 goals.
THE 4Rs: A 4-STEP PROCESS
First, go back and review what you wanted to achieve in 2020. That may be specific goals you set out or it could very well be reflective thoughts of what you wanted to change. What were your hopes? How did you want to feel about the year? Either way, they meant something then and mean something now. However, you may have to change it up for this new reality. Likewise, some of your plans may not work anymore. So, let it go. Move on and ponder what else might bring achievement, joy or success.
Next, consider what has occurred over the last few months when the COVID curveball set you on a different path. What actually felt good? What don’t you want to change? There are messages there and you can choose your own life.
In fact, one of the most common things people learned during lockdown is what happens when we get off the spin cycle of a fast-paced life. In the same vein, when pause and focus on the things that mean the most. If that was your experience through this, now is the time to better understand what that slower lifestyle offered and weave it into your plans for the rest of the year.
Then, merge these reflections with the review of your original intentions for 2020. From there, move on to reload and reset.
Things look different now and the secret to salvaging the rest of 2020 is to blend the past with the present. So, that means focusing on short term and asking yourself the following questions.
- What is important in the short term? Of course, hold on to your longer-term objectives but refine this year’s goals into digestible pieces. Thus, you will create achievable ones to set you up for success when the future comes into clearer focus. Here’s an example. Your long-term goal is to launch an online course on business strategies by December 2020. However, that may not be realistic at the present time. Therefore, support that vision with this revised goal: “I will learn how to create, launch and pre-sell an online course over the next three months.”
- What can I do right now? Small steps may be all you can tackle at present. Everyone is dealing with unique challenges right now so practice self-compassion. What can you realistically do over the next month? Take an online course if you need more knowledge to achieve your goals. If clutter is holding you back, purge your office or organize your computer files. Tackle what you can.
- What do I need to be accountable? Accountability is a powerful force so ask for support. Tell some trusted friends or colleagues about your goals and set up a plan to share progress. Ask them to check in with you. Look into mentorship – either one-or-one or a group.
Finally, reset your 2020 goals based on your new circumstances. And, whatever you decide depends on many factors. Namely, the opportunity to alter your goals so they suit current emotional, financial and life situations. Adapting to your reality will keep you moving forward and that means working through your goal setting process again.
Some ideas. You may have to revise your budget to accommodate changes in income or costs. Or, your exercise routine looks different as you want to avoid the gym and work out at home. Moreover, if you are working from home longer term, your goal might be to create a more effective office set up.
Again, that’s where blending what you aspired to achieve at the beginning of 2020 with short term goals adapted to your current reality will help you put your energy and effort into what counts.
You’re all set with these 4 steps to reset your 2020 goals, so keep reading to arm yourself with rock-solid tips to reset the rest of the year.
READY, SET, GO
Indeed, the term ‘unprecedented’ perfectly describes the times we are navigating right now. And even under normal circumstances, people sometimes feel that if they aren’t doing something big, it isn’t worth doing. But, that’s untrue. Inaction only perpetuates resistance and missed opportunities. Conversely, baby steps are worth taking and will have an impact on you and those around you. The choice to give time and energy to simpler things and the whisper callings is completely fine.
Most importantly, we must all realize that everyone adapts differently and actions are unique. More than ever before, you may need a little help to adapt and progress. Sift through these tips and grab what you need.
Tip 1: Be social.
If you are fortunate to live in a place that is now encouraging expansion of your bubble, it’s time to get social.
Some people are jumping at the opportunity while others may struggle for any number of reasons. On one hand, it may sound strange to set this as a goal, but connection requires effort. Make time for conversations – even if only virtually. Go for social distanced walks with a friend. Get creative and start or attend online coworking sessions. Reach out to those that may still need support. We are not out of this yet.
Tip 2: Set personal goals injected with fun.
Goal setting is not all about business. Above all, weave in fun. At the beginning of this pandemic, people loved tackling jigsaw puzzles so why not set one up outdoors? Or, make a list of books that you want to read in the coming months. Learn a new language or a musical instrument. Author Gretchen Rubin recently shared these ideas to make summer feel like summer. After all, it may look different but Canada’s shortest season is still available to you.
Tip 3: Routine and rituals.
Consider what would make life calmer. What are the habits that support your well-being? Go to bed at a certain time. Take daily walks. Prep meals to encourage healthy eating. When life feels out of control or a bit off the rails, discipline around the things that we can control goes a long way.
