culture & community

Mid-Year Musings: Goal Setting During Covid-19

by fleurdelilah — July 23, 2020
goal setting during covid-19 planner on desk

These past six months have flown by, leaving many of us feeling a bit stuck. So, let’s take a step back and reflect on goal setting during covid-19.

I can’t believe it’s already the end of July. These past six pandemic-filled months have flown by while I—and maybe many of you— feel, in a way, stuck.  While the first half of 2020 has been unlike what many of us have ever experienced in our lives, many of us have been confined to our homes (and understandably so). With that said, maybe it’s time we take a step back, reflect, and rethink goal setting during covid-19. 

Reflecting And Goal Setting During Covid-19

No exercise classes at the studio down the street, no backpacking trips across Europe. School postponed, businesses hanging by a thread. But it’s precisely because of this situation that many of us, myself included, have grown in other ways—and sometimes, without even realizing it! Here are some changes we’ve experienced these past few months:


My husband and I prioritize (international) travel, so typically we would’ve had a few international trips by now. While we’ve made a few trips at the beginning of the pandemic, our international travel plans are obviously suspended for the time being. 

Eating Out

We are major foodies. So living in a city, we love trying new places to eat. Big cities attract people from all over, so you can always find a variety of authentic international foods. But like elsewhere, eating out was largely prohibited for a while due to the covid-19. And while many restaurants in Japan have reopened, we are not yet completely comfortable with eating out as much as we used to do.


Relatedly, the way we grocery shop has changed. While in the past, I might only get groceries for a few days at a time (a common practice in Japan), now I shop for a week (at a minimum).  As the local farmer’s market is suspended, we get more of our things from the grocery store, favoring canned and frozen options that will last longer. 

Reevaluating Goals During Covid-19

Let’s be real: some of your plans might not be in the cards for this year. Some goals might have to be postponed.  It’s time to reevaluate what you want to accomplish this year and why. Over these past few months, your priorities might have changed. Or maybe you just realized what really are priorities to you. Reimagine your goals in this new situation. Here are some examples of how we’ve reimagined our goals:

Domestic Travel

Hopes and prayers won’t make borders open up any quicker. You know what will? Not spreading covid-19. So, we will plan to stay close to home, making day trips to nearby places on occasion and taking domestic trips with our pup later in the year.


I love freshly baked goods. So, I’ve started baking some of our staples (like baguettes). I’ve even branched out and am making things like homemade pasta (which, while not a baked good, does start with a dough ball)! I’m still no Michelin-starred pastry chef, and I’m not a huge fan of cooking. But being able to make some of our favorite baked goodies at home is not only safer than eating out right now, but it’s also incredibly satisfying. 

Language Learning

While language learning is a lifelong journey, I really wanted to kick it up a notch this year. And despite visiting a few language schools at the beginning of the year, covid-19 had other plans. So, now I’m self-studying. Equipped with a few new textbooks and apps, I study a bit every day. And while I may or may not be learning as efficiently as I would in a class setting, I’m still improving. And that’s what matters.

Not All Changes Are Meant to Last

This pandemic will transform us. Some changes will become lifelong habits. But some just won’t stick. And that’s fine. I tried growing herbs from seed. In the end, I just didn’t enjoy it. Maybe next time I’ll try an already mature herb plant. My point is, this isn’t a competition—it’s a time for growth. Take the time to try something new. Maybe you won’t accomplish our goal of going to the Olympics this year. So what? You’ve accomplished so much already.

Photo credit: Alexa Williams

How’s your year been? What are some of your tips for goal setting during covid-19?

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