Everyone has expectations. Everyone should have expectations of themselves. Some people are better at achieving them than others. Last year was a very interesting year for me in that I started off with a list of expectations that I had of myself only to be left a little disappointed by the end of 2016. I am also very aware that it’s been forever since I’ve posted but not only am I here, here I am! I took some time to reflect on what I could do better moving forward in regards to the expectations that I’ve set out for myself and thought I’d share. Here’s to a better year!
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
I’ve heard this all of the time but I always felt like this was always an excuse but it definitely depends on you. If you’ve genuinely tried hard to meet an expectation and fell short, don’t be so hard on yourself. Figure out what didn’t work and try to improve on it. Regardless if you fell short, you were closer to meeting your expectation than ever before.
Document your expectations.
They say what isn’t measured can’t be managed. Documenting your expectations is a great way to refer to them when you need a reminder of what they are. Better yet, put them somewhere that you can see on a regular basis. If you don’t document your expectations, you won’t remember if you’re keeping on track with them. The constant reminder will help you make daily or weekly decisions that will put you closer to that end goal.
Evaluate your expectations.
While you have those expectations written them down, this is the time to take a look at them and decide whether or not they are realistic. Be honest with yourself. One sure way to fall short of your goals is not giving yourself enough time to complete them. Something like “I want to write for one hour every day” may be a difficult task if you’re juggling school, a job, children, yourself, etc. Make sure you have the time, resources, support, and anything else you need in order to reach your goal.
Brief others on your expectations.
This may sound like a weird one but I think this is pretty important. While I continue to set expectations for myself, I still live in a world surrounded by family and friends. If I expect to have more fun, the people I surround myself and expect to be having fun with should probably be aware of that, you feel me? This is not to say that you can’t have fun alone because that’s not true, but it would certainly help if the people around you shared similar goals and/or expectations. If they’re around having fun than that makes it easier for you to find fun to have.
This one is my least favorite. I am not a very patient person, especially when it comes to the things I want (don’t judge; I’m working on me). Give yourself time to to reach your expectations and be open to compromising. Just because things may not have come out exactly how you expected, be open to learning from what you did and what you could do better. Remember that good things take time. You don’t want to rush something or take shortcuts to things that you want to last and be forever great.
Take this time to reflect on what your last year was like and know that it isn’t too late to make a change. Sometimes I get the urge to switch things up in the middle of the year. There’s so much less pressure to make change in July than it is in January when everyone else is, well, expecting you to. What are some ways you deal with expectations?