March was an interesting month. As I listened to people and read through social media posts, I observed a lot of hope on one hand, and a lot of fear and despair on the other. The ping pong between these two states was causing stress.

This time last year, we were still reeling from the news that COVID-19 was now in Kenya. I still remember the day our first COVID-19 case was announced. Within a day of this announcement, two of my clients lost ALL their clients.

One of them actually moved from having about 65 clients in the morning to zero the same evening! We had to have an emergency coaching session at 8:00pm that night. Luckily, we managed to move her training sessions from physical to online immediately. We then crafted a message that she sent to all her clients.

By God’s grace, we got back 14 of her clients that night after she sent a WhatsApp message with the new virtual program we created in less than an hour.

In just a few weeks, her business grew so fast as clients came back and as she got referrals from her current clients. She hired new trainers and her business is still growing, mostly by word of mouth and partly through her active social media presence.

It hasn’t gotten better for many industries

Last week, five counties in Kenya were placed under lockdown. This is the second lockdown we’ve had and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Easter is generally a time of travel and fun in Kenya. Hotels and other tourist destinations were booked. Things were looking up for those in the hospitality, travel and catering industries, as well as other industries that feed off of these ones.

Then came the lockdown. Bookings have been cancelled and refunds have to be made. This is a kick that many businesses, especially SMEs, may never recover from.

  • How then do you still focus on your goals for this year?
  • Where do you start?
  • Is there a need to have a plan anymore given that we’re back to not knowing when things will ease up?

These and similar concerns are why this time I’m doing…

A different kind of quarterly review

As I look back, I realize that 2020 actually prepared us for success.

We didn’t think we’d make it.

Not only did we make it, but we came up with new strategies for living, working, parenting, and handling our lives!

As 2020 wound to a close, people looked forward to 2021, hoping that it would bring positive change. It hasn’t done so for many. And I think that it’s slowly sinking in that 2021 may be tougher financially, emotionally, and psychologically than 2020.

The truth is that recovery is always harder than illness.

We rested in 2020. We had no choice.

2021 is a recovery year even as COVID-19 ravages our lives like an unrelenting bushfire! Even those who are not negatively affected by the pandemic are affected by the collective emotional temperature…hence the fear and despair.

As we close the first quarter of the year, I have a few recommendations:

  1. Take your self-care seriously: Rest, good nutrition, exercise, and emotional well-being (including shedding off toxic people) will determine how well you weather this storm.
  2. Adhere to the COVID-19 protocols: This is not a joke anymore. The statistics are becoming the names and faces of people we know. The reality is here…it’s no longer far away from us.
  3. Let of goals and dreams that no longer serve you: 2020 was a quantum leap. Where did that leap land you? Dream and set goals from that point. In fact, if you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, stop working with goals and start working on a week or even a day at a time.

These are my reflections as I look back at the year that was and the growth this pandemic has forced on me.

Your quarterly review

Here are some questions to guide your review of Q1 2021 and prepare your plan for Q2:

  1. Where were you this time last year business-wise?
  2. What were your thoughts, fears and wishes?
  3. How has the pandemic impacted you? (Remember that impact can be positive too)
  4. If you had a quantum leap:
    • Where has this leap taken you?
    • How have you grown as a result of the leap?
  5. How has the first quarter of 2021 been business-wise?
  6. How are these results in relation to the goals you have for 2021?
  7. Where are you right now as we close the first quarter of 2021?
  8. What 1-3 actions are you going to take moving in the second quarter?
  9. What are 1-3 steps you’ll take this coming week (based on the actions in step 8)?
  10. Repeat step 9 each week while keeping track of what’s working and what’s not working.
    • Drop the things that aren’t working.
    • Keep the ones that are working.
    • Try out something new if need be.
  11. At the end of the quarter, complete steps 1-9 once again for a new review and plan.
  12. Remember to include your self-care and rest in your review and planning.

That’s a summary of the quarterly review and planning I’m doing for myself and for my clients. It’s not so much about looking at goals and tracking them…it’s more about identifying growth and maximizing it.

Why am I doing a different quarterly review from my normal one?

You see, people are panicking now when they hear the COVID-19 statistics or when they learn of people they know have succumbed to COVID-19. Unfortunately, when you panic, you move into fear…and fear paralyzes you.

If you force yourself to focus on what you’ve not achieved, chances are that you’ll increase the fear. Looking at your growth instead will give you something different to focus on.

Our biggest growth comes from overcoming obstacles. The strain placed on our personal, professional, business and social arenas by this pandemic is a major obstacle!

That, in summary, is why I’m advocating for a different kind of quarterly review this year.

Over to you…

  • How are you doing this year so far?
  • What are your results from the first quarter of 2021?
  • How will these results impact your plans for the second quarter?

I’d love to hear from you so please share your answers in the Comments.

In the meantime, keep well and stay safe.

(Image credit: Unsplash)


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Caroline Gikonyo
Caroline Gikonyo

Caroline Gikonyo is a Life and Business Coach at Biashara 360. She's an avid blogger and also oversees our content creation. This ensures that we give our readers quality and well researched information and tips.

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