In terms of setting great goals, 2020 hasn’t been the most ideal year to be doing that. We were only a few months into the new year when cases of COVID-19 took over the world and many people were forced into isolation.
Even with these contingencies in place in most countries right now, many people have given up entirely on some of their ambitious goals for this year. Moreover there are those who still struggle in setting goals and are not at all equipped to setting goals during these difficult times.
As such, I want to provide a small pool of goals that you can do at home. Having worked from home for a while now, I know there are many things that you can do while staying at home. Some of these goals are ambitious while others are simple. Regardless, this can help you in the future as you set more great goals in the post-COVID period.
Starting A Business
Starting a business can feel like a big endeavour. For me, I was under the distinct impression you needed to put together a business plan (which would take days or weeks to prepare), amongst a handful of other things.
The process felt like it would take a good month before you had everything set up and ready to sell something.
But that’s not the case at all.
Take my own writing business. All I did was have an idea and started to write on a blog. I wasn’t selling anything per se, but since day 1, I was already doing what my business is supposed to be doing to an extent.
There are so many ideas for businesses that you can start up right now. Want to sell SEO services to various businesses? Read up on SEO best practices and see what kind of skills you have that can help businesses. Figure out what can make you stand out amongst other people.
I’ve also come up with other ideas before COVID-19 happened. These ideas can still be relevant right now with some tweaking.
Building a business right now is a good opportunity since many of us have down time. Not only that but some of us may be fortunate enough to have surplus income laying around. It can be enough to start something small. Even so, there are some businesses that require next to no expenses, like writing.
Great Goals: Understanding Yourself
These times are difficult for various reasons. One aspect that I’ve touched on is the fact that a lot of decisions people make right now are extremely political. This has been the case on the west side of the world and especially in the US.
Whether you wear a mask or not can easily dictate what kind of party you support politically. The same is true about your overall opinion of COVID-19. Paired up with the Black Lives Matter movement, people are politically charged right now.
In light of all of that, instead of going out and picking a side, I think it’s important now to spend time getting to know yourself and spending time with yourself as well. Make it a priority to understand your feelings and why you feel that way.
It’s a simple goal, but this process has helped me to shape my own identity. This is coming from a man who felt like a shell who was filled with other peoples opinions and expectations rather than my own.
Here’s another good piece on understanding yourself during these times.
Depending on where you are living in the world, these days we have to be more frugal. Many people are getting an even smaller portion of an already meager paycheque as it is. As such, people have to make adjustments to what they can afford and whether a purchase is wise or not.
In light of all that, I suggest you look at other methods to be frugal and to develop those habits now. These will also help you after COVID-19 is in the past.
Some examples of frugality are:
- Appreciating the smaller things in life. Many people fail to realize what they do have in life and instead focus on what they don’t have. It’s often been destructive though as people can get anything almost instantly now and not worry about the costs until later.
- Making a pro and con list. Whether it’s inside of your head or written down, every big and small decision should at least be considered on whether to buy or not to buy something. It’s a good thing to develop since if you make this list you can start to understand your spending habits.
- Assess the value of your purchases. Whether we like it or not, everyone does things for incentives. People want to know what’s in it for them. I recommend leaning into that thinking and really look at what you stand to gain from purchases. Take some time to ask yourself if it’s all worth it.
- Putting together budgets. Budgets help out a lot. Even if it’s just some quick napkin math or mental math. When you have an idea of how much money you’re making and what’s going in and out, you can tackle problem expenses better and find ways to manage them before they become too problematic.
- Get into the habit of saving. Open up a savings account, invest in some index funds. Read up on things to help you save money and better prepare for your financial future. You can save money even during these times.
Great Goals: Make Videos
There is a lot of negativity being posted online and for some people, they want to counteract that. Instead of wallowing in the doom and gloom, they’re getting out there and making videos.
From opinion pieces to travelling around, people can find a little pocket of happiness within these brief moments.
Making videos isn’t that complicated either. Yes there are a lot of technical aspects to it, but when starting out, your focus is more to make the video rather than worry about tiny filming techniques and things like that.
Focus on sharing content that you think will bring people joy. All you need is the phone on your camera.
Write A Book
I like to think that every single person out there has within them a good book. Even if you’re not an avid reader, I think it’s nice to pursue writing a book. Even now, you could still sell it, so long as you are being smart about your pricing point.
There’s a lot to a book of course, but if you’re focusing on the joy of writing a book rather than trying to make it a best seller, it’s a good goal to pursue during these times.
That aside, writing a book is a huge time sink and can allow you to put your thoughts to paper. It’s a way for you to understand more about yourself and the world that you see as well.
Great Goals: Learn A New Language
A lot of people associate learning a new language being helpful if you plan to travel abroad, but that’s not always the case. Even if we’re stuck in isolation and not planning to travel much even after COVID-19, there are still benefits of learning a new language.
Things like improving your brain power, memory, enhance decision making skills amongst other things is well worth the effort.
Another reason to take up a second (or third, etc.) is that it is so easy to do that now thanks to a swarm of apps that teach second languages. You can also take up various books or speak to individuals who are familiar with the language as well.
