Being Proactive in Uncertain Times

2020 has not been going as planned for any of us. Many of us started the year with clear goals, both personal and professional, only to have the world turned upside down a few months later, with some of these hopes dashed. And it put us into reactive mode – how do we deal with this new, enormous set of challenges?

There remains a lot of uncertainty about the future. Some have experienced illness or loss, and all of us have experienced continued disruption to our personal and professional lives. It’s not over, but we need to get back to proactively mapping out our future – with and without this virus. Going forward, one thing many of us will gain from this crisis is improved resiliency.  And the first key to being resilient is to have a clear purpose and established goals.  If you, like me, found that type of focus erode this year, here’s how you get it back.

1. Revisit your original 2020 goals. This might be painful, especially if you were on track for a great year as so many TeamStrength members were, or if you were planning something amazing that got derailed. But what you will likely find some goals fell off your radar that you can refocus on, maybe with some modifications. And while this may not be the year you planned, there remains a path to a successful year.

2. Reestablish key metrics for 2020. The impact is big and for nearly all of us, it means the quantifiable goals we set at the beginning of the year are unrealistic now. Things changed, but rather than leave these targets in place, set new ones.  And yes, it is still uncertain, but we are months into the crisis so you have some sense of the impact.  It’s a leader’s job to predict the future, and paint a positive vision.  Set achievable targets you can hit and even celebrate.  And get your team behind them.

3. Set new goals. Identify your two to three most critical action items for the balance of the year, then identify some longer term goals for 2021 to create a vision for the future.  The short-term goals may be more about getting through COVID, but the long-term goals will be focused on the other side of this crisis. Though we can’t wish this away faster, we can begin planning for the future beyond COVID, which is a nice reminder that there is one!

4. Revisit your One Word. Most TeamStrength members select a word each year for focus and alignment. For 2020 mine was Vision, and it helped me define a very clear plan for the year. Then things got really murky. I have reset my word for the balance the year to Resilience, and my focus has shifted to ‘advancing despite adversity.’ For some members, their One Word didn’t change but how they live it shifted slightly. Revisit or select your One Word for the rest of the year as a positive focal point.

5. Set a personal goal. And make it something completely within your control. Read three books by the end of the year. Complete a virtual marathon. Do at-home date nights or family nights once a week for the rest of the year. You can steal mine – it’s to lose 10 pounds.  Make the goal reasonable and achievable and focus on something you can do!

We needed to react to the crisis and the leaders of TeamStrength companies have done a fantastic job of managing this very challenging time.  Everyday I hear some variation on a comment about our desire to get back to normal.  That is not going to happen as fast as we’d like, so in the meantime, go back to planning your way through this.  Reset targets, set new goals, use an inspirational One Word and advance despite adversity.