Professionals had to adapt to a lot of changes over the past 12+ months.

Businesses moved their operations off-site and online, workers had to adopt WFH models, and consumers had to find new ways to shop. With all this, it seems that the move towards a fully digital reality has been sped up by a decade.

And the thing is, many limitations are still in place all over the world. Most of the US and Europe are still living under restrictive measures.

So what does that mean for setting and achieving goals? Well, the current situation puts a damper on most people’s personal and professional intentions. However, that’s not to say that we should all lay low and wait for the storm to pass – on the contrary.

Learning how to set goals and achieve them during these trying times could actually be the key to ensuring success in the (very) near future. Here’s how you can get started right now.

1. Adopt an Agile Work Philosophy

If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that nothing is set in stone. Circumstances change from day to day, whether it’s your business’s supply chain or the availability of resources.

Consequently, when setting personal or professional goals, you need to do your best to make them flexible.

Of course, that doesn’t mean giving yourself an easy out with any type of obstacle you come across. But choosing to have a flexible idea of success does give you the option to adjust your targets according to the possibilities of the moment.

Adopting an agile philosophy also means equipping yourself with the skills required to make quick changes in direction. When setting goals, think of the possible challenges you might encounter. Determine whether you can do anything to prepare yourself for meeting those challenges with efficiency.

It doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan. Something as simple as having a go-to advisor can ensure that you’ll have someone to turn to for help.

2. Set Yourself up for Success

One of the most common mistakes people make when setting goals is that they approach them as something intimidating.

Yes, starting your own business can be a daunting task. But going into it with fear instead of confidence won’t do anything but make the process more challenging than it needs to be.

So, in 2021, do your best to set yourself up for success, both professionally and personally.

Do proper market research before you launch a new product. Have a strategy in mind for your digital marketing. And know that taking time for self-care isn’t a professional sacrifice but an investment in a successful future. Yes, you heard that right. Something as elementary as getting enough sleep can make you 30% more likely to achieve your goals than sacrificing rest.

3. Focus on Purpose

If you feel like making plans in 2021 is still too optimistic, approach your goal-setting from a slightly different perspective. Try to shift your focus from the what to the why.

For example, if your current objective is to start a new business but you’re afraid of economic volatility, try not to let the possible negative outcomes dissuade you from going after your dreams.

Instead, think about the motivation behind your ambition. If you have a great product or service that answers the needs of your target audience, then that why is definitely worth taking a chance on. Even if you’re up for a (possibly) bumpy ride.

Another reason to keep purpose in mind?

It’s one of the best ways to motivate yourself to do work (especially when you’re low on energy). In fact, research has found that having a higher purpose boosts job satisfaction, even when objective criteria (such as monetary compensation) aren’t fully satisfied.

4. Be Brave Enough to Find Your Own Method

When it comes to setting goals you can accomplish, you’ll find that expectation management plays a key role in reaching the finish line.

And we’re not just saying in terms of what is objectively possible. Expectation management is essential in the path that will get you to your goal. In other words, it’s important to understand that what worked for other people may not yield the same great results for you.

What does that mean in practice?

It means that every person must find their own path. For some, goal-setting works best when they write neat to-do lists. Others, however, will find that what moves them forward the best is visualization.

5. Re-Define Success

Last but not least, to truly get the hang of setting and achieving goals during trying times, allow yourself to find success in every single thing you manage to do. No matter how insignificant it may seem.

Understand that even a first step counts as a success.

You may have just bought a domain for your future business. Or you may have started looking for a mentor who will guide you on a journey of growth. Even something as small as scheduling an important talk can be the thing that directs you on the path towards accomplishing your goals.

So don’t discredit yourself because you think that what you’re doing isn’t enough. Moreover, learn to accept that even failure offers success. All you have to do is keep an open mind so that you recognize it at the given moment.

Final Thoughts

If your plan for 2021 is to finally go after your dreams, the best thing you can do is start right away.

Yes, you can expect to come across some obstacles. But the only way to achieve your goals is to find the courage to face possible hardship. Because, in the end, things rarely turn out the way we plan for them. We’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn that in 2020.

Featured Image Credit: unsplash.com
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Sarah Kaminksi

Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.

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