You know things don’t happen by themselves, that your plans, dreams, aspirations, bucket list items, things you’ve always wanted to do…don’t just happen by themselves.
Action is required. Your action.
At times of uncertainty, goals may be the furthest thing from your mind.
Like now, when the world seems at a standstill and COVID-19 is affecting communities, families, and individuals directly, it’s easy to think, what I want is not important right now.
Maybe your dreams and aspirations aren’t a matter of life and death, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important.
And if you take action now, you’ll be in a better position to reach your goals when the Coronavirus crisis is history.
Here are some things you can do now:
Set your goals.
Time goes and goes. Days turn to weeks and weeks to months and months to years…you get the idea.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but have never developed a plan for how to accomplish it, there’s a good chance it’s a wish and not a goal.
What makes it a goal?
- First, believe you can do it, even if it seems like it could never happen.
- Then accept the vulnerability that comes with that big goal.
- Next, and possibly most important, you must devise a plan to make it happen.
If you take those first steps toward your goals, you’re on your way. If not, it may be just a wish.
Goal or Wish?
I’ll give you an example of something I used to want to do, but only ever wished it, like a dream, and never made it a goal.
I used to, in a Walter Mitty kind of way, want to be a backup singer. I dreamed of doing the moves old school, like the Pips did for Gladys Knight.
Never did it. Probably never will, but OMG that would have been amazing.
Either because I didn’t think I could, didn’t know how I would, or just didn’t have the courage to make it real, without a plan to make it happen, being a backup singer stayed a wish for me, not a goal.
Now, the only backup singing gigs I have are in my mind as I dance and sing in my living room or on the occasional Karaoke night : )
Don’t let this be you!
Set your goals. It’s okay if they seem slightly out of reach, maybe even crazy and unattainable.
Then come up with a plan to make them happen.
If you’re not sure exactly what goals you want to set for yourself, you’re first step may be to dig deep and explore some ideas about what you’d like to do.
And try not to look at it as a test. There are no right or wrong answers and it’s okay if you start something and then find it’s not what you thought it would be. You’ve learned something in the process.
Have a plan to work toward your goals.
Don’t keep them all in your head. Write them down, post them someplace, come up with a plan to meet them, jot down incremental goals in your calendar.
Find whatever works to help you keep them at the forefront of your mind. Break the steps into small, attainable goals to keep you from being overwhelmed and giving up before you start.
Do what you can.
These days of social distancing and sheltering in place are not normal. You may not be able to do everything you normally would, but you can still do a lot.
Reach out to people who you trust and who may be able to help or advise you about how to move forward. You may find there’s a lot that’s out of your control, but even if you can’t do everything you’re used to doing, there’s still a lot you can do.
Approach with enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill once said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Think about it. Why would you want to work toward something you’re not excited about? When I was working on my first book, I had days when I felt not even an ounce of enthusiasm about what I was doing. Those were long and dark days, perfect for giving up.
What a different experience to approach with enthusiasm. I felt a greater sense of accomplishment when I met my daily goals, felt greater compassion toward myself and my work, knew I was in it for the long haul, and felt more determined to finish.
Doing these things:
- Setting goals
- Developing a plan
- Doing what you can
- Approaching with enthusiasm
are simple first steps you can take now to help you build momentum toward reaching your goals.
I don’t believe it’s End of Days. We’ll get through this uncertain time, but it’s a good reminder that none of us has forever to do what we always thought we would do.
Action is required. Do what you can now to move you closer to your goals.
Need some inspiration to get started on setting your goals? Check out If not now, when? on the blog.