Uncertainty may feel like an appropriate word to describe this past year as many have faced unexpected setbacks and quite a bit of change. This year has revealed that change is inevitable, forcing us to pivot in ways we’ve probably never dreamed of. But we don’t want uncertainty and the unknown to completely derail us from our goals or give up on our goals altogether.
Change is inevitable, which is why it’s important to find ways to stay motivated and focused on our long-term goals while simultaneously giving ourselves permission to embrace change and flexibility in the process. So as we navigate the months ahead, I’d like to share with you some tips on goal setting in uncertain times to set yourself up for success!
Minimize distractions: Before you are able to condition yourself to be more flexible, you’ve got to get rid of the external chatter. Embracing change is a much easier pill to swallow when your mind is free and clear of distractions, as they can be one of the easiest ways to fall off track when it comes to goal setting. A great way to stay in control of your endeavors is to minimize unnecessary distractions, so pay attention to your triggers and productivity-killers. Close web browser tabs, silence your phone, let your friends, housemates, colleagues, etc., know when you’re busy, and provide yourself with blocks of time to fully commit to a task, distraction-free!
Ditch expectations: Unfortunately, setting too many unrealistic expectations for ourselves can have adverse effects on productivity and forward momentum. Now more than ever, we know that change can happen, so learning to embrace uncertainty without expectations helps you roll with the punches and recover that much faster. When things don’t go as planned, we can feel frustrated and lose focus on our big picture goals. Allow yourself to let go of rigid expectations and become aware of new opportunities that will come next. Being able to pivot with grace is an important skill to have during every step of the goal setting process.
Tackle the small stuff: Sometimes, our long-term goals can seem overwhelming or daunting. That’s why it’s important to tackle the small stuff first - the stuff you know you can tend to quickly and efficiently. By doing this, you are giving yourself a little more mental capacity to stay focused and avoid burn out. And a lot of the time, when you start knocking small tasks off your to-do list, you’ll feel motivated to tackle bigger projects. When you practice flexibility and break things down into more digestible bites, you will naturally fuel your motivation and focus.
Set a loose schedule: Now that many of us are adjusting to a new way of life, working from home, etc., it’s important to be mindful of how you’re spending your days. Don’t get me wrong, I normally love sticking to a more planned out schedule, but this year, I had to allow myself a little more wiggle room to get things done. And because so much seems more up in the air now more than ever, setting loose windows of time for tasks throughout the day has proven to be much more beneficial in checking things off my to-do list.
So if you have a side project you’re working on or even a hobby, give yourself a set window of time each night (or whatever day you decide) to work on it. If you know that early mornings are best for working out, allow yourself that window of time to squeeze in some exercise. And soon, this loose schedule will become a habit or your new routine as you get used to doing things at certain times. Doing a little something is always better than doing nothing at all. So even if you are only able to spend 20 minutes out of your 2-hour window working on a certain project or habit, having that extra padding can help you better embrace the unexpected without feeling unproductive.
Attitude is everything: When you can understand that everything is happening for you in the right timing, you’ll see that life is much more manageable (and less disappointing) when you’re flexible. Not everything is always going to go just as you planned, so your attitude and your reaction towards the unexpected is incredibly important. Pay attention to how you respond in moments of change and uncertainty, because your attitude is the one thing you do have control over. Try to avoid lingering in low-frequency emotions for extended periods of time, even if something doesn’t go your way. Instead of getting down on yourself, remember that something better may be in your future. Seeing the silver lining in those brief moments of letdown as opportunities for something better is a surefire way to keep your head in the game no matter what.
And at the end of the day, no matter what life throws your way, having the right mindset to pivot and adjust is going to help get you where you want to be. And so while you’re here, I want to share with you a very special visualization exercise you can start using right away for your goals.
Now is the time to really think about how your life would look if you could manifest any outcome, receive anything, and attract anyone you want. This Manifesting Amplifier Visualization Exercise instantly raises your vibration so you can create, be, and achieve anything. The power of staying flexible is in your best interest, so starting to use this visualization tool could be just the change you need to embrace to amplify your creation power and go after your goals like a pro!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.