Setting Goals and Thriving During Hard Times
In January 2020, people were setting goals and planning their years, but those plans were interrupted. For many, they sat down to plan out their day or week and then the plans were thrown out the window with announcements of schools closing, employment transitions, and grocery store shelves emptying. As society started shutting down, lives turned a bit chaotic.
Luckily, the 90 day planner system is 25 years old and the goal system is great for coping with changes. There are always things that come up in life that throw off our plans. While it may not be a global pandemic, there are curve balls in life that require some adjusting. Sometimes it may look like job loss, health challenges, and even death of loved ones.
Something that the world has learned this year is how to adjust to new normal. Through goal setting and reflecting, we find our way to adjusting to a new normal when challenges arise.
Laying the Foundation
Life does not have to spiral out of control when changes come. Instead, you have been working to build a foundation to your life that can help propel you forward. If the progress you are making now is slower than before, that is okay. Adjusting is part of life and progress is still progress.
The 90-day planner is built for laying a foundation to everyday life. It is built on godly principles of responsibility, discipline, and service. The planner helps set goals and plan out 90 days, but that has always been based off what you think will happen in that time. When disruptions come, you can stay the course with your goals.
Living your life in a goal setting pattern is a great foundation to lay for your everyday life. If the changes are big, make some small adjustments to your day or goals and keep going. Keep the momentum going and find the time to make yourself better.
Trusting What You Know
While many people are self-proclaimed experts in social media, we must learn who we can trust. Businesses are built off monetizing people in their weak moments. In the pandemic, we have seen people rise to being “experts” at public health, mental health, and money management. Some come from a place of genuine concern while others are taking advantage of the situation. The same is true with personal problems- they try to take advantage of people in weak situations.
As people look for leaders to help get them through a crisis, we know that we must trust God. He knows us and what we can do with our lives. Listen to your guiding voice as you move forward into the unknown. Instead of beating yourself up for not pivoting faster and adjusting to changes, honor that you needed time to sit on the couch and binge watch a show all week. You are never alone and have more potential than you know.
Repeat what you do know. If morning meditation has been a great way to start your day in the past, start it up again. Changing circumstances can create chaos in personal lives, so do the things that work for you to create a place of stability.
Stop and Evaluate
Sometimes God allows problems and challenges into our lives to bring us to be still and reprioritize our lives. Some questions you can ask yourself are:
- What has changed?
- What am I happy about having gone in my life?
- What is gone that I am missing?
- What needs re-designing in my life?
- What is within my control?
- What is not controllable?
After reflecting on these questions, you can start making a list of goals you want to accomplish. Just because a normal schedule or daily habits are different does not mean you are failing. Instead, view this an opportunity to start fresh and a chance to create the life you want.
Make a Plan
The evaluation phase gives clarity to life’s priorities and a vision of what you want your life to look like. God did not create things by accident, he had a plan! If you want your life to change, you should have a clear picture to visualize. Making changes is just an accumulation of small, daily choices today, tomorrow, and every day after. To pick great goals, consider picking ones that push you out of your comfort zone. Some areas for goals include:
- Your home: Create and cultivate beauty through smells, lighting, and sounds. Restore order by creating safe, uncluttered spaces.
- Prioritizing health: Focus on having a healthy mind and body. For your body, think about proper hydration, supplements, gut health, vitamins, exercising, and getting proper sleep. Mind health goals should include quality quiet time, reading, prayer, meditation, and limited screen time.
- Relationships: Spend quality time with your spouse, children, family, friends, work colleagues, teams, and organizations.
Create a plan that includes timing. Frame your day with intent in your daily planner, including ½ hour scheduling. Involve making choices over things you can control and learn to accept the things you cannot. God is in control and we need to focus on trusting him and making good choices where we can. Bring your best face forward and always remember that you should do what you can, wherever you are, every day.
Create the Life You Want
Now that you have had time to really evaluate your foundation, goals, and life plan, it is time to step into your purpose. Think about your outcome and frame your day to start with visualizing what yourself being successful. When we focus our thoughts through the day, we make better use of our time and our prayers become more purposeful at night.
There are three specific tips that people who thrive in life know.
First, remember that you are a role model. While no one ever feels like a role model, you are one! If you live your life with intention, knowing you are setting an example for others, you will be inspired to live up to that role. Families, friends, and associations are noticing when you rise up and lead. Embrace the new normal in every situation and show how to push through challenges.
Second, reaffirm your commitment to being a learner. People who are committed learners know that when their day does not go as planned, they can learn from the experience and try to do better the next day. Life is a great teacher and God is trying to get us to learn. If we can commit to approaching life’s lesson as a learner, we can accept that we do not have all the answers already.
Third is to always be grateful. Gratitude can shift your mindset to be open to God and the blessings in your life. Being grateful looks like acknowledging what you have instead of focusing on what you do not have in life. Gratitude can help improve focus by showing what truly matters and setting appropriate priorities. A guided journal can be helpful with this tip.
Better days are ahead. Move forward in optimism and use this time to make yourself stronger. If you want tools to help you create change, look at the various planners and videos from Pamela Shaw. Have faith that you can create real change as you embark on your new life adventure.