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What to do when the world hits pause on my life

We need to set goals if we want to jump-start our lives. Goal setting is often a good way to build resilience. If you have a plan for where you want to go, it is often easier to navigate any stressful situations in your way.

If you are focused on graduation, for example, it might help you look at an upcoming history test a little differently. You might be more likely to do your homework, study, and prepare for the test if you see it as contributing to your bigger overall goal.

If you are focused on buying a car, you are more likely to save your money than spend it on video games or a bag of chips.

Goals help us prioritize and make better decisions.

But what happens when something as massive as a global pandemic gets in the way of your plans?

If you have never set goals for yourself, now is just as good time as any to get started. You probably have a general idea of what you want. Think about some things that are important to you and that you would like to accomplish in the next few weeks, months, or even years.

Now think about these goals and how important they are to you. If they seem important then think about little things you can be doing now to bring you closer. Maybe there are books you could be reading to deepen your understanding of a subject or drills you could be doing to improve your jump shot.

For example:

If your main goals are out of reach because you can’t be on your school campus or your dream job isn’t hiring, figure out smaller steps that you could do now to get you closer.

Or, if your main goals seem too out of reach, even with smaller steps, consider aiming for a slightly different outcome. If all of your goals had to do with being on the soccer team this year, but games are canceled until further notice, maybe there is another physical activity that you can put your energy toward.

Take things one day at a time. If you have to adjust your goals, recognize that it is not always permanent. Try to check in with yourself regularly to see if anything has changed or needs updating.

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Want to learn more to improve your mood and cope with difficult situations?
Participate in a free, voluntary research study called Path 2 Purpose (P2P).

Contact the P2P Study Team at 1-877-268-PATH

http://path2purpose.uic.edu

path2purpose@uic.edu

If you are If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.  The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) connects the caller to a certified crisis center near where the call is placed.

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