How 4 People Continued to Kick Goals During ‘Unprecedented’ Times and You Can Too

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In ‘unprecedented’ times, COVID being the obvious example, it’s hard to focus on anything other than getting through each day. ‘Unprecedented’ means that nothing like it has ever happened before, so, without any how-tos, we’re only concentrating on doing the best we can — even if that’s barely scraping by.

So, the idea of not only being able to have goals but also being able to achieve them, is something of note. Ahead, we share how four Australians did just that. And be sure to read on to find out how you can, too.

“I Fell Pregnant”Lyndsey Rodrigues, Entertainment Editor

In 2020, my partner and I decided we would start trying to get pregnant in early 2021. When we first started trying, life was fairly ‘back to normal’ — we were both working from the office, had a packed social calendar and were constantly on the go. When the next lockdown happened in June, we had already been trying for a couple of months and the idea of putting it off while we waited to see what happened never actually occurred to us. The next month, we were pregnant.

I’ve often wondered if COVID actually helped us in a way because as soon as we slowed down, no longer had to commute or squeeze a zillion social plans into a week, it happened. Plus, we were very . . . um . . . available to each other when the timing was right.

Being older parents, we had to try to remain positive but realistic each month about our odds of conceiving naturally, but now I realise that our experience was a great lesson in how important and beneficial it can be to just pare everything back and really give yourself and your body the space to relax. Obviously, that was the case for us, specifically, and I would never want to minimise the pain of people who struggle to conceive no matter what they try.

COVID was a pain in that my partner wasn’t allowed to come to the first three ultrasounds, but ultimately, it gave us the forced chill out we needed to start our family . . . so we can never chill out again.

“I Started a Face and Body Oil Company” — Michelle Wang, Small Business Founder

Arithmos was a few years in the making, but I was ready to launch the products during the COVID so I just went ahead and did it. There’s never perfect timing and you’ve got to do it when you are ready. Funnily enough, the timing ended up working out perfectly as many people experienced stress and anxiety during COVID and self-care was more important than ever.

Arithmos Superfine Body Oil acts on both skin and mind with its aromatherapy benefits. The products produce healthier skin and help bring a more relaxed emotional state — all of which was needed during lockdowns.

“I Became Semi-Fluent in Greek” Jason Bardas, High School Teacher

I normally plan a big trip each year, so when I knew travel would be off the cards again in 2021, I set a goal to practice learning Greek every day for at least 15 minutes, to use when we can travel. I downloaded Duo Lingo and treated it like a game to try and get to a 365-day streak without breaking it.

There were times throughout the four-month lockdown when the days rolled into each other and I had no motivation, but I kept with it to hit my streak, and I’m so glad I did. My wife and I had our first experience just last week when we were at the pub and could have a conversation without our friends knowing we were talking about them.

“I Signed a Book Deal” — Natasha Bazika, Digital Content Producer

Pre-COVID, I was living my best life, travelling around the world, meeting people, experiencing new things on a daily basis. But then the pesky pandemic stopped me in my tracks. Although, as I always say, there is a silver lining in every situation. In 2020, I was stuck in Australia, unable to get back to New York (where I lived, pre-pandemic), which led me to an amazing job at Thrillist Australia, moving in with my longtime partner, and signing a book deal.

I was able to take the time to focus on my passion for art, design, and architecture and turned it into an opportunity to tick off one goal I’ve had on my list since high school: to write a book by 25. I didn’t exactly write it before my 25th birthday, but I did sign the deal before my birthday.

How to Achieve Your Own Goals in ‘Unprecedented’ Times

You’re likely feeling inspired and now wanting to set and achieve your own goals. Firstly, though, it’s good to understand what exactly is holding you back.

“People who have an external locus of control are reactive to their environments and tend to be influenced by things outside themselves,” says Tara Hurster, Psychologist and Founder of The TARA Clinic. “Situations like COVID can feel overwhelming and, while they are out of your control, it doesn’t mean they get to control you,” she says.

In reality, though, Hurster says that tough times can actually be to your benefit, pointing to many successful companies around today, which were founded during the 2009 Global Financial Crisis.

“Usually when times are tough, people feel fear and retreat into a sense of security,” she says. “When you notice that fear, instead of retreating, reach out to a therapist, coach or advisor and see if now is the best time for you to make a move.”

As well as finding and utilising a strong support network, Hurster also suggests making your goals using the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Bound) and practising mindfulness by becoming clear on what you want, while letting go of the feelings of overwhelm.  

“Take a moment to connect with your own internal drive and force, and you can make magic happen in any situation,” she says. “Think Oprah, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison. These people had the world around them either saying they couldn’t do it, or that they shouldn’t do it . . . yet they did!”

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