Happy New Year!
‘Tis the season for setting goals and “resolutions”! Have you already been setting yours? Are you nervous remembering that year after year you, like the rest of us, quietly set aside those goals we championed on January 1st to “eat better”, “lose weight”, “declutter”, “spend less”, “meditate daily”, etc. Many of us have dealt with the shame of giving up on those resolutions come February. This year, let’s all consider what might be realistic for us to shoot toward in 2019.
Let’s start with grace and baby steps. Instead of sweeping and grandiose statements to “eat better” let’s make specific and manageable statements like: “I plan to eat a salad every day” or “I will let go of my after dinner snack”. Not overhauling an entire menu but making small changes that can be easily implemented without too much work. Instead of “decluttering” you could plan to sort your junk drawer or clean out your nightstand. And daily meditation doesn’t have to be thirty minutes long-start with five!
What are goals and resolutions except “expectations”? Stick with me now. Let’s make 2019 different. Here’s what I mean:
You’re not alone. I’m not alone. We all hold unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. If we are completely honest with ourselves those unrealistic expectations can account for a high percentage of our disappointment and frustration in our relationships and self-assessment.
I’m not too proud to say that I for sure have expectations that exceed natural limits and impose those expectations on myself and others. But it’s only when we will take an honest and open look at our expectations that we can adjust them and reduce the negative impact they would otherwise have on us.
I’d also like to say that I am working to be more honest with myself about my expectations so that I can exercise grace more regularly. A little respect and understanding goes a long way in relationships and in building self-confidence.
When we extend grace and patience to ourselves and the people in our life (including strangers) we will find life flows much more smoothly. We will find we are fighting less and able to relax and enjoy our experiences and relationships more. We experience moments of contentment.
You remember being the kid who wanted what everyone else got? (Or maybe you’re that adult?) If we will stop comparing, manage our expectations and extend grace we will become more content. Trust me. Better yet, try it out and tell me if I’m wrong! I’d love to hear from you.