There’s a lot of talk about resilience, and with good reason. It’s an incredibly valuable commodity in our professional and personal lives. According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, threats, or significant sources of stress. It means bouncing back from difficult experiences. So how do you begin building your resilience?
Resilience doesn’t mean that your problems magically go away. It means that you have the capacity to get past them, move forward, deal productively with stress, and more readily find purpose and happiness in life.
How do we improve our ability to be resilient in the face of life’s little (and big) setbacks? There are lots of things you can do to build your resilience. Actively exercising compassion, gratitude, and optimism are commonly quoted practices that will improve resilience over time.
The experts are right, but that’s hard. Improving something like your sense of gratitude might require a significant change in your mindset. That’s even harder when your resilience might be low, or you are suffering through a tough stretch. So here’s something you can do today. Something you can begin now.
The Power of Goal-Setting
In writing about resilience, the Mayo Clinic suggests, “Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.”
This appeals to our executive coaching DNA. Ultimately, it is your sense of purpose — your “why” — that keeps you moving in a positive direction. We find that setting meaningful goals is a critical key to growth — in your career and in your personal life.
Try This Resilience-Building Exercise
1. Write down three goals that will help you:
a. Move your career or life forward in a direction you seek (this may include helping you adapt to a recent set back or a change you can’t control).
b. Result in a sense of accomplishment and purpose — give you a “win.”
2. At least one goal should be a “short-term” goal. Less than a month. Something where you can see progress quickly, and achieve a quick win. The other two goals may have longer timelines, but keep them under three months.
3. Use the SMART goal approach to creating what are called “Goldilocks” goals — not too easy; not too hard: just right.
4. Rinse and repeat.
Setting meaningful, achievable goals will help get you focused and keep you moving in aa good direction. They help create successes you can be proud of. And that begins to build resilience. Now, you’re ready to take on more ambitious efforts to strengthen your resilience. For more about approaches to building resilience, read “6 Ways to Build Grit and Achieve Your Goals.”
To learn more about resilience, setting goals, and developing your leadership skills, contact Arden Coaching at [email protected] or 646.684.3777.