07 March 2021 (updated)

New Year's Expectations vs. Reality: Plan for Success

Many times there's a big disconnect between our New Year's expectations vs. reality, and that's okay!

Here are some expectations vs. reality scenarios so you can set yourself up for success with realistic goals for 2021.

The ball has dropped, New Year's Eve has come and gone, and now we're faced with great expectations for the next decade! Sadly, not all our dreams will become a reality during the new year of 2021, and that's okay. Here are some ways to modify some unrealistic goals so you can enjoy the best year yet!

New Year's Expectations vs. Reality: Health and Wellness

Expectation #1: This is the year I will finally have an awesome supermodel body!

Yes, this is the year I will be as healthy as possible! I'll go from a couch potato to an elite athlete and boldly display rock-hard abs at the beach!

Of course, it's possible to plan to improve your health, but having such broad goals are difficult to measure. Instead, we prefer a more thoughtful reality.

Reality #1: I can set small, measurable, manageable health goals.

Eventually, those little decisions will yield large and significant changes as you embark on a healthy lifestyle. Even though this goal isn't quite as exciting, little lifestyle changes, like drinking enough water every day, or incorporating daily exercise, really add up.

Bonus reality: I can be thankful for my health and the body I have right now! Focusing on my body's positive attributes goes a long way!

New Year's Expectations vs. Reality: Social

Expectation #2: This will be my year for achieving true social media influencer status.

I'm ready for a million hits on my YouTube channel and just as many followers on Instagram!

There's probably not a more prominent disconnect between New Year's expectations vs. reality than on social media. Yes, it's great if you're a social media star, but so much of what we see online isn't an accurate reflection of reality.

Reality #2: I can be a better friend.

Does it really matter how virtually popular you are? At the end of the day, most people would choose real friends over followers. Especially during COVID-19 and with many of us stuck at home, it's so important to connect with our true friends. So rather than striving for social dominance or trying to crack some crazy algorithm you can't control, focus on being present.

Even if you're totally happy being a nobody on social media, think about what would happen if you were to spend your social media time investing in physical relationships instead. You might reach new levels of friendship with the ones you love!

New Year's Expectations vs. Reality at Home

Expectation #3: I will have a perfect house this new year!

I will host at least one flawless dinner party a month, take the time to declutter in a way that would make Marie Kondo envious, and make daily gourmet meals.

Some people are naturally blessed with a good dose of hospitality and can clean with the best of them. If you fall into that category, I hope you invite me to your next big party.

But others of us are relieved if we make it through the day without burning the house down and get overwhelmed with the thought of cleaning. Even the most meticulous housekeepers may fall short in their expectations of perfection since nothing stays perfect for long. Especially if you have kids!

Reality #3: I can choose joy, no matter what my surroundings may look like.

Whether you have a sleek minimalist home or a cozy maximalist one, when your perspective changes from house perfection to house enjoyment, guess what happens? You don't just manage disappointment when your house goals fall short, but you have more fun in your home!

If you'd like to have a tidier house, rather than a cleanliness overhaul, stick with one or two measurable goals a day, like making sure your sink is clean every night. Or cleaning out one small room of the house each week.

You could also focus more on extending hospitality to others, no matter what your house looks like. Because at the end of the day, your memories will be more about the people and less about the way your house looked.

New Year, New You!

So on the eve or morning of a new decade, you have plenty of opportunities to say goodbye to some disappointing bad habits and adopt new positive life changes. You can't control external circumstances, but you can control your attitude and outlook on life. Managing your expectations and defining clear-cut goals will go a long way! It can bridge the gap between your New Year's expectations vs. reality.

Whether you have goals of transforming your life or just enjoying it more, studies show that we're a lot more likely to stick with resolutions if we write them down, and we have other people to keep us accountable. Our family is using FamilyApp to share our resolutions and keep each other on track this year. It helps us stick to our plan of small, manageable goals for 2021.

What are your New Year's resolutions?



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