How the pandemic changed priorities and goal setting

The Nice Resignation. The anti-work motion. Burnout. The previous yr has been one large life adjustment delivered compliments of the pandemic. Whereas a few of the modifications persons are making might have been a very long time coming, many people have skilled a shift in priorities.

“Statistics on loneliness and unhappiness are up over the final couple of many years, and I believe that a few of that stems from a elementary misunderstanding of function,” says John Coleman, writer of HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose. “We’ve bought this mythology of function in well-liked tradition that it’s a single factor that transforms your life, normally work.”

Misconceptions with function trigger three issues, says Coleman. “First, I don’t assume function is one thing you discover,” he explains. “I believe it’s largely one thing you construct into your life. The second is that we even have plural sources of function and which means in our lives. And the third is that reasonably than discovering one thing that transforms our entire life, we expertise many sources of function in our lives, and they shift over time.”


Tapping into your renewed sense of function will help you higher set objectives for 2022.

Begin with Self-Reflection

Setting objectives requires self-understanding, says David Novak, former CEO of Yum Manufacturers and writer of the upcoming e-book Take Charge of You: How Self Coaching Can Transform Your Life and Career.

“That you must know who you might be in the present day to get the place you wish to go tomorrow,” he says. “I don’t assume folks do sufficient self-reflection and self-awareness. They undergo life and let life occur to them versus stepping again, the place they’re at in the present day, and defining who they wish to develop into.”

Novak recommends the issues that take pleasure away out of your life and figuring out the issues that construct pleasure. Going by way of this evaluation will help you establish the single largest issues you are able to do to enhance your life. Then take that data and develop an motion plan.

“A whole lot of instances folks procrastinate and don’t act upon what they need to do to attain what they really need in life,” says Novak. “You want a excessive sufficient self-understanding to open your self for the transformational insights that can get you to carry out in a approach that offers you extra pleasure and happiness in your life.”

Set Objectives in A number of Areas of Your Life

It’s pure to deal with skilled objectives, however Coleman encourages folks to take a look at their life comprehensively. “Your private life is essential, your deep relationships are essential, and your hobbies are essential,” he says. “These all affect your function.”


When setting objectives for the new yr, Coleman recommends selecting objectives on your skilled, private, relational, religious, and extra-curricular life. Efficient goal setting is essential to constructing which means and function in your life.

“These objectives have to include broad sufficient pondering that they’re not simply encouraging you to do the similar factor you’ve completed earlier than,” says Coleman. “They need to be holistic, encouraging you to develop into the kind of individual that you simply wish to develop into and not simply finishing a job or a job.”

Make Your Objectives Seen

At the starting of the yr, Novak does what he calls his “three-by-five train” to establish objectives for the yr. Utilizing a three-by-five card, he writes down who he’s in the present day and then makes use of that data to make a plan for tomorrow.

For instance, he wrote, “I’m an skilled coach.” Utilizing self-reflection, he challenged himself to be even higher by codifying his learnings, which led him to setting a goal to put in writing his latest e-book. On one other card he wrote, “I’m a passionate podcaster.” This reflection made him wish to be taught from different podcasters about the right way to be extra insightful. He labored with a podcast professional, who helped him reformat his program, How Leaders Lead, to make it stronger.

Novak recommends utilizing three-by-five playing cards to outline who you might be in the present day and what you wish to be tomorrow in a wide range of areas, similar to philanthropy, health, spirituality, and extra. Then submit your playing cards the place you may see them every day.

“Your objectives must be seen and simply accessible,” he says. “Many CEOs have their objectives laminated on their desk. I had my objectives laminated on my desk after I was operating Yum. Then you may pull out your priorities while you’re making selections. Visibility is essential.”

Resolve if Your Pandemic Priorities Go well with You Going Ahead

Pandemic life usually regarded totally different from pre-pandemic life, and priorities changed. However you don’t have to take care of these new priorities in your goal setting for the future, says Kindra Corridor, writer of Choose Your Story, Change Your Life: Silence Your Inner Critic and Rewrite Your Life From the Inside Out.

“I cherished being house with my household, however at the similar time, I’ve work ambitions,” she says. “My priorities have shifted, however that doesn’t imply that my outdated priorities essentially went away.”

Setting objectives when your priorities battle could be a problem. “Ask your self, ‘What makes me really feel actually good,’” says Corridor. “These priorities you had throughout the pandemic could also be proper for another person, however it’s okay if it’s not best for you going ahead. Take possession of your personal tales on what your priorities are.”

Priorities and function shift and change over time. By letting go of the areas of your life that don’t really feel fulfilling, you may make room for the issues that enable you to faucet right into a higher function.