Setting Goals During a Pandemic

Once again, the pandemic is forcing us to shut down. Hard times like these sap our energy and our motivation. It’s difficult to feel motivated when you feel the walls closing in around you.

Yet this is the traditional time for us to make goals, to think about plans for the new year, to shed the unproductive habits and instill healthy ones. You may be wondering if this is the time to dig deeper to set your goals and double your efforts to achieve them. At the same time there may be this nagging doubt in the back of your mind: will I be able to keep creating the energy I will need to accomplish these goals?

In reality, the answer is probably no.

Very few people have the stamina to fight the fight singlehandedly for any length of time. Moreover, if you have any doubt about your ability to actually reach your goals, you greatly reduce your chances of success.

But I don’t want to discourage you from setting goals. In fact, I am convinced that the right goals, correctly framed and supported, could save your sanity during these next months. I believe that you can set goals that excite you and accomplish them if you follow three simple steps.

Step 1: Set a goal that you control.  Goals don’t have to be about achievement. You don’t have to set a benchmark for yourself or declare that you will conquer a musical Mt. Everest. Choose a goal that is simply about action, about something that you can do. Make it not dependent on anyone or anything else. Don’t make it difficult. Just let your goal be something that you know you have the power to do if you would simply do it.

Step 2: Set a goal that feels good to you. Your goal needs to suit you, not someone else. If your goal doesn’t light a fire within you, your chances of achieving it are slim to none. It should make you feel like you wish you could start right now. Once again, your goal doesn’t have to fit anyone else’s standards for a goal; it doesn’t have to be lofty or ambitious. It only has to be one that you are excited about committing to.

Step 3: Write down three things you can do this week toward making your goal your reality. This is actually the test of your goal. If you can’t think of three instant action items that will move you in the direction of your goal, you have the wrong goal. On the other hand, when you can come up with immediate ways to take action on your goal, you know you have a winner. It’s in your control and you are truly motivated and excited about it.

On a recent webinar, I shared my harp playing goals - I call them my Harp Happiness goals - for the coming year. By most standards, they probably appear too “soft” and not ambitious enough. However, they meet all three criteria: they are within my control, they feel good to me and they are immediately actionable. I share them with you here in the hope that they may inspire you to choose goals of a similar nature. 

My Harp Happiness Goals for 2021

  1. Try something new.
  2. Do more of what I do best and love to do.
  3. Model harp happiness for others.

I get excited just imagining the possible outcomes from my accomplishing those goals, I want you to feel that same excitement too. So here’s your chance: Create a goal or two that you will use to fuel your harp playing in 2021 and list at least one of them in the comments below. 

Congratulations in advance on your fabulous 2021!


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