Choose your next right thing

After two years of dealing with covid, I feel like the world is starting to reopen. This month I was able to cross the Canada-U.S. border without having to show proof of vaccination or a negative covid test. And this past week, during a lull in mask mandates, I was able to travel on a bus without wearing a mask. It seems like we’re looking at a future where we can travel, gather in groups, and have conversations that don’t require signing into Zoom.

Anxiety and Overwhelm After Covid

It’s not surprising that many of us are anxious about how to go forward with our businesses. Our world is not the same as it was in February 2020. Since that time, more than 80 million Americans have been diagnosed with covid and more than 990,000 people in the United States have lost their lives. The economic impact due to business closures and job losses has been staggering, as has the toll on our mental health. So exactly how do we move forward?

First of all, I think this is a great time to rethink your goals. In your ideal world, what would you like to happen with your business? Do these goals excite you? Or can you brainstorm goals that are more appropriate or motivating?

Secondly, look at what you are willing to do (and not do) that is different from pre-COVID. For instance, you may love meeting virtually and decide to stop in-person meetings altogether. On the other hand, you may dislike interacting via Zoom and be ready for lunch dates to resume ASAP.

Thirdly, look at how your business adapted to covid. Do you need to make any changes going forward? For instance, perhaps you run a yoga studio and have had great attendance at your online classes. In this case, you decide to offer a hybrid schedule of in-person and remote classes as you move forward.

Choosing the One Thing

One of my favorite business books is The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller. In this book, Keller recommends that you choose the one thing that will make everything else easier or unnecessary in the following areas of your life — spiritual life, physical health, personal life, relationships, job, business, and finances.

Here’s how it works. A close friend recently started a coaching business. She quickly realized how much time it took to manually schedule appointments, remind her clients of upcoming appointments, collect payments, and reschedule appointments when people couldn’t show up. It was clear to me that one thing she could do to improve everything else in her business was to install a scheduling app such as Calendly. This enables people to manage their own appointments, pay in advance, and receive automatic reminders. This one thing has freed up a lot of time and been beneficial for her and her clients.

Your one thing may benefit several areas of your life. I have osteoarthritis. It causes pain, which interrupts my sleep, which leads to fatigue, which makes me crave sweets for a short-term energy boost. There are lots of ways to improve my health, including exercise, diet, supplements, massages, and medication. I’ve discovered that taking a daily walk is one thing that improves my health, mood, sleep, weight, and stress levels. Deciding to work on the right one thing in each area of your life can pay big dividends.

What your next right thing?

If you’re paralyzed with moving forward, ask yourself: What is my next right thing? What small step can I take to move forward with my goals? It might be:

  • Cleaning off my desk so that I feel less stressed.
  • Learning how to use HootSuite so that I can schedule my social media posts.
  • Hiring a contractor to fix my website issues.
  • Limiting my alcohol consumption to Friday and Saturday night.
  • Reaching out to a pre-covid customer every week.

Advice from a Disney Princess

If you’re feeling stressed about what to do next, take the advice of Anna in Disney’s Frozen II. You can watch Anna sing Your Next Right Thing on YouTube or by clicking on the link below.

I love the message of this song. Anna is feeling lost, hopeless and ready to succumb to the darkness. She knows things will not be the same. However she decides to move ahead with tiny choices and small steps. Here are part of the lyrics to Your Next Right Thing (written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez):

Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing
I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make

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