As you may have heard many times, this year has proven to be one of the most significant years in our lives. We have gone from Bushfires, to Drought, to Floods and now the almighty Coronavirus. At the beginning of the year, we all focused on how we could achieve our new year resolutions and discussed how we could maintain our 2020 vision. However, with the obstacles and challenges we have faced this year, it can be understandable if the goals you had set for yourself have gone down the drain.
When we feel our goals slipping away from us, it can have a major impact on our mental health. We may feel we have a lack of direction. We may feel demotivated and maybe a little empty. Hence, you may start to think “I am not ok”. Striving for goals, whether it be personal or work, is what gives us our purpose in life. It helps us understand what we want our future selves to be and how we are going to get there. Therefore, for this to be stripped away from us, it can leave us feeling quite disheartened.
So, what can we do to get back on the horse?
1. Start small
While our major goals might feel further away than they did at the start of the year, it is important to understand that they can still be achieved. We might not be able to reach them this year, so what can we do instead to still achieve this in the long run?
Well, we can start small. Think to yourself, “what baby steps can I take that will help me to achieve this in the long-term?”. Use this time to CELEBRATE the small wins and build up the momentum. By the time you are given the opportunity to attack that major goal, you would have the momentum to go full steam ahead with it.
2. Remind yourself of the “WHY”
When you feel you are being pushed back, remind yourself of WHY you set that goal. What benefits will you gain out of it? What would it do for your mental health? How will it assist you in your future? By asking yourself these questions, you bring your awareness back to the reason why you chose that particular goal. This will remind you about the importance of that goal and how much it means to you to achieve it.
3. Check in with yourself
More importantly, during these challenging times, there should be consistency in checking in with how you are feeling. Whether this be physically, emotionally, or spiritually. If you are not feeling ok, what can you do to gain control over your emotions? Do you need extra support? Is there someone you can talk to? As we are social beings, we crave human interaction and connection to survive. Hence, when we connect with others, we mentally feel at ease as the release of oxytocin (the hormones responsible for our social behaviours and bonding) runs through our bodies.
In addition to this, for us to continue to be motivated to achieve our goals, both short- and long-term, we need to ensure we are engaging in self-care practices. This includes 6 areas of self-care that we can engage in. This can help us achieve an optimal work-life balance as we are giving time to ourselves and completing activities that are meaningful to us. Thus, we are effectively not burning ourselves out to the point where we are feeling overwhelmed and mentally drained. Be sure to check out the Self-Care Wheel for examples of self-care activities in each of the 6 areas.
So, while our goals may feel like they have been poured down the drain, we should remind ourselves that it is ok to feel this way. Being able to be AWARE of it allows us to ACCEPT it. After gaining this acceptance, we can start to ACT on it. Utilising the 3 tips above can help you to get back onto your feet and take 2020 back into your own hands.