The power of adjusting expectations

This is a trick I definitely wish I had learned when I was younger.

It’s such a simple idea, but so powerful in helping life run just a bit more smoothly.

Simply stated, have different expectations for your day depending on what’s happening in and around you.


Here are a few examples to better illustrate the idea:

1. If you wake up with a migraine, you might not want to push yourself to do all 50 things on your task list and go to all the meetings you had planned. Gently adjusting your expectations here might mean working from home, or even just resting and healing in a dark room until you can fire on all cylinders again.

2. If your best friend (or parent, or spouse, or child) is going through a hard time emotionally, you might need to expect that they’re not going to be as available to be present and supportive for you. This is a time to dial up your self-care activities, like cooking healthy food, moving your body, and finding other ways to connect that feel safe and nourishing. Keep yourself strong and balanced so you can either help them recover, or at least be patient until they’ve come through the storm.

3. If you have pressing deadlines to meet at work, you’ll probably want to communicate that to people who either live with you or are closest to you. Adjusting expectations here could be the difference between maintaining harmonious relationships and finding yourselves on the rocks. I might say something like, “I love you tremendously, and I want you to know that the next [month] at work will be very busy. It might feel like I’m farther away for a while, but I’m always holding you tightly in my heart, and the busy time will pass. Let’s think up some ways we can stay connected during this period, and also some fun things we can look forward to doing together after it’s over.”

Having different sets of expectations like this can make it easier to be just that little bit more understanding, patient, and kind. To ourselves and others.

If we all practiced this, wouldn’t it make the world a more loving and peaceful place? In any kind of weather?

With love as always,

2 thoughts on “The power of adjusting expectations

  1. This is something I am learning to do, thanks so much for the reminder, today I have a residual headache from taking painkillers to minimise my cycle, so I need to remember to get up and go out for a couple of small walks, ( it always feels better once i get out of bed) and do some painting, but not push too hard and give myself a little time out to relax in. Its not full steam ahead.

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