Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year Mantra: Expectations

They say that disappointment is the difference between your expectations and reality. This is probably a fairly accurate equation, although disregards effort and work behind the scenes to achieve your expectations and transform reality. That's why I rather like Seth Godin's latest challenge regarding expectations.

Lower the expectations that you'll find an easy way out.
Raise your expectations for what you can contribute.
Lower your expectations for how effective that next shortcut is going to be. 
Raise your expectations about what technology can do for you if you patiently push it.
Lower your expectations about how an angry fight can help you win something you care about.
Raise your expectations for how much consistent daily action can transform your status quo.
Lower your expectations of finding a fairy godmother.
But raise them about the power of concrete goals that keep you from hiding.

This also reminds me of one of my favourite sayings: Dreams don't work unless you do.

A lot of people really loathe New Year's resolutions, and don't believe in hitting a reset button. To those cynics, I feel sorry for them - it's the most golden of opportunities, and the easiest mark in time to see how you are tracking throughout the year. I don't believe it's a tool for self-loathing, but a tool for self-improvement and progression as a minor cog in the wheel of humanity.

Admittedly, last year I was sporadic at best at keeping mine (last year's attempt at sending more handwritten notes tallied up to one thank you note, a number of birthday cards, and 1 Christmas card - lame!). This year, I have vowed to eat more vegetables which is an exercise also in deception for someone who hates vegetables. I am primarily eating soups with vegetables snuck in, but at least I'm a little more committed to this one. Yotam Ottolenghi - with all his chopping and pots and pans - will be my companion to 2016. I'm still trying to figure out if hot chips fall into the category of "Vegetables".

Another of my friends has boldly resolved to not buy clothes this year. Impressive. After hearing this, I immediately took back the clothes I'd impulsively and unnecessarily bought at Zara a few days prior and felt great! While I don't think I can commit to not buying new clothes for an entire year, I think it's a great resolution and kinda wish I'd thought of that. But at least by having the idea planted, it makes me think twice about my purchases, and that can only be a good thing (thank God for returns policies). For a great article on clearing out your wardrobe, and buying less stuff go here.

A little less of this in 2016

The benefits of sharing resolutions have now been proven. So... What did you resolve for 2016?

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