Tip 4: Best practices for working from home.
It’s an acronym now – WFH. Indeed, people are discovering that it isn’t as easy or glamourous as they thought to work from home. Especially if you have other people in your house. Therefore, source out best practices to set healthy and productive habits for working from home. For instance, invest in an ergonomic workspace, stick to a routine or create strategies to combat loneliness.
Tip 5: Ask for help.
If you’re working from home, you’ll need support if you’re in it for the long haul. To illustrate, it could be hiring a house cleaner or organizing focused work time without kids. Similarly, connecting with a friend for mid-day walks so you get fresh air and time away from your desk.
Tune into what is draining you — be honest with yourself. And then get creative in asking for support. It is not a sign of weakness weeding out what is weighing on you.
Tip 6: Start – and finish – projects.
Time management guru Laura Vanderkam suggests starting and finishing a project in the next few months. At last, pull together that photo album or print up photos to frame. Learn a complicated new recipe and perfect it through practice. Paint the bathroom. When you see your project in the future, it will bring to mind this time, and the complex nature of life. Most importantly, it will foster a sense of pride that you rallied to achieve something good.
Tip 7: Don’t avoid the numbers.
It’s easy to bury your head in the sand and avoid financial struggles right now. For some, it feels hopeless as this pandemic has no end in sight. But, that will only worsen the situation.
Additionally, working from home isn’t as cost-effective as some thought it would be. Money magazine shared these ‘must-read’ tips to see where your money is going, and to try and find ways to save.
In the end, reviewing your budget may be a bit of dance but it will fortify you to take an honest look and revise accordingly.
Specifically, review your expenses and cut back where possible. Negotiate your bills with suppliers. Consider your spending habits. Likewise, curb online shopping habits. In fact, people are hitting that ‘complete purchase’ button at an alarming rate. In the initial stages of this pandemic, boredom was the primary motivator. And now, sneaky marketing has kicked in with brands putting more money into influencer marketing than ever before.
At any rate, there is no “right” or “wrong’ when it comes to making decisions about our money. We value different things and different things make us happy. One of my favorite financial mavens, The Fiscal Femme advises that to make decisions that are “right” for us, we want to be conscious, honest with ourselves and intentional.
Tip 8: Infuse Positivity.
Again, pulling from Laura Vanderkam, she highlights the need to fixate on the positive. Negativity bias is a well-known phenomenon in psychology and in fact, humans are hard-wired to dwell on the negative. These days, no one needs to look far to find bad stuff.
An annual poll conducted by American Psychological Association shows stress levels for spring 2020 were higher than the same time last year (5.4 versus 4.9 on a 10-point scale). As well, 46 percent of parents rated their coronavirus-related stress between eight and ten.
So, what works for you to move from negativity to positivity? Again, different for everyone. Some ideas: get outdoors, be mindful, journal. And, savor! Vanderkam’s article suggests, “savoring is the counterpart of coping.” In fact, psychological studies found that very happy people weren’t just happy, they noticed that they were happy.
Tip 9: Cut yourself some slack.
Oh, there are many layers to this one. Are you beating yourself up for not doing more during lockdown? Closet purging, bread baking or learning that new language? Or, you aren’t as productive as usual and have trouble focusing. But, here’s the thing. Standards we set for ourselves are ridiculously high and unhelpful too. Moreover, pandemic shaming doesn’t do any good.
Bottom line is that we’ve had to adapt our habits in a time of great uncertainty. Why does that matter? Because, humans rely on habits to make their lives easier and to reduce stress and tension. Our brains have had to figure out a lot of things we’ve never rehearsed before.
So, be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can. Some tried and true advice is to figure out what works for you and stop comparing. Namely, my top 3 things are: control social media and news consumption; keep a ‘to do’ list and commit to doing 3 things on it every week; don’t hide behind work and get outdoors for fun.
FOLLOW A PATH THAT WORKS FOR YOU
To sum up, these 4 steps to reset your goals for 2020 will guide you to make the most of the rest of the year. After all, there is still half the year to go! Plus, the nine top tips will nudge you to practice self-compassion and set you up for success.
Meanwhile, this pandemic has disrupted our lives but you can still adapt and succeed over the long-term. We will get through this.
YOUR TURN: Please take a moment and share one thing you can do to reset 2020. If you need any tools, resources or inspiration, let me know. I have a robust toolkit of goodies to share.