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“Grandma, what was it like during the COVID-19 pandemic?”, your grandchild asks. He asked if he could interview you for a school history project and your 80-year-old self thinks back to a ration on toilet paper and beef, stay at home orders, filing for unemployment, and then riots all over the country over racial discrimination and discord.
How did you handle yourself during the pandemic? Do you regret anything? How did you move forward or did you?
In regards to this historical time in our world, these are the types of things I keep going back to. I want my future self to be proud of the person I am right now. This has been at the center of my motivation and keeps me accountable. I know many of you have gone back to work and some of you are inching closer to re-opening your businesses. Although this has been what you have been waiting for, you are not alone if you are finding it difficult to be or stay motivated. I want to give you some tools that have helped me to get on a better track during this time:
1. Set Achievable Goals. Write down these goals and really consider if you feel confident that you can achieve them. If you don’t believe that it will happen, you might as well pick a new goal.
Helpful Hint: Pick two to three goals and then put them in order of how confident you are in achieving them. Choose the goal that gets you the most excited and seems the most achievable.
2. Start Small. You will not be able to start new habits overnight. Pick one thing you need to change to achieve your goals and stick with it. It is easy to have multiple goals but pick one and focus.
Helpful Hint: Don’t overdo it. If you want to lose weight, start with a monthly goal rather than a long-term one.
3. Schedule Follow-Up. Keep yourself accountable and be forward thinking.
Helpful Hint: Put a reminder on your phone, your work calendar and a place at home that you look at every day like a bathroom mirror.
4. Tell Someone That Keeps You Accountable. When you tell a support your goals and the permission for them to keep you accountable, you are setting yourself up for success.
Helpful Hint: Tell a friend, a family member or a co-worker that you have regular interaction with. Be sure that they are a true support that will hold you to your goals and progress.
5. Set A Reward. Think about something that makes you feel like you treated yourself and work towards that. Set a reasonable time limit on when you should achieve it and have a reminder of what this is.
Helpful Hint: Everyone has different motivators so choose something that really gets you excited. Whether it’s a piece of cheesecake at your favorite bakery, a massage, a new outfit or a new tool to add to your collection for work, be sure it’s something that you really will work hard to achieve.
There is no “one size fits all” plan to get someone motivated. Allow yourself to sit in the sadness and grief but please don’t stay there. It is important to find ways to move forward that can be found in your daily habits. What is the story you will be sharing with the next generation about how you handled COVID-19? I haven’t handled everything during this time perfectly. Sometimes I don't know if I am going stir crazy in isolating, scared for the future or if it's my pregnancy hormones, but whatever it is I am giving it my best. Put your best foot forward and walk with me to find motivation to meet your goals and get back on track. We can do this together! It is a daily process. We all have good and bad days. You are not alone!