Expect Reality


Every New Year I don’t set resolutions for myself as I believe lofty resolutions just set us up for failure.  And since when has that been healthy for anyone?  Instead I attempt to reset my expectations to ones that are fairly realistic.  Nothing that I most certainly must achieve and nothing to shed tears over not completing.  I’ve finally learned (I’m a little hard headed) that I may have the best intentions but I don’t control the forces of life.  There’s just too many moving parts.  There’s unexpected illnesses.  Unexpected job losses.  People with free will and opinions that I am unable to govern.

Bluestar Ink January 2013 Desktop Calendar

Bluestar Ink January 2013 Desktop Calendar (Photo credit: emily.bluestar)

So why wait until almost February to talk about my expectations for 2013?  Well, because life happens. And, in all honesty, February came too fast.   I seriously think days magically got shorter!  This post is a perfect example of realistic expectations.  I rarely manage to meet self-set deadlines so getting to this just about 29 days after the new year is reality and expected.  No disappointment here.

I’ve gathered a few more of my expectations for 2013:

The house will still never be completely organized and clean.

Once clean, the house will likely only remain that way for 24 hours or less.

The boys will still not perfect the art of landing urine in the toilet.

I will not give up beer and nor do I really want to.

I still won’t be able to qualify as a vegetarian because, dammit, meat is just too tasty and accessible.

As much as I think I want a career, this young, busy family still needs me full time.  And for the first time in a long time that makes me really happy.

Every article I write will not be published.

Every idea I pitch will not be a winner.

Even with all the boys in school I still will never have enough time to complete my to-do-list.

I won’t be able to make my way around Portland without a GPS by 2014 and that’s absolutely okay.

This won’t be the year for my comeback marathon.  Reality is that this back still needs some post-op healing.  But maybe a half marathon?

Weight loss won’t come easily and I’ll swear at the scale and mirror more times than I can count.  And then I will look back at pictures of me in 2013 and think, “WTF was I complaining about!  I wasn’t even that heavy!”.

Bathroom Scale

Bathroom Scale (Photo credit: -Paul H-)

As much as I want to love cooking I still won’t.  Just wanting to love something doesn’t make it happen.

After all that has happened to us in 2012 and continues on in 2013 I have to place a bet on this not being the year to ween myself off anxiety meds.

It’s likely that I still won’t make it to a Women’s Quest surf and yoga adventure.

There are purchased books in my kindle that still won’t get read.

Flossing will still be the dumbest idea on the planet (to me) and I’ll yet again have to hang my head in shame as I see the disapproving finger wave of my dentist.

Adult acne is here to stay.  It’s been here since I was 12 (that’s…ummmm…24 years!)  Why would I set an unrealistic goal to waste money on tons of products that are not going to work?  Been there.  Done that.

FB and pinterest will still suck too much of my time.  But it’s fun so who cares!

I’ll still want more tattoos.

I won’t save the world.


Gravity will still be waging a war against me.

English: New Year's Day postcard mailed in 190...

Maybe this makes me sound unmotivated and maybe even lazy.  But I don’t see it that way.  I save my motivation and vigor for the really big things in life.  The ones that really matter.  In fact I can breathe deeply knowing that there is nothing for me to do with these expectations beside accept their reality.  It is what is and I’m perfectly content with that.  If I set out to change one or all of these I’d only feel frustrated and discouraged.  Instead I just feel relief that some things will remain the same and if one of them changes I’ll have exceeded my expectations and I’ll have something to hoot and holler about!  It doesn’t mean that I don’t set out to try new things and hope for the best in others.  It simply means that I don’t fight against the inevitable.  To me that seems relatively healthy.  So cheers to a healthy and realistic 2013!

How about you?  What resolutions do you need to change to realistic expectations?


About ThinkingWithVitality

Wife, Mama, Certified Wellness Life Coach, Certified Vet Tech, adoption and special needs advocate, adventure seeker, wannabe vegetarian, freethinker, knowledge hunter, secular humanist. Love writing, distance running, cycling, hiking, photography, nature, essential oils, natural medicine, traveling, RVs and tents, reading, adventures, organizing, authentic living, good beer, acoustic music and happy to have landed in Costa Rica for this moment in time.

2 responses »

  1. Love this! I’m with you on the beer, the vegetarian wanna-be and of course the weight thing. My reality is definitely trying to finally accept myself for who I am (which really resonates through this post). So much to let go of, right? Thanks for this Amy!


  2. Exactly, Shannan! There’s too much that we are doing already to focus on burdensome resolutions that are often difficult and unrealistically achievable. Definitely not saying I don’t have goals for my life (because i have tons) but I don’t add the pressure of a ‘must achieve or I’ve failed’ mentality to them. The list above is stuff I’ve stopped fighting against because I rarely win against those things.
    That said, was I foolish for joining your 365 challenge? I might have been!!!! Not starting until boys are healthy (two home sick from school today) and now my chest is congested :(. Wondering how to log even one mile in those conditions.


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