It’s officially race weekend and I just nailed Friday night dinner! Blueberry, flax, protein pancakes with cashew butter and maple syrup accompanied by some Charles Shaw merlot in my fancy mason jar. Good life choices.
Seriously, though, I’ve been having a lot of conversations with myself (she’s a great listener and TOTALLY gets me) about the difference between reaching goals and something we hope works out well in our favor: EXPECTATIONS.
I’m notorious for setting my expectations too high. By definition, it’s a strong belief that something will happen or be achieved. The result when it doesn’t happen includes disappointment, self-doubt, and a slew of other negative emotions. I’ll share this example: as you may (or may not) know, for more than a year I’ve been working to build a small business offering writing services such as blogging, web copy, product descriptions and the like. When my family and I decided to finally make the big move to Los Angeles this past spring, it was my expectation that I would be able to build up enough clients and generate a decent enough income so that I would not have to find additional work. (Though I will note that my biggest motivator isn’t money… It’s freedom and flexibility… which isn’t always possible when you’re working for someone else, right?)
Reality set in about five weeks later. Do I still believe I can be successful as a writer and small business owner? In short, yes. However, I took a part-time job that has left me mentally exhausted at the end of the day with little desire to write or find jobs and clients. While that has been on hold for the past two months, I’m feeling a bit more settled now. I’m starting to think that I can allocate more time to my business and once again, begin working toward what I want to achieve by setting some new goals, while letting go of any expectation that I have about where I thought I’d be by now.
My point being is that the difference between expectations and goals lies in the effort. Goals require effort. Expectations don’t. Goals create direction and results while expectations are merely a belief that something could happen.
Why this? Now?
Because not only am I reevaluating what I want from my business, which wasn’t really the point of this post, is that I’m racing my first trail race this weekend and my first race in more than 7 months. I’ve decided that I’m going to run Sunday without any expectations other than running it to experience my first trail race and first race in my new city. Since I didn’t set any goals or put in any additional effort (training) for it either, it makes it easier to not fall into the trap of expecting a specific outcome.
I know the course is categorized as intermediate and challenging. I know that it is forecasted to be in the low 80’s Sunday but should be fairly cool for my 7 AM start. I know that I’m fueling myself like a champ with pancakes and cheap wine. I know that I’ll be happy to be surrounded by running community (because I’ve missed that a lot.) And I know that whatever the outcome, I’ll enjoy the experience without any expectations regarding performance. That statement, in and of itself, is a good life choice! Happy Friday!