In part one of this blog I introduced my roadmap to an emotional reset to reenergize and recover from the unsettling times of the pandemic. We probably haven’t paused long enough to realize the amount of stress and strain we absorbed during those months. This emotional load is not healthy to carry and neglecting to address it can result in long-term problems.
Part one of this blog discussed the first three steps: take your temperature, take a breath, and take a break. These encourage us to pause; to take stock of our emotional wellbeing; to relax; and disengage from the things that don’t uplift and sustain us.
Once we have assessed our current emotional state and reduced the influence of stressors, we are ready to focus on resetting ourselves in three steps:
- Reset your priorities,
- Reset your attitude, and
- Reset your goals.
Reset Your Priorities.
Mastering the demands of work and life can start with a question, “Have I been doing the things that are urgent in lieu of the things that are important?” This problem reveals a misalignment of priorities; a common trap that we all fall into periodically especially in times of pressure and uncertainty. Misaligned priorities cause us to work harder and harder while not making progress toward our goals. It is exhausting!
Luckily, once we realize it, we can easily fix the problem. Asking another question will lead us out of the ‘urgent/not important’ frenzy. “What is really important – am I prioritizing the most important work?” Further, we might ask, “Is that really even going to make any difference in a year, two years, or five years from now?” If what we are doing today will not be on the radar for the long haul, why get so worked up about it today?
So, reset your priorities from most important to least important. Start with the most important. Usually that means focusing more on relationships than on things. Then, order your other priorities. Once you have done that, it is very insightful to see where your daily activities fall into these priorities. Your important work should receive more focus and effort than most of the urgent matters. Perhaps some of your lower priority work can be delegated to others who might benefit from a stretch assignment. Eliminating the strain of trying to do all things for all people, and letting go of low priority activities, will clarify your best and most important use in the company and your family.
Reset Your Attitude.
The next step is to reset your attitude. One day you wake up and recognize, “Wow, I’ve fallen into the habit of talking myself into a bad attitude – that’s not where I want to be!” It can happen to all of us even when we aren’t under such tremendous emotional strain. The good news is, all you must do is recognize the need to change by saying, “You know what, not today!” Then, boom – flip the switch! Simply decide to set aside doubt and fear and refocus on the good, the beneficial, the positive. Resetting your attitude is the quickest way to change what’s happening in your life. It is a choice to see things in a better light. A change in attitude will cause you to look outward not inward. It will cause you to focus on doing good to others – lifting them up. It will help you look beyond the troubles of the day and focus on achieving worthy goals. You can engage your personal power to be better at work, at home, and in the community. Choose an optimistic attitude!
Reset Your Goals.
The final step is to reset your goals. Whether they are set intentionally or subconsciously, goals give us something to look forward to. There is great power in anticipation. They provide the inner motivation to get somewhere, to achieve something, or become a better version of ourselves. When properly set goals keep us focused and moving in the direction of our priorities. They eliminate confusion and endless ‘what to do next’ decisions. The process of achieving goals energizes and assures us that we are always moving on a beneficial track.
The most sustaining goals right now, during times of turmoil and confusion, are long term goals. They cause us to focus beyond the present frustration and fatigue that weigh upon us. We need to lift our heads and set our minds on our future. Goals will help us do the right things today that will result in a prosperous tomorrow. Be sure to create short-term goals which connect your long-term goals to your daily activities and provide a clear focus for every day.
In this two-part blog I have shared steps that will help us recognize and eliminate the mounting strain affecting our health and relationships. I have encouraged each of us to stop and step out of the race long enough to catch your breath; and to take a break from the many negative voices that erode our happiness. Armed with this awareness, I shared three resets that will help us focus on the future. I hope these steps will be helpful as you unburden the cumulation of emotional strains from 2020, and look to the future with anticipation, wellbeing, and faith.