Goals and Expectations

A topic that has come up for me lately...How are you motivated by Your Goals and Expectations?  

In a balanced world, we set realistic personal (and work) goals and achievable expectations.  We plan ahead to keep our life organized and functioning efficiently and effectively.  What happens when we create unrealistic expectations?  Not just for ourselves, but for how everything and everyone should function.  

This may be a problem for you if you hear yourself saying, "This is not the way it was supposed to be." "Why is this always happening to me?" "I can see it so vividly that I can almost touch it."  Perhaps the over scheduling, degree by age 22, married by 25, first child by  age 30... Retire at age 50... Or, "Maybe I'll run a marathon this year..." from the person who hasn't run longer than 5 minutes in their life.

I see it in my office when practice member's pain interferes with the life they think they should be living.  When their body is yelling at them so loud to change something, fast, but they ignore it.  And want it to go away now.  Or maybe it's someone who seems really healthy, but has that one complaint that they fixate on.  It could show up either way.  

It can show up in our life with little frustrations-you wanted to go golfing, but now its raining;  you had 10 minutes to get to work but traffic is taking 25 minutes; you thought you were going to earn $100, 000 this year, but you only did $90 000; you thought you loved your partner but they forgot to bring you flowers on the day you felt lousy; you thought you had your dream job but you hate that one coworker; you thought you were healthy and then you got the flu.  If things aren't perfect, it doesn't count for anything.  Do you spend a lot of time thinking about life will be like when... (ie. you're on holiday, you retire, you win the lottery, etc.).  Do you focus on what wrong with your day?  

Since I am speaking from experience as this is my most out-of-control voice in my head, what next?  

My current approach is to move to where I am strong.  I like to create some structure, and take action.  Here's where I start:

  • Acknowledge that THE VOICE is talking to me again.
  • Make a list (I like structure).  SInce my list will take about 10 times the resources that I have, pick the top 3 things for today.
  • Schedule those 3 things in to the day in power sessions.  If you have 10 minutes, schedule that; if you have an hour, schedule an hour.  
  • Do those 3 things.
  • Can I find another balanced voice that can affirm that all of those things I want to do have a higher value?  If working out at the gym is on my list, isn't it ultimately because I love myself, want a healthy body, and want to be here with my family and to help serve in my office?  
  • Can I tap into inner resources that identify where my boundaries are?  
Do these strategies help you to create more realistic expectations?  

It helps me to acknowledge that my crazy expectations have gotten me to some good places-it helped me to get through school, build a couple of businesses, grow and build a family (and birth-a natural home birth may rank as a crazy expectation.) and helps me to maintain good health.  It would come in handy if I ever wanted to run a marathon (I don't), or who knows what is next on the list.  But I would like to keep my expectations in check, so I can continue with some peace of mind and a nicely balanced, healthy life.  

What are your strategies for keeping control of your expectations?  


  1. Our expectations can ruin just about anything! I am especially careful of my expectations for vacations, family gatherings, and social events. If I start to "daydream" about what it might be like, I quickly put a stop to it and say to myself - It will be what it is. This has greatly helped me to stop "measuring" an event against my expectations. I have more joy!

    1. That's so true Kirsten & how appropriate to just let the event unfold!

  2. Go with the Flow! Sometimes the best things happen when you have not put to many limits or expectations into meeting that special someone to attending a performance in Vienna!

  3. Its definitely a balance since setting expectations can be very motivating but they can also delude you from what might be a better path to take. I like to use the word 'intention' now instead of goal or expectation. It has a slightly different energy to it and helps me think more of the 'why' behind why I am doing something or setting a goal.


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