During 2020, have you been given or heard the advice that it is important that you “think positively” to try and shift your emotional state? Did it work or have a lasting impact for you?

Hopefully it was able to have some impact for you but my guess is that you need something beyond the advice of “think positively” to assist you in getting to the end of 2020 and to assist you in setting the foundations to shoot for success in 2021. This article will help you do that.


It is important to acknowledge that each October, Mental Health Month gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. It is a chance to promote
activities and ideas that can have a positive impact on our daily lives
and the lives of others. 


We are hearing more and more that our mental health is suffering the longer the COVID-19 lockdowns/restrictions go on especially here in Melbourne and Victoria and I naturally wanted to write an article that could assist someone to enhance how they are feeling, thinking and planning.

Mental health has been highlighted as a national priority by the Federal Government, so much so that in their recent budget they committed $5.7billion to mental health as part of the COVID-19 recovery efforts.

More than just “thinking positively”

Whilst thinking positively has always been a factor for your own mental health, another key element is that of seeing, feeling and experiencing progress. Most people equate this to achieving goals.

Tony Robbins, the well-known Motivational Speaker and Life Strategist, is quoted as saying that “Progress equals happiness”.

In 2020, many people have had their life dreams disrupted and their progress has either stalled or gone backwards. As a result, their life satisfaction, happiness and wellbeing has gone down.

So how do we get back on track given we are still living through the pandemic experience?

A good starting point is to utilise some teachings by David Neagle around goal setting in the context of 2020 and COVID-19.

David Neagle is one of the architects of the coaching and personal growth industry and runs The Successful Mind, a podcast focused on cutting edge information and strategies relating to success mindset, leadership, wealth creation and relationships.

After having listened to many of his podcast episodes this year, I have summarised the goal setting approach that David has put forward with key points that will help you to expand your perception of what is going on,  how you are processing it and how you can utilise it for a better outcome.

The Background Context

Our goals at the start of January 2020 changed significantly in March 2020 when COVID-19 started to impact the Australian landscape. In amongst the chaos of the emerging pandemic, we had to try and adapt as best we could as the story unfolded. In the constantly changing game, we naturally went into “survival mode” or the fight or flight (or freeze) mode.

Rather than focusing on the goals we had set for the year ahead, we were thrust into figuring out how do we simply get through this and come out on the other side. I heard it everywhere, businesses were shifting from “growth” mode to “survival” mode.

Now with less than 12 weeks to go before the end of 2020, we need to try and salvage the year by putting in one last effort to achieve something meaningful whilst also giving ourselves momentum to head into the new year. Don’t wait for the New Year’s resolution to get started. Start now.

Considerations for goal setting – specific to this year

  • Traditional opportunities have changed so don’t get caught thinking about the old world. We can’t assume that things are going back to the way they were. We need to think differently about our current situation to be able to progress out of it.

  • Your viewpoint will be impacted by what you know. The facts of your life and the past programming you have had influence the way you see the world. Be conscious of this and the fact that you may not be able to see opportunities because of it.

  • Ask yourself, “What do you really want right now?”. Rather than using the traditional question of “what do you really want?”, add “right now” as that will get you focused on using the current situation to project out from. If you were to go with the traditional approach, your mind would go to “what I think I can do” in the current situation as it is referencing the facts of what is going on and what you know versus referencing potential and opportunities.

  • You can’t get a new result if you keep following the same thinking. We need to think differently but if you don’t understand that it’s the way your are thinking (referencing the past and the facts), then you will continue to get the same result. The crisis is causing a lot of “what I think I can do” which is where people are getting trapped in not being able to move forward as their thinking is stuck in the past.

  • Consciously put effort into thinking differently. What do I really want? What did you want at the start of 2020 versus what do you want now and what do you want for 2021?

  • Structures have changed. How we do things, the way we work, how we can travel etc., have mostly changed. Acknowledge this and set your new goals with these new structures in mind.

  • Discovering opportunities through the new structure. With new structures comes new opportunities. Given structures and channels have changed, we need to change too. This opens up possibilities that may not have been possible before. Be creative in your thinking and don’t let your programming or the facts from the past, limit your imagination.

  • Now is the time to be setting yourself up for 2021. Setting yourself up for success now puts you at an advantage for those that are waiting for this year to be over. You can build the foundations now that can be the platform for next year.

  • Write your goals down in a written statement. Make your goals a statement and start planning the actions/activities you need to take to achieve them. Put the actions in your diary and start moving forward.

Set your team up for success in 2021

Whilst this article has been focused on you as an individual, now is also a great time to be thinking about how you can get your team set for 2021. Carrying momentum into the new year is critical for team performance leading into January.

Davidson PXP offers a number of Team Solutions that can assist in planning the goals for 2021 and also getting the team working effectively as a unit.

Get in touch to learn more about how we can assist.


Cameron Norton, National Solution Lead, Davidson PXP

Contact +61 400 913 843 or via email: cameron.norton@davidsonwp.com