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Low expectations bring happier surprises

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I want you to try something today. Lower your expectations of yourself or something you want to get done. Are you going to be getting on the scale? Hope for a half pound loss instead of 1 pound. Need to laundry? Tell yourself you'll get 2 loads done instead of 4. Want to eat healthy perfect food all day? Tell yourself you need to eat 2 of your 3 meals perfect instead. You see, this isn't about degrading yourself or figuring you're not good enough to do it. It's freeing you from the self-inflicted pressure that we, as women, tend to create. We strive for perfection and the result of the failure is mostly devastating.

By lowering your expectations, you create something far easier to achieve. I know that when you meet your new goal, you'll feel accomplished. Then, when you find yourself able to go beyond the goal, you'll feel even more proud of yourself for EXCEEDING your expectations. It makes life so less complicated and so less stressful. The added benefit is that you actually do feel good about what you DID get done instead of feeling guilty about what you didn't.

By regularly meeting the bare minimum requirements of your lower goals, you'll be able to gradually build on them and be able to exceed them. It's a win-win for you and for what you need to get done. Releasing that pressure is probably one of the best feelings, and I have to say that I find myself achieving more than I ever would have dreamed of just a month or so ago.

I'm living proof of how this idea works. A little over a month ago, I was in a dark place, as your probably have read in my other blogs. Rock bottom, I like to call it. But one day, I just decided I would set a goal to do the bare minimum exercise. I would walk or bike around my complex at least twice in that first week. That was it. How easy? And once I did, I felt really great about myself and proud that I actually stuck to something I wanted to do. Gone are the days of wanting to workout for an hour 5 days a week. Even then I knew I couldn't do that, so when I pressured myself to do it, I FAILED and sent myself into that vicious cycle of self-hate that I seemed to be stuck in. But now, when I walk out that door with my sneakers on, I set out to do a little, just do something, and you know what, 3 out of 4 times I'll say that I do more than what I expected of myself. With food, I set the weakest goal, honestly, it almost sounds silly: I eat one portion size/plate of food, wait 10 minutes before going for seconds. It's so easy to achieve, and I rarely end up going back for more.

The results of meeting or exceeding my minimum effort have been great. I am down 10lbs in just a few weeks. So go ahead, plan to do the minimum this week, whatever that is for you. Slash your goal in half. The achievement high you'll get will beat the disappointment of failure, and you'll feel so much better about yourself. I promise!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    OMG, I probably could fill a notebook too! LOL Interesting thought, there. When I was seeing a therapist, she advised me that I tended to micromanage myself too much, so I cut back. But I used to list everything out. I've really had to adjust myself to not feel so committed to getting everything done in a day. Thanks for the comment!
    2228 days ago
    If this works for you, definitely go for it! I bought myself a spiral notebook at Dollar Tree and I actually wrote down EVERYthing I did a few days a week. I mean EVERY thing: Get up, Take Shower, Get kids up, remind kids about "x" at school today, drive kids to school, unload dishwasher, etc. ... right down to brush teeth before bed at night. It took up PAGES. Seriously, we do A LOT during the day. If you tried to write down everything you THOUGHT about doing on top of what you actually do, it'd probably fill the darn thing! It can really be a good pick-me-up! It helped me and you might think about giving that a whirl sometime too. You might be shocked to find out just how much you accomplish in a day.
    2229 days ago
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