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General Question

On setting expectations

posted in Making life work
Monday, September 23 2013, 04:34 AM
So a few days ago I asked this question on facebook, cross-posting it here since other people may have similar questions:
Is it more useful to set expectations lower, and then to celebrate when they are consistently exceeded, or to set them higher and run the risk of not meeting them?

Gimli (brown belt, A1(B1?), source) gave this answer:
Going by what a wise man said: if you have a tiny list of say 5 expectations, you might meet them all. Okay cool. Or you get a BIGHUGE list of say a 100, and you get half. You didn't get them all but you got a lot more :). The trick is to celebrate what you do get and not get upset by what you don't (yet)

Anyone have more/other insights into this? Thanks!
Responses (1)
  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 02 2014, 12:51 AM - #permalink
    When I FEEL out both scenarios, it goes a bit like this:

    1. Setting low expectations, tiny list, finishing all -- Very bored, lazy, unmotivated. There's no real DRIVE to do anything more than that tiny list and move along, and this sense is blanketed with a feeling of Bleh. You might get it all done and that's great, but there'd be no celebrating involved, not really, because something inside wouldn't feel it's worth celebrating. You haven't pushed yourself, and you know it.

    2. Setting higher expectations, finishing some/most [The Inbetween] -- There might be moments of frustrated and being hard on yourself because you haven't 'done it all', so in those moments it's important to realize what Gimli said. You might not have finished ALL the things, but you have done far more as a result of pushing yourself to do SO much than you would have in the other scenario. And then, absolutely, there would be more celebrating.

    For the Doers among us, probably some emotional hang-ups and things that'll need processing as a result of 'doing a lot [but not enough]', from what I've seen of those around me the last year or so. From then on, it's a lot easier to really enjoy the challenge and feel proud of yourself.

    3. Setting higher expectations, finishing all - Initially a honeymoon phase where everything's great and you're proud of yourself. And if so, it probably won't last very long before the boredom sets in and yous tart twiddling your thumbs. When you get here, it's important to stop. Celebrate it. And then start setting new goals, and begin working toward them. Just be careful not to over-do or be hard on yourself.

    That's my input :)
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