Where do you see yourself on December 31, 2020?
In this time of social distancing, working from home, religiously sanitizing, and having more time on our hands than we had anticipated, this is a question more of us should consider. At the beginning of the year, we were all set with goals and resolutions that would see us develop personally, and professionally. Then COVID - 19 Pandemic hit. How can we still stay on course? Here are a few ideas.
1. Revisit and Establish your goals
Let's face it. When setting our annual goals and resolution, the impact of the global pandemic was not a consideration. Yet, here we are. Maybe traveling to a new destination was top of your goals for 2020. COCID - 19 has forced the world to slow down and people to spend more time at home. This is a great time to revisit and reflect on our goals and priorities and make much-needed adjustments on our short term and long term goals.
Simply by changing the look and feel of your environment, you can be able to think much more clearly and outside the box as you revisit your goals and priorities. Next, make targeted decisions regarding what you want to work towards, both personally and professionally, and prioritize those goals. Setting and tackling smaller goals along the way will be a key motivator to reaching the bigger long term goals.
2. Record Your Goals
A great way to remain motivated is to write down your goals, either typed, but most often written down on a paper. Choose the organizational tools that suit your lifestyle and personality, so that you can frequently refer to them throughout the year. My personal favorites are the Google Keep Notes coupled with this Hard Cover itemized Power Planner. There are countless other resources, from phone applications tp whiteboards, that you can use to organize your tasks, goals, and even random thoughts.
Once you have the right device, be sure to record your goals with as much detail as possible. The more specific you get, the more likely you are to implement and review them later. Often writing down your thoughts will help determine whether they are practical and achievable. I personally find it quite helpful to even record my own thoughts using the phone voice recorder and replay the same afterward, just to sort through my thought process. Is this something that could work for you?
3. Research and create Distinct, Attainable Tasks
Whatever you write down needs to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Annual goals cannot be achieved without working towards them every day, week, month, and quarter. Determine exactly which steps are necessary to achieve your larger, end-of-year goals using the internet, books, and conversations with others. Just remember, to be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses when crafting your individual plan and be wary of information overload.
To track your goals, identify smaller, attainable items that will result in reaching your overall goal. This will make it easier to gradually reach up to your goals. Doesn't it make you happy to tick one or two items off your to-do list every day?
4. Get an accountability partner.
There's an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. To be truly successful, you must hold yourself accountable for completing the set down tasks. This may not be an easy feat especially when working at home, given family and work obligations. Priorities easily get lost in the chaos when retreating behind a computer screen. A best practice is to share your new goals and action items with others. Verbalizing your goals to another person further incentivizes you to keep going, stay committed, and inspire others to set and/or renew their goals.
Identify an accountability partner to help keep you on track. This does not have to be someone who has deep insight into your professional or personal life. As long as they are able to listen to your goals and ask about your progress, it will work. These types of relationships usually work well when they are mutually beneficial, so consider how you can be a resource for your accountability partner as well.
5. Keep Going, One Day at a Time
Accomplishing the big goals you have set for yourself is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes you may not be able to achieve some of the smaller tasks, and that is okay. Do not get discouraged. Circumstances beyond your control will occur, like the COVID - 19 Pandemic, and you may occasionally get derailed from your goals. However, carefully and thoughtfully crafting your priorities, goals, attainable tasks, and action items, as well as selecting a reliable accountability partner will greatly increase your chances of success.
Staying healthy and balanced will prove invaluable in having the energy and drive to push you to achieve your goals.
Before you know it, it shall be December 31, 2020, and you will be looking back and celebrating your accomplishments. You will be grateful for investing your time and resources to clearly think through, research, and organize your goals. You will be ready to see what you can improve on in the comping year.
Challenges have the rare ability to bring out the best in us, so let's take thee COVID 19 Pandemic circumstances into a strategic opportunity to position ourselves for success.