We are all in new environments – working at an “essential business,” working from home, or not working at all. We’re all re-creating our daily routines with work, family members, homeschooling, and pets eager for our attention. In the early days of sheltering in place colleagues in my business coaching group started saying, “We should make our COVID-19 Bucket List.” I have decided that a SIP Bucket List sounds much gentler and one less direct reference to the disease that has created worldwide fear and anxiety. 

As business professionals, the first thing we think of is our customers, sales, and business operations. What are things you have wanted to do but have remained in the back of your mind because your schedule was so busy and time was so limited? This is a good time to take a step back and reflect on operations and business development. Maybe you can dust off your business plan and consider how you will pivot in response to the pandemic. Have you been wanting to expand your social media program or sales and marketing programs? Consider reading books and doing research to develop your expertise and hone your skills for business and personal development. Or perhaps you want to tackle some of those home-based projects like cleaning your garage or organizing closets. 

For whatever you decide to put on your SIP Bucket List, it will be helpful to have structure and focus for your projects, business planning and development goals. Or perhaps you have personal and family goals for your list. 

There is a saying that a goal without a plan is just a wish. Here some tips on creating or updating your goals. Some of these techniques are well known and may be reminders of what you have already practiced in your business. As you review these, I encourage you to be mindful of how these can be used for your personal and family life goals. You may even want to do this to your homeschool curriculum. 

SMART Goals: This is a common technique and acronym for setting realistic goals. It helps to specifically define what the goal is and how you will know when you have met the goal. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action oriented, Realistic and Time bound. You can do a quick google search to find details on setting SMART goals. 

1-3-5 GPS: We use this in our firm as a simple and systematic way to break down long term goals to shorter term activities necessary to accomplish goals. A GPS helps us find our way from where we are to where we want to go. Using this technique, you identify 1 Goal; break it down to 3 Priorities; then 5 Steps to complete each of the 3 Priorities. For each of the five steps identify the person responsible to complete the step and by when. 

Calendar your activities: A calendar of our time is like budget is to money. We all have limited money – and time. Ensure you have structure to your day by blocking time for all your activities. Schedule time to complete your tasks and projects and include time connecting with others. 

Time for Self-Care: Make sure you take time for yourself. Reserve quiet time for reflection, prayers and meditation. Enjoy our spring weather by taking walks or riding your bike while, of course, maintaining social distancing. Plan “walking” phone meetings with your team or catching up with friends and family. Many health clubs and personal trainers are offering fitness classes and webinars so you have more options for online training. 

Good luck everyone. Stay healthy, stay sane, and stay home! I look forward to seeing you all when we to return to our (new) normal lives.