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1 Oct 2021

How to use personal goals to help navigate uncertainty

The first step is to take control of what you can control.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to mess with the world, we asked business coach Joseph James for some guidance on how to adapt to our new normal.
One of the challenges of this global pandemic is that there’s a lot of things that are beyond our control. What are some techniques or tools we can use to try and avoid feeling overwhelmed by that sense of not being in control?
Focus on things that ARE within your control. What daily habits can you cultivate that are in line with your goals? What projects can you pick back up? Maybe it’s writing a book, starting a podcast or finishing your online store. All of those things are within your control.
During the first lockdown in the UK, I launched an online school based on my courses, MMS Academy.
Vision boards are also an amazing way to shift your focus onto things that you do want.
What goal can you take action on starting today?
We often associate goal-setting with the start of the year, something that’s limited to New Year’s Resolutions – can we set goals at any time?
I really don’t endorse the phrase “New Year’s resolutions” as I think it has a lot of expectation attached to it and often comes from a place of focusing on things that we “should” doing.
Goals and intentions are a gift that you can give to yourself at any time that is meaningful for you. I like to set goals for each quarter of the year and then break those down into monthly goals.
If I want to try and set some goals to give myself a road-map for the months ahead, how do I go about it?
I teach this in MMS Academy and with my private clients.
Start by making goal setting a special occasion for yourself. Set some time aside, create a nice environment for yourself.
Next, get clear on what an exciting goal looks like for you. Not something that you think you should be wanting or something you’ve been told to, but something that is authentic and genuine for you.
Once you’ve gotten clear on that, spend some time mapping out these 3 things:
Daily habits to support that goal
Mindset shifts that you need to make to achieve your goal
Support & accountability to keep you moving forward.
It seems difficult to set financial goals when there’s so much uncertainty about the economic outlook?
That’s why we need strong money goals more than ever. Setting goals is a way of getting into a proactive role in your own life.
The next 6 months are going to pass by whatever we choose to do in that time, so we can choose to stay in uncertainty or we can choose to focus on taking a proactive approach.
How do we build financial goals that can be adapted to a changing economy?
By adapting your offers to suit peoples needs at this time. Some examples are:
Stylists can put together a package for looking your best on Zoom interviews or presentations.
Personal trainers can create workouts designed to be done at home with little or no equipment.
A therapist or relationship coach could launch a package that focuses on couples who are both working from home.
I teach how to create online packages in MMS Academy or you can listen to my podcast for lots of tips around things like this.
The main thing to do is make your offers adaptable and use language that speaks to people’s needs at this time.
What’s the best way to monitor progress against our goals? How do we know if we’re being successful?
The way I teach goal setting is to firstly make sure that the goal is exciting and authentic for you, something that genuinely makes you feel really happy when you think about it, rather than goals you think you “should” have.
The best way to monitor your progress with your goals is to set dates and amounts. What do you want to get done by a certain date? If it’s a financial goal, how much money do you want to make form that project? Dates and amounts are excellent ways of monitoring and seeing where you can adjust.
Should we be rewarding or punishing ourselves for goals that are met or goals that we’ve failed to meet?
Treat yourself as you would treat someone that you love the most in the world. When you achieve a goal, celebrate in a way that’s meaningful for you, look back to see what factors played a part in it. Something my coach says to me is “Success always leaves clues”
When you don’t achieve the goal you set for yourself, reframe any feelings of failure into feelings of having gained experience and lessons that you can apply next time. You can always unpack a situation and see where you can adjust and improve but never punish yourself.

Wherever you are in the world, there's still a lot of uncertainty to contend with as we try and navigate this new normal.

Here's some tips on how we can all try to adapt, survive, and thrive.

Take control over what you can control

One of the challenges of major events such as the Covid-19 pandemic is that there’s a lot of things that are beyond our control. That can be really overwhelming and leave you feeling like you have no agency in what's going on around you.

The first step is to focus on the things that are within your control.

What daily habits can you cultivate that are in line with your goals? What projects can you pick back up? Maybe it’s writing a book, starting a podcast or finishing your online store. All of those things are within your control.

Vision boards are also an amazing way to shift your focus onto things that you do want - it helps you focus on the steps you can take to try and build some momentum in the direction you want to take.

Goals can be set and updated at any time

We often associate goal-setting with the start of the year, something that’s limited to New Year’s Resolutions. But we don't need to be bound by milestone dates such as the new year - goal-setting is an ongoing process.

Goals and intentions are a gift that you can give to yourself at any time that is meaningful for you. It's good to set some time-parameters or deadlines around the goals that you're setting yourself, but ensure that they're timelines that make sense to you and your goals.

How to set goals

Start by making goal setting a special occasion for yourself. Set some time aside, create a nice environment for yourself.

Next, get clear on what an exciting goal looks like for you. Not something that you think you should be wanting or something you’ve been told to, but something that is authentic and genuine for you.

Once you’ve gotten clear on that, spend some time mapping out these 3 things:

  • Daily habits to support that goal.
  • Mindset shifts that you need to make to achieve your goal.
  • Support and accountability required to keep you moving forward.

Setting financial goals in an uncertain economy

An uncertain economic outlook can make it seem difficult to make financial plans or stick to your financial goals. However, goal-setting is a way to help you navigate the uncertainty.

Time passes whether you've set yourself some goals or not. Being proactive and focusing on the direction that you want to be heading can help to boost your resilience and identify useful opportunities.

Operating in an uncertain or fluid context probably means that you need to revisit, adjust and update your financial goals on a regular basis. If there's new information available, then your goals need to reflect that.

Tracking your progress

Creating some structure and discipline for yourself is a really effetctive way of ensuring that you are making progress towards achieving the goals that you've set yourself. 

Goals might start as a bit of blue-sky thinking or an aspiration day-dream, but you've got to start mapping out actions, deadlines, measures if you want to understand the What and How that need to be tackled in order to make your goals a reality.

Celebrate success

When you achieve a goal, celebrate in a way that’s meaningful for you. It's also important to reflect on the factors that enabled you to achieve that goal - what worked? Can you do more of that? Can you translate those lessons into other goals?

It's also important not to be too hard on yourself. If you haven't achieved a goal within the timeframe that you set for yourself, that's not a failure - it just means that something didn't quite go to plan. Take the time to try and understand what didn't work - learn those lessons and adjust your goals accordingly.

Reader's Comments

1. 2021-10-02 12:51
China to ban video games promoting 'effeminate males,' gay relationships, report says

See

https://www.arcamax.com/currentnews/newsheadlines/s-2575114
Comment edited on 2021-10-02 12:52:10

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