Expect Nothing (story time)
Last week I got to repeat one of my favorite vacations, but I was also reminded of something that I'm struggling with.
I expect a lot.
I expect a lot from myself. I expect a lot from my kids. I expect my vacations to all be amazing because I spent time and money to get there and it just has to be (parents are you feeling me here?)
My last vacation showed me that I'm still not quite there.
Seriously if you get the chance to do this kayak trip - you should! You drop in the river right below the Hoover Dam, and kayak 14-15 miles down the Colorado river to end up at Willow Beach. Most split it up the kayaking into 2-3 days, camping along the way. The water is a shiver-inducing 50 deg, but you can hike up to the hot springs that fill the mountains on both sides.
Both years I traveled with a group of super fun friends. We got to hike to the same spots, see the same amazing views.
But this year left me feeling less satisfied.
It's because I came in with the expectation that this trip would be as amazing. While it was still fun, the wind blew the entire second day making for pretty rough kayaking and seeing the same blue water and rock formations didn't create the same level of wonder.
This applies to our happiness levels daily. When we set experiences on a pedestal- When we turn to them for relief from our daily grind to function - we never learn to experience true joy. Think about the feeling you may experience after opening presents on Christmas Day. So much build-up to an event, and then it rarely lives up to the hype, right?
When you have expectations, you are automatically setting yourself up for disappointment. The best thing we can do is start small. Start with ourselves.
This is one of the biggest causes of the "all or nothing" mindset that sabotage diet and exercise programs. We expect to see a certain amount of pounds lost by a certain date. We expect to feel a certain way by the 3rd week of a program.
The reality is, we will never be 100%. It's not possible because life happens. We are human beings at the mercy of hormones, and experiences we can't control. When you expect to be 100%, you have already failed.
Try this instead.
1. Start small. Really small. Smaller.
It's ok to set goals, but expectations are different. Don' t hold yourself to a certain weight loss number. Remember - you can't control that. Just make a goal to walk 100 more steps in a day. If you exceed that goal, then that is just icing on the cake.
2. Live in the moment
Find fewer reasons to escape. Leave your phone at home or put away when hanging out with friends. Observe the wind blowing through the trees and consciously process the positive feeling. Consume less media and more books that invoke self-observation. This will help relieve that panicky feeling of overwhelm.
3. Face the consequence
Observe what would happen if your expectation doesn't come to fruition - But approach it as if your best friend is telling you about their problem. If your kid doesn't make the volleyball team, will your lives be ruined? If you don't find time to work out for a couple of days, will you lose all your progress? Usually, the end result isn't as bad as we think it will be - Which can reduce anxiety.
The more we expect less, the more joy we will find! Happiness and peace come from within.
As a wholistic Health and Wellness Coach, I can help you figure out which expectations are holding you back. It's challenging to overcome a lifetime of self-sabotage and failed diet attempts. Sometimes we need an outside perspective to help guide us along the way and reach our goals. Feel free to message me to set up a free 30 min session with me and see if we are the right fit!