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After a year of so much uncertainty and many changed plans, setting your compass in the right direction and eliminating the detailed planning will help alleviate frustration. This means, we set new goals but we stay flexible in how we achieve these goals.

Due to COVID, most of us have lost control over some parts of our lives that we previously took for granted. We’ve been asked to give up pleasures, big and small, that we once enjoyed and made us happy. It’s normal to feel frustrated, powerless and anxious. One way to cope with these feelings is to focus on the things over which we do have control. We can commit to taking small, concrete steps every week to regain our sense of purpose.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to goal setting, consider what would need to change for you to feel happier and more satisfied. Maybe it’s stronger relationships, getting in better shape or feeling less anxious. Once you’ve identified the general domains, spend some time brainstorming smaller, more concrete steps that can help get you there.  For example, if your larger intention is to get into better shape, then a smaller goal might be to take two 30-minute walks each week.

How do you set your goals and align your compass?
It can also be helpful to consider your broader life values. These might include taking care of your family, financial security or nourishing your creativity. You can then work on setting short-term, feasible goals that align with these values. A person who values close relationships, for instance, might set a goal to reach out to friends regularly via virtual platforms or schedule weekly phone calls with loved ones. Those actions or similar actions are all consistent with a life that values close relationships. 

We’re living in a time of great uncertainty and many important aspects of our lives are out of our control – but let’s look to the future. Setting short-term, specific, measurable and attainable goals can help us regain a sense of purpose and empowerment in our lives. It can ensure that, despite COVID, we can continue to build a meaningful and satisfying life that aligns with our broader values.

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