In a recent Politico article, 34 professionals predicted how they think COVID-19 may change certain aspects of our reality. From community to tech, to health and science, to church and religion, experts are making predictions of changes to come.  

There is no doubt there will be change. And looking at this change through a fresh lens is a critical leadership task and opportunity in which we must take advantage – and not just professionally. If we “get it right” during this season of uncertainty from a personal and family perspective, intrinsically we will emerge more refreshed, energized, and aligned as better spouses, siblings, sons and daughters.     

In his book, How Successful People Think, John C. Maxwell describes his approach to scheduling his month in advance. What struck me about his method was his systematic approach to prioritizing family and personal events on his work calendar. This hit me hard. Full transparency – I haven’t done well at prioritizing family and relationships as a Gen X professional.  

We discuss a lot of measurable action planning and goal setting in our curriculum here at Solutions 21, so why is it that we often align these systems with our professional life and not our personal life? Have I been too focused on being the best at work? Have I committed 100% of my energy, mentally and emotionally, to work and not left anything for family relationships or personal recreation?

If you continue to kick the proverbial can of “work-life balance” or “integration” during this time period, you will miss one of the biggest opportunities presenting itself to all of us: what to do with the family. What a beautiful dilemma.  

Can you take some of the professional goal setting and measurable action planning techniques and apply them to your personal life? Sure, you can. Now is a great time to look at your work week, and deliberately plan out family and personal events with deeper goals associated with each. Some goals may be:

  • Update the five-year family plan (finances, individual-goals, family goals, etc.)
  • Start healthy family habits like a walk, run, bike ride, etc.  
  • Reinvigorate family sense of adventure with things like geocaching or letterboxing.
  • Rekindle your personal love for nature and the outdoors by dusting off the fishing rod or sidewalk chalk and take advantage of the spring season.
  • Plant that family garden to increase self-sustainability. Start small with just a few raised beds.

With the current state of the world, working to live should have new meaning to us. Now is the time to commit to planning and resourcing our other-than-professional goals.  

I may not have been asked by Politico to make a COVID-19 prediction, but here it is anyways: the pandemic-induced slow-down will increase intrinsic life-value for those who develop goals and measurable action plans for relationships and personal hobbies. Don’t miss this opportunity by letting anxiousness and worry dominate your life. Be the HIPO those closest to you need starting right now.