Starting this year of 2020 my focus was on “balance”. As a person who enjoys work, and lots of it, maintaining a work/life balance has sometimes been challenging. The balance for me doesn’t mean equal parts, but I know that any strength when over-used becomes a vulnerability.
So now we have all been hit by Covid-19 restrictions and, interestingly, I’ve noticed that my focus has changed. Rather than striving to maintain balance, I have come to appreciate the value of the concept of “sufficient”.
The enforced pause has resulted in many people acknowledging that this is an opportunity to reconnect with themselves in a way they may not otherwise have made time for. Through the uncertainty around employment, economy, and health, there is a chance to re-evaluate what is enough. Echoes of the past, which may have driven you towards longer hours, harder work, greater financial goals, can be reviewed. A realignment with your life values could see your goals shifting in a new direction. Or perhaps, like me, the goal remains the same but the reasons for achieving it have subtly unfolded with a potentially more meaningful and sustainable focus.
As you make plans for when restrictions are lifted consider, too, how your life principles may have shifted and what you can do to support the insights you gain during these unprecedented times.
Ask yourself these key questions:
- Are there areas of your life that you want to claw back some time to make space for new realisations and intentions?
- What purpose would it serve for you to make this aspiration a reality? Clearly define the benefit to you of effecting change in this aspect of your functioning. This helps you to reconcile the balance of anticipated outcome against the challenge inherent in any meaningful personal growth.
- What strategies can you put in place now to ensure new behaviours form helpful habits by the time restrictions are lifted? Changing habits is hard and often we try to force a new approach. Consider instead the idea of cultivating change – set the scene, lay the groundwork, prepare the foundations – this helps to ensure that the hard work of developing new habits is sustainable.
- How are you placed for developing the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve your newly discovered (or rediscovered) goals? Would mentoring help to consolidate these early insights into a sustainable working plan of action? Having a “training buddy” or “coach” to support your early stages as you find your new groove can be a way of keeping your mindset open and strategies flexible; essential when the going gets tough! Having someone who has your back can be comforting as you tackle new ideas, different ways of operating, and moving towards living the life you want for yourself.