2020 Goals Amid Conflicting Realities

Setting 2020 goals is challenging

Have you set any goals for 2020? We call them resolutions if we’re referring to self-improvement habits. The turn of the year, especially the turn of the decade, should nudge us to set some goals for our futures. Businesses do it constantly to bring aspirations into fruition with something bigger and better and, oh yes, more profit.

Setting goals is not an easy task. There are so many conflicting realities to consider. And, will your goals be short-term or long-term? Will you also have a “Plan B” just in case you’re wrong?

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Setting goals begins with predictions

Effective goal setting begins with quasi-accurate predictions of what the future holds. But what can you rely on to provide an accurate picture? News reports? Economic trends? Tarot cards?

Our current political world does not help either. As I write this, we’re now on what some consider a war-footing with Iran and we’re wondering what comes next? Care to make a guess if the Iran retaliation will be within the next few weeks, or months, or years?

Consider the unpredictability of the presidential election. Will Trump win? Which Democrat candidate will emerge? Will a third-party candidate step up? And what consequences will there be when the mystery winner is revealed?

The Visual Capitalist recently published an article by Nick Routley : What the Experts See Coming in 2020. They analyzed 100+ articles, whitepapers, and interviews to develop a big picture look at what experts are predicting for the coming year. In their words, Routley reports:

Through the ages, humans have feared uncertainty. We’ve searched for clues in everything from entrails to tea leaves to the arrangement of heavenly bodies in the night sky.

In the modern era, data and media are the new magic 8-ball. The jury is still out on whether we’ve gotten any better at anticipating the forces that will shape the coming year, but that certainly hasn’t stopped people from trying.

Predictions from a cozy easy-chair

So much confusion can tempt many to not even try to set goals. Why bother? There’s so much room for failure – to come up short.

From my big easy-chair perspective, I offer some predictions (obviously, based on opinion sans true research):

  • International relations will get worse in 2020.
  • Climate change will cause more devastation world-wide.
  • Politics will become more polarized and more accusatory.

As you can tell, these are not remarkable predictions. But, since they are easy to make, what will these new realities mean for us? What can we do? What goals should we set in the midst of these competing and conflicting realities?

2020 goals need to begin at home

I suggest we start at home and our friends and our neighbors. Let’s reach for greater respect. This is not just a kumbaya sentiment. This is a survival skill required for our future well-being.

As we take in whatever news comes our way, we must realize it affects those we know as well. Some news will be accepted, some rejected, and some will lead to conflict. A good sense of humor (a coping skill) may serve us well to alleviate stress in these dire times.

Will our goals be to speak the loudest, deny the most, and risk years (even generations) of relationships? Or will we listen more and learn more? Will our pride take us by the nose and lead us or will be open to other perspectives? Can we think long-term rather than focus on a more immediate difference of opinion?

I’m sure (another easy-chair prediction) that we’ll engage more in our politics during this year. It’s plausible that we’ll become more aware of what is happening in the world than we have in the past. We’ll form opinions and raise concerns but the questions become: So what? What does it mean for us?

2020 hopes

Hopefully, all of us will vote. I could go on and on about fairness in presidential voting, for example; but that can wait for another blog. Suffice it to say that Equal Voice Voting holds a lot of promise for all of us and our nation in future presidential elections.

Hopefully, we will employ some critical thinking as we make our decisions. Such hope means we’ll retain open minds to consider the motivating factors in play. How do the negatives weigh in, such as fear and greed and a lust to win at all costs (pride again)? How do the positives work their magic, such as kindness and decency and empathy? Where will wisdom enter in, or will it?

It seems to me, again from my cozy easy-chair, that a good goal to have is to be patient. We must persist, yes, to preserve the values we cherish most; but we must also consider the values of others.

We need each other. We need each other on a family-member to family member basis, a friend-to-friend basis, and even on a national and global scale. World events may seem far away but they still affect us. Harmony at home is a good place to start. Relationships are good to keep.

In short, our 2020 goals should guide us to be kind – kind to ourselves and to each other. Our future depends on it. Respect may prove to be the best survival skill we have in this new year – this new decade – this new era.

Here’s to 2020! May it be a positive one for all of us.

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team

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