3 Min Read
How to Reinvent Yourself and Live Up to Your Pandemic Inspired Resolutions
The COVID-19 pandemic isn't quite over, even though most of us act like it is. Without debating masks, the vaccine, or any of the politics surrounding this global nightmare, let's examine how it's changed our perspective on life.
However you wish to view the last eighteen months or so, one thing is certain, collectively we suffered a trauma. While your personal trauma may not rise to the level of a near-death experience, your outlook on life is likely much different than pre-pandemic in one way or another.
According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), more than half of employees surveyed in North America plan to seek a new job in 2021. We're talking about major life changes, not just deciding that you want to continue fermenting yeast to make homemade sourdough bread.
"Great dangers give birth to great resolutions." - Auguste Escoffier
A New Perspective
What aspects of life did you find yourself reconsidering while holed up for all those months? Did you work too much or not enough? Will you actually start using all the vacation your entitled to instead of thinking you were too vital to the operation to miss a few days? How about your friends and family? Do you plan on seeing everyone more or maybe moving closer to loved ones?
Here's what we know about new perspectives - they fade quickly! Sure, while you're in the thick of whatever caused these revelations, you believe that things are going to change. But, once the fog of trauma wears off, your attention wanes as normal life takes over.
This return to routine is commonplace among people who beat cancer or survive an accident. It's the extended version of the guy promising to quit drinking while in the throes of a hangover. You believe it at the time, but as soon as your condition improves, those intentions become less important.
So how do you keep your pandemic resolutions from going the way of signing up for that gym membership on December 31st?
The chances of losing twenty pounds, going to the gym every day, finding a new job, saving money, and visiting Paris at the same time are slim at best. If you genuinely want to keep your resolution, you need to pick one and direct your focus towards achieving it. A sniper picks a target and uses a rifle, not a shotgun.
Make the first move
Once you make your decision, it's time to take immediate action. If you want a new job, get your resume updated. Are you trying to save money? Set up a partial direct deposit to an account that's difficult to access. Does a dream vacation top your list? Open your calendar and book your hotel as soon as possible. Whatever your resolution, the longer you delay getting started, the less likely it becomes a reality.
Let the world know your plan. Use social media to announce your resolution and provide accountability. Change your employment status on LinkedIn or post a "before" picture on Facebook and invite people to follow on your journey. It's a lot easier to quit when nobody else knows you're trying. Peer pressure and the fear of judgment are powerful motivational tools.
Whether it's a deadline on social media or notifications on your phone, create automatic check-ins to measure your progress. Receiving regular reminders of your goals prevents them from fading into oblivion. It's also helpful to question your motivation occasionally and adjust your resolution without altogether quitting on it. It's important to stay honest with yourself and not allow your intentions to change based on impulse.
Have an ending
Your resolution should be specific; lose twenty pounds by Labor Day, find a job by the end of the year, see the Mona Lisa before my 40th birthday, save $5,000, etc. Having a vague idea of what you want is a recipe for failure. If you hope to be a better person or spend more time with the kids, how do you plan to measure it, and when do you know if you accomplished it?
Everyone has some aspect of their lives they wish they could change. The pandemic allowed us time to ponder how we exist in the world and consider how we might alter it. Don't let all of your valuable insight go to waste by simply rejoining the world as you left it.
How will you reinvent yourself?