Lifestyle & Parenting

How To Feel Positive About Achieving Your Goals Post-Pandemic

July 7, 2021

As the country begins to re-open, Canadians are naturally thinking about how to get their lives back on track again post-pandemic and beginning to dust off their goals, hopes and dreams. In fact, a new survey released by belairdirect reveals that most Canucks (83 per cent) remain optimistic and agree that you are never too old to dream, despite the fact that 75 per cent of respondents had to put off making major life decisions over the last 15 months. We chatted with belairdirect partner, Business-Brain Expert Dr. Brynn Winegard, about how to move from thinking about big life goals to having accomplished them via brain-based insights on things like strategic goal setting, overcoming psychological barriers and more. —Vita Daily

Hello Dr. Brynn! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.

Hello. Thanks for having me. I’m an applied neuroscience nerd, professor and expert in business-brain sciences. My research and focus is to provide practical insights from brain sciences that will be relevant and useful to anyone, in just about all that they do in lifeespecially at work or when is comes to achieving their goals. I fundamentally believe that a better understanding of one’s own brain and its inner workings will help you achieve more, be more productive, feel more motivated and live a happier life.

Your recent survey with belairdirect asked Canadians about their financial goals, life goals and well-being during and after the pandemic; what was the aim of the survey?

The aim was to understand, as the country begins to re-open, how Canadians are feeling about getting their lives back on track post-pandemic. A thousand Canadians were asked about their goals, dreams, aspirations, productivity and accomplishments before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses were extremely thought-provoking and gave an insight into whether Canadians see themselves as Dreamers or Doers, their sense of accomplishment, risk tolerance, and ability to be productive when it comes to achieving their life goals and realizing their dreams. As a trusted insurance provider to Canadians, belairdirect’s mission with this campaign and the survey they conducted, was to get a better understanding of how people across the country are feeling about dusting of their goals and dreams, what they need to feel supported and protected and give them practical tips and tools to help mobilize them from Dreamer to Doer status. No matter if you’re a Doer or a Dreamer, choosing the right insurance provider may seem like a complicated task, but belairdirect make it simple by being a trusted partner who is always there to help Canadians achieve their goals, and ensure that their dreams are protected.

Can you tell us about Doers and Dreamers, and the differences between them?

A Dreamer is someone who spends a lot of time thinking about and planning for things that they would like to happen. A Doer is someone who is very energetic, determined to be successful and someone who gets things done with vigour and efficiency. Most people spend time in their life in Dreamer phase, and so they should: conjuring up your goals and aspirations in life is important for sorting through what matters to you most and what you really want. That said, too much time spent in Dreamer phase (and not enough in the Doer phase) can lead to disappointment, a stagnant feeling in life and loss of both intrinsic motivation and overall productivity. A healthy balance is important to strike and part of the point of this research and my partnership with belairdirect is to help people feel empowered and supported as they get back to making major life decisions and seat themselves squarely in the driver’s seat of life, especially now that things are opening up again.

What were some of the implications of the pandemic, in terms of psychological barriers that may now make accomplishing our goals more difficult (or not)?

From the research, we found that 6 in 10 Canadians have changed “some of their priorities” regarding their plans and dreams because of the pandemic. While 3 in 5 Canadians say that goals give them direction in life, many feel that they do not have the right plan, support, mindset or resources in place to actually achieve them. Over half of respondents reported not being able to achieve their goals because of psychological barriers such as procrastination and fear of failure.

During the pandemic, some of us still did achieve goals, of course! What were some of the most common types of goals achieved during COVID-19, and why?

It is clear to see from the research that people were motivated to achieve and be productive, but their options were limited during the pandemic. Goals such as renovating, learning and fitness are all well within the limits of what was legally and medically possible for most people during lockdowns, and so we see greater achievement levels on those priorities over goals such as travel or buying a second leisure property, as examples.

As we move into a post-pandemic time and the world opens up again (fingers crossed) what are your top tips for “getting back to it” and shifting into the driver’s seat of life and business again?

My top brain-based tips to accomplish what you want to in life include:

  1. Break big projects into chewable chunks: This simple brain-based tweak will help you to achieve your goals and is a small habit that can result in big wins. Create small, actionable to-dos that will help combat procrastination and increase your sense of self-efficacy, as you will have solid evidence of the goals you’re continually and consistently achieving.
  • Do the toughest things first: Each morning, start with the toughest and most important thing on your to-do list. The small, administrative work will always get done, but will take primary position if you don’t make a conscious effort to make the “important” tasks a priority first. Having professional support in place in order to feel comfortable when making big life decisions is also an important factor to take into consideration here.
  • Right-size your to do list: Having a to-do list is a common and useful tool for self-starting Doers. However, it is important not to overwhelm ourselves with too many tasks that are impossible to accomplish all at once. To avoid this, take a look at your to-do list and decide on how many items you can realistically and safely cross off that day and still feel like you have made sufficient progress towards achieving your life goals.
  • Enlisting the right help for psychological safety in decision-making: As we move out of lockdowns and quarantines into a faster-paced life with more possibilities, it is important that have the right resources and support in place, in order to feel safe making major life decisions and achieving your dreams. When in doubt, or when you find yourself reaching a point of sluggishness with life goals or projects: ask for help from your social network and trusted partners. Friends and loved ones are often more than willing to lend a hand or provide advice. Finally, your support network need not be limited: ensuring you have the right professional services can go a long way to increasing your sense of psychological safety and support in decision-making and in life. Having the right insurance partner on board, such as belairdirect, can go a long way toward making you feel as though you’re safe and supported as you work toward accomplishing your goals and moving from Dreamer to Doer status.

So, what’s topping your post-pandemic goal list?

Thanks for asking! With things opening back up and people being allowed to be together again, I’d like to continue doing what I love most, which is getting back to stages, groups, companies and in front of real people again to deliver insights from brainscience they wouldn’t otherwise have, so they may live their best lives.

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