We all have expectations. It could be for the day, the week, the year, or even your life. I’m all about setting and going after goals.

But, that bring said, sometimes we have to dismantle our expectations. For example, yesterday afternoon (Monday), I had my expectations of how the afternoon was going to go. I was all prepared and even had stuff with me for what I needed. But, it was an afternoon of Murphy’s Law. Things kept going wrong, and it seemed to me that my afternoon just fell apart. In truth, I only ran out of time on one thing, and while everything else got delayed, it still got done. Once I was able to realign my expectations, I felt less miserable. Obviously things still went wrong, but I could still look at my accomplishments.

As another example, let me talk about my work for a little bit. My class schedule stayed the same, and honestly I had high hopes for the class period that ended up being my favorite last year (yes, teachers have favorites. No you don’t get on that lost by asking if you’re the favorite). We’re only on week 3, and that class is quickly becoming my least favorite this year for different reasons. I definitely think I’m more disappointed by that because I had such high hopes.

Both of these examples demonstrate the same thing: sometimes you have to dismantle your expectations to build new ones. My afternoon wasn’t a disaster, just not a good day. I’m working with the class to try to make it go a little smoother for the rest of the year.

I’m not where I expected to be five years ago in any aspect of my life. And that’s okay! My expectations change as my reality changes. It isn’t always fun to dismantle your expectations, but sometimes it’s necessary.

Expectations can help you plan for things, but they can also be setbacks. Expectations are a road map. But if you have too many expectations, you’ll likely wind up disappointed. My afternoon was still productive even if it wasn’t the best. My students are different and I’m learning about them, even if I don’t always enjoy the class.

Expectations change all the time. What’s more important is that you don’t get caught up in them as much. I am frequently guilty of this. But like many things, I’m learning and growing and continuously getting better.

So change your expectations. Make them realistic but also make them slightly out of reach. Continue to change and adapt them as life comes your way.

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