Setting Your “New Normal” Standards
When 2020 started, many of us have (with a hopeful heart) set our sights on ambitious projects, lucrative targets, and even life-transformative plans. But with COVID-19 now a dark cloud over our heads, those goals may have changed or have come to a screeching halt. If the nature and viability of your goals have stayed the same, consider yourself very lucky, then make the best of it. A lot of people are facing the ordeal of getting back on their feet, let alone pursuing the goals they had before all this.
In changing our targets and tweaking our goals toward what is reasonable given this crisis, it is easy to loosen our standards and dial down on the level of our aspirations. We sometimes confuse acceptance and forgiveness with lowering the bar we hold ourselves to. But that should not be the case. Even when it makes sense to modify our goals and even reassess our Vision, setting them to an ambitious level is still necessary. Our standards proclaim the zenith of what we want for ourselves; and of who we want to be. If we succumb to a lower tier, how can we visualize surpassing the challenges brought forth by our present situation?
We cut ourselves some slack, both to manage our intrinsic resources and our sanity. But let us not take this as permission to abandon our values and standards. Let us both be practical and aspirational, and let our spirits be rekindled as we march through the New Normal towards our Higher Self.
Approach things from a new perspective
Recognizing the new problems and challenges that affect our previous goals is important when we try to tweak or discard them. Make an accounting of your goals and honestly evaluate how they fit in with your current situation and who you want to be now. If another person (a friend, perhaps, who has no stake in these goals) could help you stay honest and pragmatic, consult with them. A fresh set of eyes will allow you to see which goals still matter and are non-negotiable, and which needs to be changed in favor of the changing world and your changing priorities. In all of these, make sure that all of your goals match your core values. Otherwise, you will be setting yourself up for failure, either by not accomplishing what you set out to do or by accomplishing something that you won’t hold onto.
Operate around what is controllable, instead of pushing against the uncontrollable
While you are assessing your goals and yourself, you will also need to gauge what factors and situations may influence your goals and whether they are controllable or uncontrollable. This wisdom will save you valuable time, resources, and energy.
Bemoaning the uncontrollable takes away too much of your energy without moving you forward. But figuring out the controllable and making it work for you will empower you.
Adapt to the conveniences and technologies of the New Normal
There is absolutely no reason to regress to your old process if the new processes and platforms are sensibly the better options that are available to you. Make sure your goals are attuned to the current demands and consider the new strategies brought about by the New Normal paradigm shift. But be careful with them as well. Just because something’s fashionable doesn’t mean you need to change; you have to make sure that every change you adapt to resonates with your values.
Continue to practice self-care and acceptance, but stand by your Vision
The reason you are taking care of your physical and mental state is so you can continue to pursue your Vision. If you lose sight of your Vision (your purpose, your raison d'être), your attempts to being healthy and centered will become meaningless. Your goals should all tie up to your Vision: your idea of your Higher Self, whom you want to ultimately become. You must remain true to your Vision, and your values.
Make use of your time more productively to not suffer from ennui
Ennui is the feeling of despair caused by inaction and boredom. You can only get to this point when you are doing very little of what challenges you or that moves you towards the accomplishment of your personal and professional goals. And yet, a lot of people suffer from it. It may seem that doing nothing important or doing fewer things (especially in our attempt to take care of ourselves) will give us less stress. But more often this is untrue. By not using our time productively as much as we can, we end up feeling regret and wondering where our lives are going.
On the opposite end is flow. Flow is the state of expanded consciousness, where things seem to always fall into place and your mind can tap creative ideas with ease. Flow brings happiness, accomplishment, and focus. And it is achieved by putting ourselves out there, by actually setting ourselves up to a level of challenge that activates these things in our brain. Flow doesn’t just happen, it is triggered by activity. And the payoff can offer one of the greatest feelings a person can get.
If the pandemic has caused you to feel like your life and your goals are in a slump, we want you to know that very soon it is about to pick up again. The situation we are all in will not last forever. It may change a lot in our world and ourselves, but the crisis itself will leave soon enough. How we come out of it will be dictated by how we set ourselves up right now.
We would like to hear how you are setting the bar for yourself during the pandemic. Join the conversation at our Facebook page.