After seeing how the pandemic derailed businesses, careers, and economies, it seems like planning for your future is a futile exercise. The degree of uncertainty that society faces is so immense that it’s reasonable to feel discouraged. Letting it stop you from making goals and chasing them, for the time being, might be more detrimental than it is practical.
Now more than ever, you’ll benefit from having a better sense of control over your life. The unpredictable nature of the virus and how it will affect society shouldn’t stop you from charting a course towards the goals you’ve been pursuing.
Instead of living your life reacting to the global health crisis, you can be pro-active and take advantage of the opportunities that arise in the new normal. It might be uncomfortable and overwhelming at first, but the more you embrace a strategic and can-do mentality, the greater the likelihood that you’ll achieve more despite the challenges the pandemic brings.
Consider the Pandemic as Your Inflection Point
An inflection point is a time in your life wherein everything you once knew or anticipated becomes irrelevant. You have a clean slate and tons of major decisions to make, and now is the time to address them. While this seems daunting, a lot of people have already begun calling the pandemic their reset button. Your career options may have changed either because you were laid off, the company shut down, or promotions aren’t realistic prospects at the moment. The same applies to your personal life if you’ve had to postpone a much-awaited relocation, wedding, or big purchase.
A lot of the forks in your road may have disappeared altogether, and it’s up to you to chart new ones now. Don’t be afraid to grab a pen and paper and spend time analyzing your professional, personal, and financial situation. Research economic forecasts and travel predictions. More and more experts in certain fields publish their theories on what the post-pandemic world will look like for various peoples and countries. Keeping yourself updated and finding your place in this crisis can help you paint a new—and maybe better—plan for your life five to ten years down the road.
Introspect Your Way Forward
The significance of history’s lessons can’t be contested, and the same goes for your personal history. Now is the time to do a thorough introspection of your life so far and to determine which experiences you can use to make better decisions for your future. Modern society forces people to go through their days in lightning speed that there’s barely any time to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re likely headed. You might be surprised to discover that the pandemic has saved you from bad career choices and hasty decisions you could’ve regretted.
When introspecting, make sure that you create the right atmosphere for uninterrupted thought. Go on a social media detox days before you begin to avoid trends from influencing your life choices. Another helpful activity is to list the opportunities you missed, those that were postponed, and those recently opened to you. Does your remote work-set up enable you to launch a start-up? Perhaps you have a pending decision to make about the business opportunity that presented itself months ago? Instead of buying a new house, maybe it’s more practical to renovate?
Having a visible list of your choices will make it easier to weigh the pros and cons of each one so that you can eventually narrow them down and decide which ones are best for you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Analysis paralysis is going to be your worst enemy in planning for your future post-pandemic. Trying new things and experimenting as early as now makes it less frightening to act on your plans. If you’re considering a business opportunity, then reach out to people in your network who are more knowledgeable about it. Set virtual appointments and create a list of what you’ll need to do to make it happen. Getting a feel for the opportunities you’re interested in taking can give you a better idea of what you’re signing up for.
It’s possible that you still lack certain skills to achieve your goals. Adjust your timeline accordingly and sign up for classes online. Perhaps your network is too small, and you need to develop new relationships with different people. Join social media groups and sign up for networking events. The more you delve into your choices, the better acquainted you’ll be with what they’ll require of you to be successful.
Be Ready to Make Adjustments
Rarely do things go exactly according to plan, so prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the adjustments you’ll have to make. While this might be cumbersome at times, you can rest assured that having a plan you can work on is better than having no plan at all.