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Goals and why we shouldn't ignore them in a COVID-19 world

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Photo by Lubomirkin on Unsplash

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

It is about this time of year that I would usually recommend reviewing your goals. We are one quarter through the year, and it is an excellent discipline to assess performance regularly. And yet, when we set the original goals, I cannot imagine anyone building into them the impact of a global pandemic. The adverse consequences of the life-threatening virus that has killed >100k people globally as of the date of writing will not have featured and so what should we do with our goals?

Throw them out is one option; how can we measure our performance versus business as usual goals when we are in the midst of a war against an invisible enemy?

In some ways, it is a bit like the stock market. No doubt you like me have seen the value of your investment portfolio plummet in recent weeks. Why the hell didn't we sell at the peak in February!!??! It was apparent the market was getting toppy and a severe correction long overdue - the power of 20:20 hindsight. But just like with the stock market we shouldn't give in to temptation and sell positions at the lows. So we shouldn't throw away useful things like our original goals for the year. I would argue that they are still valuable. The value from reviewing and reflecting on the decisions we have made, that we can't undo can be helpful in several ways.

reflecting on the decisions we have made, that we can't undo

How am I doing with my own coaching goals for 2020?

As I mentioned in this blog post from the start of the year: reviewing our goals is like a postmortem, where we can benefit from learning what went wrong (or right). Then use that information to our advantage in the year ahead.

I have elected to group my professional goals in six sections. One set focuses on financial performance, another developing new relationships, yet another is on continued professional development etc. Within are 29 individual goals that I can assess my year to date progress.

Unsurprisingly those relating to financial performance are currently flagged as RED as are those relating to launching new services such as my RYse Groups. It is next to impossible to get people interested in anything that isn't both URGENT and IMPORTANT right now so new 1-2-1, group and team coaching assignments are being deferred until later in the year. Only time will tell how long the delay is. It is essential not to beat ourselves up. The original targets are still valid, but we have to be flexible, rather than rigid and revise the goals to reflect the material change in circumstances. Review each goal, mark as RED, AMBER and GREEN and decide whether to amend any goals based on what we have experienced so far this year and can reasonably expect for the remainder of 2020. We will review again in another three months. This discipline is still necessary.

Goals while we are in quarantine.

Set them! Have goals for what you want to achieve during the lockdown. Perhaps you are busier than ever, everything being both URGENT and IMPORTANT, but if not rather than binge-watching Netflix you have a somewhat unique opportunity to do things you may not have had the chance to do otherwise. Some of the most famous people in history, such as William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton, were incredibly productive while under quarantine. If them, why not you?! Stay safe, stay well.


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