Managing your expectations in 2022
Six ideas to better manage your hopes, dreams and expectations during 2022. By Sally Parkes
Setting new intentions and goals is something of a tradition for many of us every January. But how many times have you hit the ground running with your big list of resolutions in the new year, with the hope that when once achieved they will allow a ‘new you’ to emerge, only to run out of gusto by the end of the first month because life got in the way?
If, like most of us, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’, then you may like to look at different ways in which to set more attainable goals and enjoy the journey towards reaching them as well.
Release the pressure
As a general rule, humans don’t work well under prolonged pressure. So by adding to the to-do list of daily life with lots of additional goals, our pressure levels can increase and affect our productivity and overall wellbeing. So how about writing down five goals that you’d like to achieve at some point in the near future, which cover all aspects of your life including nutrition, exercise, family and social life, hobbies and work, then prioritise two or three of these and start with those? This way, you have already halved the potential pressure placed upon yourself and are more likely to change your intentions into action.
Acknowledge that progress is not linear
It’s very common to get discouraged when your plans don’t unfold in a linear fashion, but if you look back on your past achievements, no matter how big or small, you’ll notice that they rarely do. And that’s okay! Try to enjoy the journey instead by observing what you’ve enjoyed so far, what didn’t work out, and how you can tackle the challenge differently next time. This will also help to build your confidence for next time a difficulty arises.
Be open to change and check in with yourself regularly. As you start on your path towards attaining your dreams and goals, you may find that as you begin to move closer to them, that they are not really what you want after all. So allow time to ‘check in’ with yourself at least every week, and see what that brings up for you, and honour yourself by being ready to change course if you need to, or even choose another goal altogether.
Journal your progress
Journaling can be a wonderful way to log how you have moved forwards in the right direction for you. And you don’t have to write extensively each day for it to be beneficial; sometimes by simply writing down a statement, thought process or affirmation that resonates with you, it can help you become mentally clearer, acting as a useful tool to help you gain more clarity in which direction you’d benefit from going in next, as well acknowledging how far you’ve come.
There’s no such thing as failure
Nothing is perfectly aligned with exactly what we hope for, but if we are open to eventualities, we can still enjoy the end result to a certain degree. For example, you may want to start a small business, but your initial idea didn’t quite work out as planned, so you changed your business angle and now it’s working out better than you ever imagined. Remember, fudge got invented when a toffee recipe went wrong!
Be kind to yourself
At times, we are not kind to ourselves. This can include being unrealistic regarding how much time and energy we actually have to put towards our goals, focusing on what we haven’t achieved, comparing ourselves to others, the list goes on. But by cultivating a daily practice of befriending ourselves we can reframe our self-perception and become our own best friend instead. Consider how you’d speak to a good friend of yours if they had something they wanted to attain or achieve; it’s likely that you would speak to them with love and encouragement. Now consider consistently speaking to yourself in this way. What would that do for you, and how would it make you feel? After all, the relationship with yourself is the most personal and important friendship you will ever have, so you owe it to yourself to be your own cheerleader, so you can move towards your own goals in creating the life you very much deserve, whatever it may be.