It was no fun, nor easy. Our lives have been seriously disrupted and it’s not clear for how long or if it would be for good in the end. But what’s for sure is that we will still have our goals when it’s all over.
Well, it’s not all bad news. The good one is that this emergency we are subjected to will ultimately help us to understand what matters to us in the long run. And then we can make it a part of our vision. Today we will discuss how to do that in the areas of personal finance, health, and relationships.
The isolation might be over, but there will be some lasting consequences
It was rough and we all had our worries, troubles, not to mention all the new rules and restrictions. But the upside is that now we know well what hurts us most. Therefore, we have the unique chance to take them into account when determining a better long-term horizon of our goals.
Now is the time for a better long-term vision
It might look now very difficult, almost impossible, to think of what needs to be done in the many years to come.
It’s critical that we do not lose sight of the big picture, our guiding light, and great dreams. Only in this way will we be able to break free from the short-term concerns and fears so that we prioritize with more focus. Having a crystal clear idea of what needs to be done means that we will be able to take the right actions today and avoid any regrets for the lost time or opportunity.
It’s normal that when we are forced to be by ourselves we will look inward and reassess what the vital parts of our value system are.
And what are those that are not?
Wouldn’t you agree that it was one too many times when we pursued objectives that weren’t truly ours but imposed on us by peer pressure and the prevailing norms of our environment.
In times of uncertainty, it becomes obvious what we do NOT want. And then we can go on and build up a better understanding of what we need.
The silver lining
Don’t get us wrong! We understand very well that it is extremely tricky right now to do any productive work on our goals the same way as before.
At the same time we are well aware that everyone faces unique challenges. The way we analyze these, however, is pretty much the same. It shouldn’t be that different the way we define those and then writing them down so that they can fit into our visions.
Visions and priorities
There is no way that we get tired of repeating the following. The long-term 30-year vision for every major aspect of life brings in clarity, gives confidence and motivation.
How do we expect to go through life? What do we want to achieve in terms of our finances? And how do we take good care of our health? How do we see developing our relationships with loved ones and closest friends?
Without being experts in any of these, we are going to outline the framework, the way of thinking that can do the job for you. And finally, how to use the current extraordinary situation to get rid of anything that’s not what we want and thus free space, time, and energy for what we need most.
# 1 Personal finances
Perhaps things are going well for you and you have plenty of work, orders, and prospects in various business projects.
If so then that’s great. You are one of the very few who were lucky not to suffer financially in this crisis.
However, if that’s not the case then now is the perfect time to revise and improve your vision when it comes to securing yourself a big enough wealth fund.
You don’t have a vision? Start writing it now!
Those who have never tried to give it a serious thought may feel now at a loss where and how to start figuring out a working strategy.
But that’s not so bad. Just sit down and write it so that you never again get caught up by surprise by events like those of today.
These are some of the things to consider:
- Improving your proficiency in all matters financial by attending seminars, workshops as well as reading books (we strongly recommend Stoyne Vassilev’s program);
- Revenue diversification strategies;
- Setting aside money for the time when you won’t have any steady source of income;
- Start practicing the “first pay yourself” routine, i.e. setting aside 10% of your monthly income, regardless if it is 3,000 or 30,000 USD.
In other words, anyone facing the danger of not being able to make the mortgage payment next month will have to take action and thus change their life for good.
Do you already have a financial vision? Make it better!
Even those, who had a management system for their finances, will realize that there is a lot to be improved by fine-tuning and adjusting it to the new circumstances.
One way is to look for options to increase the passive income or how to make the monetary cushion bigger and more diversified.
There is always room for improvement and a crisis will put it to the test in terms of its effectiveness.
# 2 Health
We can all see what the matter at hand is. If we can’t get out in the sun and fresh air we become immediately much more appreciative of the outdoor activities.
Let’s look at some of the elements of a good vision for health.
Any isolation will seriously restrict an active lifestyle.
First, of course, is the limited space. How you do a morning jog within the limits of 2,000 square feet!
Next is the disruption of your usual gym routine. Niki, for example, took it very hard that he couldn’t work as usual with his trainer as he was doing for the last 4 years.
It is good that the fitness instructors quickly got creative and offered quite a few new opportunities for exercise indoors within the confinements of your home.
Well, this turned out to be a big challenge. The quick and easy access to your fridge is far from helping in trying to stay fit.
If you think that you don’t have the willpower to follow a diet from start to end then, perhaps, you can make this a part of your vision.
We found ourselves under some extreme conditions such as vitamin D deficiency and almost no fresh air (air quality improved considerably because of the reduced traffic).
There are many factors to the good physical shape but the underlying principle is one. Finding out what you need and miss most should move you to include it in your vision. And then start building the habits to support it.
# 3 Relationships
If this pandemic can’t kill our social instinct then nothing can.
The hardest thing for us was how to keep turning this bad situation into something positive and maintain at the same time the personal relationships. Sure, you can send your Granny a video clip of her grandkids or have fun doing a Zoom dinner with friends but nothing compares to the interaction when it’s done the old way.
If you are left with the phone and internet as the only means to communicate you will quickly begin to appreciate meeting people in person.
How do we want to interact socially?
This is a very good question and its answer should become part of your vision.
Ivan, for example, thinks of himself as more of an introvert than anything else. He values highly his time and privacy. And yet, on the very third day of his self-imposed “imprisonment”, he felt the urge for some, any social interaction.
Do we want to be completely focused on our loved ones? A friend of ours found himself stuck at home with his big family while trying to do his office work online. And soon after he realized it will do him much good in the future to expand his circle of friends and professional contacts.
Time for deeper self-awareness and the corresponding transformation
No matter what type of difficulties you can encounter the smart thing to do is to write them down. Then you consider carefully what the most pressing and significant changes are.
Your brain will register the problem and then start assessing the change that’s needed. In the end it will be well-positioned to resolve the issue.
Step by Step
Here’s how to prevail and keep registering progress towards your dreams:
- Get a pen and a piece of paper.
- Write down anything that was hardest for you in these past several months regarding the important aspects of your life, i.e. health, money, and relationships with family and closest friends.
- Go over these couple of pages and think what to add to, or remove from, your long-term vision.
Make sure that when you look at this you can see the new possibilities and not only the downside. But don’t limit yourself with the tactics for today or tomorrow. Look beyond these and try to explore further what will always be a priority to you and what you don’t expect to change.
It’s precisely times like those that drag and push us to take stock of what we want for us in the future.
 The article was posted in the spring of 2020 in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting state of emergencies in many countries (including Bulgaria) as well as the new rules on social distancing and several other quarantine rules.