Improve Your Focus
Whether you are working from home right now or not, being able to focus is something that many of us struggle with. Now that most of us are stuck at home, we start to realize just how distracting our environment can be. Especially if you are trying to work or achieve something.
In terms of improving your focus, there are multiple avenues to take with this. My personal favourite is breaking your goals into small tasks. At the end of the day, our goals can be achieved by establishing habits that we do on a daily basis.
Want to lose weight? Eat better and exercise daily.
Want to be a better entrepreneur? Look at one area in your business that needs work and take small actions. For example, marketing has been a weak point for me, so I’ve hired a team to make engaging social media posts.
Some other tactics can be setting deadlines, having some accountability or training your brain to handle deep work. Here is an article that has a tonne of methods for deeper focus.
Great Goals: Exercise Regularly
Anytime you think of goals, you probably think about exercising or getting healthy. It’s the one big goal that is on everyone’s mind. Even though subconsciously many of us think of it as a joke (the gym I go to now is practically dead compared to what it was like before), exercise is still important.
We all still need to improve our health in one way shape or form.
Getting into the habit of doing some exercise helps. If not for your health, do it for your sanity and general well being. We’re not built to sit around inside all day. Get outside, practice social distancing, and do some form of exercise.
Grow A Garden
Even those living in apartments can still grow a garden. The only difference is you’ll need various pots and a spot to grow them since you lack an actual yard.
That aside, growing a garden is nice and can be a lot of fun. Stick with simple vegetables or grow flowers as well. There are plenty of guides that go into detail about how to take care of plants and such.
Great Goals: Read X Number Of Books
For those sitting on a pile of books, make a goal of digging into that collection. Even if you are a slow reader, it’s another opportunity to sink a lot of your time and energy into it.
Reading is the classic form of escapism that we could all really use time and again. It also provides various amounts of benefits as well such as improving your vocabulary and comprehension of the language you’re reading.
Have A Journal And Write In It Regularly
A journal is not something that I use a whole lot these days, but I see it as another way to build yourself up and understand more about yourself. These times are filled with a lot of uncertainty of course. And I think in light of that, the best way to go about these uncertain times is to double down on the things you do know.
One such aspect is yourself and getting to understand yourself.
A journal is a great way to start in identifying who you are and who you wish to become in greater detail. It’s more direct when you compare it to the previous method I mentioned when focusing on emotions.
In terms of your journal, some topics to help you get started are:
- Write 10 qualities that you want to achieve.
- Talk about some of your passions in life and explain why.
- Focus on one good thing that happened to you recently. Even if it’s small.
- Describe in detail what your ideal life is.
Improve Your Sleep Cycle
Getting a good sleep is important no matter who you are and a lack of it is dangerous. With everything that’s going on, you may have disruptive sleep at the moment and struggle to get proper sleep now.
This can also apply to those not used to working from home and are following similar work ethics at the office. I know from talking with others, sleep can often be sacrificed for more work which isn’t good.
If you struggle with sleeping, make an effort to improve your sleep in any way you can.
Clean Up Your Home/Apartment
As humans in general, we tend to accumulate a lot of junk in confined spaces. It might not be apparent if you’re in an apartment but that is especially true when you’re living in a house.
My parents place is a treasure trove of things that are dated back to the 1970s and 80s, my dad clinging to these relics because someday he might use them once.
I roll my eyes at the idea that he’d use some of that, but I know many other people are that same way.
It all reminds me of a clip I watched of Gary Vaynerchuk. One of the people posed a question about investors and needing money to launch a business idea. Gary told him, “go to your attic and pull out the stuff you don’t use and sell it.”
The thing is, we store a lot of junk. More junk than you might realize. And during a time where people need resources and money, getting out and selling or donating the stuff you’re not using can be a good thing to do. Furthermore having a cleaner space does help us mentally in many ways.
Cook More Food
In the town I’m in, I recall in the early weeks of lockdown, there were massive lineups at fast food joints. I wouldn’t be surprised if that same behaviour was present in other towns and cities across the world.
During these times, I’m thankful that I’m not so reliant on fast food or prepackaged goods to satisfy my hunger. It’s during these times where my ability to cook decent enough meals is pulling through in many ways.
Whether you are the type to pull up to drive thrus or not, cooking in general as well as cooking more food can be one of the great goals to have these days. As someone who loves cooking, there are dishes that I find online that I would love to make some day.
There is also the baking side of things as well which I’ve dabbled in but want to explore at some point.
These can be fun goals to have as they can challenge us to develop our cooking skills or to expand them. They’re also incredibly easy to do since it only requires you to follow some simple instructions. Plus learn a few cooking terms.
Great Goals Make Great Lives
The beauty of great goals is that they’re able to be flexible and can change due to various circumstances. Just because a pandemic has hit the world doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give up entirely on the goals that you set at the beginning of this year.
Yes you’ll have to make changes, but these great goals can still be achieved even after those adjustments. It only takes a little bit of imagination and effort to make that goal achievable.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon