Each year, we take inventory of what is important to us and how we can better ourselves the upcoming year. We make lists of goals and set out to accomplish our resolutions, whether they be personal, professional, spiritual, etc. Early this year, the pandemic surprised us all and we were not prepared for the various changes that came our way. Now, as we begin to approach the closure of the year, we are confronted with how we can accomplish some of our goals, even during an unfamiliar and complicated time.
As funeral professionals, we know how grief, tragedy, and change can shake us. We also know that the only way out is through, and we can still find meaning and comfort in the everyday tasks that bring us joy and a sense of purpose. Even during times of pain and difficulty, we can find the silver lining and make the most of our time and efforts. As we approach the closure of the year, we’ve put together a list of tips on how we can work towards our goals and make the most of our final months:
Accept that some things are out of our control.
None of us expected to be thrown off course this year. We made many plans that we could not follow through on. Before we can move forward, we need to accept the things that are out of our control and recognize that looking back, our year will look vastly different than we expected or hoped. Once we grieve the loss of many of our plans and goals, we can work on actually accomplishing what we still can do.
Consider what is truly important to you.
Setting goals to achieve by the end of the year is a great way to feel productive and connect with your values. Consider what will bring you the most joy and peace during this time. Whether you have been meaning to build an herb garden in your backyard or finally get around to organizing your funeral arrangements, there is still time to make a plan and get it done. What will make you feel the most fulfilled? Is there a particular task you keep putting off that will feel great to cross off your list? Working toward a goal that aligns with your values can help you feel mission-driven and give you purpose during a time when we need it most.
Make a list of reasonable goals.
Once we let go of the things we are unable to do this year, we can focus on our goals that are still achievable. You may not be able to finally go on that safari in South Africa, but you do have time to organize your home movie collection! Find the goals that are meaningful and achievable to you and make a list. When making your list, consider what can actually be accomplished during this time. Try focusing on things that can be done in a shorter time frame, so you can get it done before year’s end.
Set yourself up for success.
Think of what may get in your way as you work toward your goals. Do you need help? Are there any appointments that need to be scheduled? Perhaps you need to block time throughout your week to focus. Consider how you can set yourself up for success by setting a realistic timeline for your goal and sticking to it! You may be able to find a friend to help you stay on track if you have similar goals you are working toward.
Sometimes, goals can feel large and unattainable at first. Take a step back and consider the smaller tasks that you can focus on, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the final product. What is the very first step you need to take? If you set out to begin painting, what is stopping you? Can you order materials online? Take an online introductory course? Schedule time each week to go outside and find a beautiful spot to paint? While planning is important, the best thing you can do is start! Once you begin working towards your goal, you will build momentum. Trust yourself to find creative solutions and you are well on your way to accomplishing your goals.
Be patient with yourself.
As you begin to work towards your goals, you may find that you are not as productive as you hoped. Maybe you are finding it hard to focus or you are feeling overwhelmed. Rather than getting down on yourself, treat yourself with grace. It is a difficult time, and it is okay to work differently than we are used to. Give yourself a break, slow down, and think about what you need to get through the moment and move forward in the way that feels best for you. Show yourself the same compassion and understanding you would show your friend going through a similar rut. As you work toward your goals, you will find a working style that feels comfortable to you.
Celebrate the small wins.
Celebrate each step along the way! Even committing to beginning a goal can be difficult. Did you make a call you were dreading? Finally decide on a paint color for your bathroom remodel? There is always something to celebrate. By acknowledging each step along the way, we make the journey more enjoyable and much easier. Setting out on accomplishing a goal doesn’t have to be painful; celebrate the small wins and you may even find yourself having fun.
If you are considering planning ahead, you may be wondering how you can get started. It’s easy. Find a local funeral home near you and schedule an appointment. Many funeral homes will allow you to learn about their preplanning options over the phone or via video chat free of charge. Once you’re ready to begin the process, give them a call or inquire about their services online. You can then explore your options at your own pace and consider what is important to you and how you would like to be remembered.
If you’re interested in planning with a ShareLife provider, please give us a call at (407) 710-6775 and we can help you get started with the process. And, if you are a first responder interested in funeral planning, call a local ShareLife provider to learn about our discounted packages to thank you for your service.