How to use personal goals to help navigate uncertainty
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?
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.