How to Set Goals in Times of Uncertainty

Our everyday lives have been shifted and destabilized with the ongoing global pandemic. As we move forward in this time of uncertainty, a few experts offer their ideas on how to best make decisions and set goals.

Goal coach and speaker Jacki Carr recently wrote an article on Medium speaking directly to this common question: How do I set goals in times of uncertainty?

Here’s an excerpt:

“As we are entering a time in our lives we have never been before, some of us might be in waiting mode until things normalize until we normalize. Some of us might have a rule we set that goals can only be set when we are stable and sound in mind, body, and globe. (Author’s Notes:

We make up rules for ourselves to live by and often forget to check in to see if the rules still serve us or are even our own rules for living or someone else’s?). Some of us might feel fear and goals written in fear create more fear, they say. And some of us are relying on old goals, old ways in hope that it will all shake out.

Here is the deal, I never even wrote about the Coronavirus or COVID-19. I did not mention it up there. Because whenever someone is reading this, they are most definitely entering a time in their lives they have never been before.
Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change”.

We are always in a state of change, evolution, disruption, or expansion.

We don’t move backwards, time keeps on keepin’ on.
And so do we.

Therefore, when in our lives have we ever actually set goals in times of certainty?
I will tell you…

Never have we ever.
Because there is no. such. thing.

Take a moment to flip back in the book pages of your life. Tell me when you set a goal and had the exact road map to get there? When have you known every one of the moments that would lead to the finish line?”

A recent article in MindBodyGreen added to the conversation, recommending exchanging plans for present mindedness.

“Planning is important. It helps us organize our lives and create structures and goals for ourselves. That being said, as a society we have a habit of overplanning. We can all be guilty of this. We get focused on planning things down to a T. When we plan, we feel in control, which in turn makes us feel less vulnerable.

Moreover, sometimes the best things in life happen when we don’t try to control them and instead let ourselves be vulnerable to the mysterious workings of the universe. I’m sure you can find dozens of examples of how chance and serendipity have led you to some of your happiest and most important connections in life.

So in this moment of unprecedented uncertainty, when all of your best-laid plans will likely seem foolish a year from now anyway, trying to live in the moment as much as possible is important. Let’s help ourselves practice present-mindedness when we can and not take for granted the here and now by focusing too much on a planned future.”