Setting expectations

Today, I feel like talking about setting expectations and the way we should be thinking about how we set expectations.  For starters, there are various types of people with different styles when it comes to setting expectations.  There are people who set expectations super high and never expect to meet their goals.  There are people who set their expectations super low and always expect to meet their goals.  There are people who set their expectations in the middle and may or may not reach their goals.  I target to set expectations slightly on the higher side where I am pushing myself outside of my comfort zone slightly, but not too much where I never meet my goals.  Some call this stretch goals.  We want to go in and out of our comfort zone, but never live 100% outside of our comfort zone.  This can lead us to burnout, which I’ve blogged about previously in Burnout is real.

Reaching success requires perseverance, consistency, motivation, passion, and so many other things.  We need to really want to reach out goals and not just say we want to reach them.  Some times it sounds cool to say, I am going to do something.  You may not really be committed to doing that certain something.  If you have no commitment to the goal you are setting out to achieve, then your chance of reaching that goal is slim.  We want to increase our successes by increasing our commitment and making ourselves accountable.  We can do this by selecting goals that actually mean something to us.

For example, I want to pay off my mortgage by 2023.  This is a meaningful goal to me, which is challenging, yet very possible.  It requires me to continually grow in my career earning more money each year and constantly reduce my cost of living where applicable.  Once achieving this goal, I will be able to utilize the money that was once going towards my mortgage on other investments.  This will help me gain financial stability much quicker and hopefully get me to retirement by 50.  I would most likely not fully retire at 50, but just having the option is what I am aiming for.  Paying off my mortgage by 2023, is a very meaningful goal to me and my family.  Due to the level of meaningfulness, I am much more likely to achieve it.

Another goal I had previously was to complete my masters degree.  I did complete this goal because it was meaningful to me.  I knew achieving a masters degree would provide me with new opportunities inside and outside of my current role in my career.  I was also able to be sponsored by my employer, which allowed me not to have to pay for it.  Additionally, earning my masters degree helped me build more knowledge and develop greater effectiveness tools that I did not have before.  Again, this was another goal close to me which I ended up achieving because I made it personal.

So, it is very important to set your expectations and make sure you are setting them based on criteria that makes sense.  Make sure your goals are personal and meaningful to you.  You want to make sure you will commit yourself to these goals and hold yourself responsible for completing them.  Make sure your goals make sense in your life and where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and so on.  Expect to succeed and expect to do work to get you there.

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