As a career coach for college graduates, I am a master of teaching and establishing realistic goals while offering support as they plan their future. As a successful coach working with people who have very little life experience, I find it difficult to not give advice, which they often want from me. On the contrary, I need to understand what is important to them and guide them to establish a plan composed of their own action steps. Especially during the pandemic.
Undoubtedly, I reflect and search for answers in my own life and how I am coping with this challenging time. For me personally, the way to get out of chaos and uncertainty is to plan. So I started to make plans for the day even though I was sheltering in place. Not being able to leave the house did not mean that I didn’t have meetings, commitments, and plans.
Creating a Plan
Here are four distinct strategies that I started implementing in my life in order to get through this challenging time. It’s really easy to remember, just PLAN!
P is for Passion
Take this time to figure out what you are passionate about. What is the thing that you always wanted to do but never found the time to do? This is the perfect time to reflect and understand what you are excited about and where your energy flows. Before the pandemic, I was super busy and all about routine. That kind of lifestyle prohibits creative thinking and asking questions. Now that our routine has changed, we can meditate and quiet our minds in order to de-stress and figure out what we love to do. Whether you want to learn a new skill or implement a change in your life, figuring out what you are passionate about is a huge step.
L is for Limited Resources
Take this time to evaluate what material things you really need. Most of all, learn how to cut what you don’t need. I personally started with using QuickBooks to see first hand where I am spending money and figured out a way to cut things I don’t need. Starting with subscriptions to a bunch of services I hardly ever used, like Netflix and Audiobooks. I found it easy to get rid of things that I may need and concentrated on keeping things I need at the moment.
I also learned how to negotiate better with vendors for the services that I do need and was successful in lowering fees and late charges by being patient and explaining my situation. At the same time, I found valuable things to spend money on. I just saved so much by terminating all the waste. I started making better choices, like subscribing to services that would give me personal growth and development tools for my business. There is also an unlimited amount of free resources that I was able to take advantage of during this time to learn things I always wanted to learn.
A is for Ask Yourself What Your Core Values Are
Currently, many people are lost because they are in isolation and not doing their daily routine. Even for those who are working, they are working in different conditions with different expectations. For those who are not working, they are wondering how their job or career will change after this pandemic. This is the perfect time to get in touch with your core values and understand fully what is important to you and the kind of life you want to have-starting now. What kind of lifestyle do you want to lead? Many of us have exactly the same lifestyle these days, but it’s what you decide to do with your time that makes us different. Regardless of what your core values are, be honest with yourself and determine if you are living your values every day. Start planning how you can live your values once things start to get back to the new normal.
N is for Network and Collaborate
I can’t emphasize enough how this pandemic made us all realize how reliant we are on each other. Figure out a way you can incorporate more positive people into your life. Where can you come into contact with these people? I encourage you to research new contacts you can professionally collaborate with. Sign up for charity projects in your community and meet more people, at least virtually for now. Build out your network or clean up an old one. Get in touch with people and see if they are doing well. Offer to help if you can, it is amazing how far acts of kindness can take you.
If you always wanted to start using LinkedIn, this is the perfect time to start and do some tutorials. If this is the time you wanted to put your business on Instagram, this is the time to learn and get a mentor. There is a lot of information out there. I personally do a few demos a week just to keep informed about the latest tools available in the marketplace.
Days of uncertainty will be over at some point so use this time to learn and pick up some new habits. Plan with a PLAN, and you will become a better version of yourself once things start to improve.