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?
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.
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.
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.