Goals and The COVID 19 Pandemic
On January 1, 2020 did you have a list of goals for 2020. Were you excited about the promise of a new year and a new opportunity? Was this the year you were going to finally ……….?
I suspect that if you are like most people some of those goals were already at risk before COVID 19 changed our world in March. For essential workers, it increased their hours, their feelings of being at risk, and their stress levels.
For others they were suddenly thrust into the role of a homeschooling teacher. I loved the comment of one child, when asked about his teacher, replied that he really wanted a different teacher the next year (sorry mom).
For some there was the challenge of adjusting to telecommuting, and for others it was the challenge being unemployed with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
None of these things were anticipated when we optimistically created that list on “2020 Goals”.
Reality Check #1 – Some of Those Goals were the Wrong Goals!
Was at least one of your goals something you should do?
- I should lose 20 pounds
- I should start an exercise program
- I should get at least 7 hours of sleep every night
When you set that goal you probably phrased it in an affirmative manner and may have added a timeline and more details.
- I will lose 20 pounds by June 1 by cutting sugar out of my diet
- I will start walking 4 mornings a week. I will start by walking 3,000 steps and increase it by 1000 steps each week until I am walking 10,000 steps 4 mornings a week by March 1.
- Starting today I will shut down electronics by 10 pm and be in bed before 11 pm. That will guarantee 7 hours of sleep before my alarm goes off at 6 am.
The second set of goals meets the generally accepted criteria. They are specific. They have details. They have a time frame. They are stated in an affirmative manner.
The chances of them happening and being sustainable had probably already gone out of the window before COVID 19 ever hit. These are admirable goals but they represent things you believe you should do. They are not attached to a powerful why. Only a powerful why will propel action. To learn more about the Power of Why CLICK HERE
So let’s try this again.
- I will lose 20 pounds by June 1 by cutting out sugar so that when summer comes, I will have the energy and the stamina to play at the beach with my grandson, not just in a beach chair and watch him.
- I will start walking 4 mornings a week. I will start by walking 3,000 steps and increase it by 1000 steps each week until I am walking 10,000 steps 4 mornings a week by March 1. I have tickets to fly to Italy in April. Walking the ancient streets of Rome, Florence and Pompeii has been a life long dream. It is important to me to be able to enjoy everything I have looked forward to for so long, and not be huffing and puffing while looking for the nearest bench.
- Starting today I will shut down electronics by 10 pm and be in bed before 11 pm. That will guarantee 7 hours of sleep before my alarm goes off at 6 am. I just feel better, function better and am happier when I have 7 hours of sleep. I only have one life and want it to be the best life it can be.
Do you see the difference? One caveat. These “whys” must be real. If you simply make them up because it sounds good or someone said you needed to attach a why….it won’t work. They must be authentic.
Reality Check #2 – Goals with a Powerful Why Attached is Not Enough
You need a plan. Think of your goals like a flight of stairs. Your goal is to climb the stairs and reach the landing (where there may be another flight of stairs that is not yet in your line of sight). You can see the landing at the top of the flight of stairs. Your eye is fixed on your destination.
Each step represents the achievement of an incremental goal. Each step needs it’s why. Each day needs an action plan to help you up that step. Each day must close with a personal accountability interview. How did your action plan go? Did you keep your commitment to yourself and do what you said you would do?
The magic bullet in achieving your goals lies in
- Choosing the right goals that are anchored to your soul with a heartfelt why
- Having a plan
- Keeping commitments to yourself
Reality Check #3 – What Does COVID 19 Have to Do with Achieving My Goals in 2020?
COVID disrupted our lives. It disrupted our routines. Even if we did everything right going into March, COVID 19 changed everything from that point forward.
- Maybe less time disrupted your well-established routine
- Maybe the stress of everyone being together 24/7 resulted in you hunkering down in survival mode
- Maybe you had time to ponder on your goals and you realized that was not the path you really wanted to be on.
June is a pivotal month in 2020. Things are starting to open up. We are beginning to get an idea of what a new normal may look like. This is the perfect time to sit and ponder what you wrote in January. Is it time to recommit and move forward? Is it time to tear up what you wrote and start again? Bottom line it really doesn’t matter. What matters is your commitment to yourself to make 2020 a great year of progress. Then define what that looks like. Next do whatever is necessary to make it happen.
Here is a link to 30 great quotes on goals.
Ponder on 1 a day for a month. As you begin to internalize the power of goals you will crave the satisfaction that comes from setting and achieving goals. You will feel the excitement of your dreams becoming your reality.
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