Are You on Track to Accomplish Your Original Goals, Or Have They Changed?

mountain top goal

The first quarter of the year ended last week. None of us could have predicted that life would change so dramatically in late December, January or eaven early February. In fact, life was good late in 2019 when we were thinking about our goals for 2020. We did not know that Covid-19 was going to rear its ugly head and cause us to shift our plans. Rethink our priorities and make accomplishing our goals difficult if not impossible.

What were your original goals?

Do you remember the goals you set out for yourself late last year? Have you been able to work towards accomplishing those goals? For many people, goals for the year were set aside while they worked to figure out how to survive COVID-19. For some, working towards goals meant figuring out how to work from home and take care of their children. The daily goal may have been to get through the day with some measure of success.

Have your priorities shifted?

My priorities have shifted. This virus made me take a hard look at how I was spending my time and my money. I asked myself some challenging questions. The answers were not easy to find and involved some deep soul searching. As a result, the goals I made prior to COVID-19 were tossed out the window and new goals were made. This has been a blessing in disguise for me. What about you? Have your priorities shifted as a result of this virus? Have you created new goals for the remainder of this year?

New Plans

As I found the answers to my challenging questions, I made plans to accomplish a new goal. I kept in mind the things that have always been important to me and added a slightly different focus. For me, personally, it has become even more important to have achievable benchmarks. I do not want to set my goals so high that they are next to impossible to accomplish. I also do not want to set them too low. My new plans include short-term goals that I am confident I will be able to accomplish, but that also require me to stretch myself a little. In this era of uncertainty, I have found that I need to have this measure of control.

Comfort

It is comforting to me to realize that it is just fine to take a slightly longer, less direct route toward accomplishing my goal. Like the picture at the top of the page, my route will not be a straight line to the top. It will involve a few stops along the way, but this will allow me to evaluate my progress and make any necessary changes.

How about you? Are you finding that with so much uncertainty around us that you are gravitating toward things that provide you comfort?

Habits and Routines

Another thing I find comforting are my daily routines and habits. Every morning after breakfast I walk my dogs and I do mean every morning. I am sort of like the US Postal service that way. It can be raining, snowing, windy or gorgeous outside. No matter what the weather, I am out there taking a walk with my dogs, Miles and Josie. During this morning walk, I review my plan for the day and think about what small step I will take toward accomplishing my goal. When I get home, I get cleaned up and then I am ready to get to work.

Changes

I know many families have made changes to their morning routines and habits. These probably involve setting time aside to home school or arranging their work schedule to care for a toddler. My son and daughter-in-law have done this very thing. While it is undeniably difficult and has turned their daily routines upside down, they have also enjoyed quality time with their daughter.  I wonder what impact these changes, staying at home working and caring for children have made on the goals they set out to accomplish in 2020.

Changes in technology have made it easier for families to stay connected even when they are thousands of miles apart. I have a Portal from Amazon set up in my kitchen where I also have a selection of children’s read aloud books. I can read a story (sometimes 2 or 3 stories) to my granddaughter. I love that Portal allows me to see and hear her reactions. And, of course, I feel in closer touch with the entire family. Here is a link to a video about Portal.

What Can I Accomplish Right Now?

Sometimes all these changes make me sad and I feel like it will be impossible to accomplish my goals this year. Time is flying by and there is no way to get them done. Does this ever happen to you?

When I feel this way, I indulge myself with a little pity party and then I pull myself up and ask myself this question: what one small thing can I do right now to take myself a little bit closer to accomplishing my goals? Answering this question makes me feel better. There is always something I can do. I schedule time to take that step.

Do you ever feel this way? If you do, contact me. I would be happy to help you figure out the next small step you can take toward accomplishing your goals.

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization.  

12 Comments

  • You and I are the same page this week, Diane. Love that! Sometimes our plans shift, and sometimes we let go of goals that no longer resonate or seem necessary!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Yes we are, Seana! It’s the shifting that seems a bit uneasy from time to time. Thank you so much for joining the conversation!

  • It may sound funny but my life is still as busy despite the fact that I’m barely leaving the house! With two children doing distance learning and needing to be occupied at times, with more extraordinary measures needed to be taken for meal planning and food shopping, and keeping up with four people being at home all the time–I have almost as little down time as I had before COVID-19 hit. I’m reviewing my original goals for 2020 and breaking them down into tiny manageable parts to help me see the forrest through the trees. With this time at home, I have been able to take some time to reflect on how my family and I have been spending our time and hope to make a few changes after this is all over.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thanks for your comment, Stacey. That doesn’t sound funny at all. I know a lot of families that are almost busier now for that very reason. Everyone is home and everything is happening there!

  • It’s not been an easy time. Life changed quickly and dramatically. It felt like a scramble trying to figure out what to do, where to focus, and how to shift. There were days and still are when it’s just hard. And other days flow well. I, too, have looked at my priorities and even how I feel about priorities and productivity. Everything is up for re-defining. But the one thing that has been consistent throughout is how important my family and friends are. We support and help one another. I don’t know what I’d do without them. And together, we are navigating the unknowns, sharing disappointments, and celebrating successes.

    I love how you are so open with your own experience. It seems like you are using this time well, as a beautiful opportunity, even in the face of such challenges. The portal product sounds incredible—what a lovely way to stay connected with your granddaughter.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thank you, Linda. I’m coming to the realization that life is a work in progress. Just when you think you have it figured out, something changes to alter that perception. I’m so happy for you that you have your family as your rock.

  • I agree with you! I did find that my plans were adjusted. It has been taking longer to do the goals than usual. But, I am OK with that. The goals were yearly, so I didn’t expect to get it done by the 1st quarter. I assume I will complete them by 12/31/2020 if possible. This allows me to be flexible on when to complete the goals.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thanks, Sabrina. It’s good to know that you can ease into accomplishing your goals – just knowing they are a work in progress is satisfying.

  • Lucy Kelly says:

    I enjoyed reading your post Diane. You reminded me how thankful I am for my routines right now AND that they were pretty well established before this all happened. I’ve been able to pivot and adjust them rather than having to start from scratch. I loved hearing how you can read to your granddaughter right from your kitchen!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thank you, Lucy. It’s great and reassuring when we have solid routines as our foundation.

  • Miles and Josie are your accountability buddies, helping make sure you work toward your goals!

    This post is the wise tap on the shoulder we need when we’re feeling lost and not sure whether to move forward or double back to home. Your line, “I indulge myself with a little pity party and then I pull myself up and ask myself this question: what one small thing can I do right now to take myself a little bit closer to accomplishing my goals?” is exactly what I need to read at the end of each workday!