Expect Less from Yourself

Changing your habits is hard. Most people know this at some level (see all of your New Year’s resolutions). The mistake we all tend to make is expecting too much from ourselves.

When something inspires us to change our behavior for the better (like a motivational speaker or a new beginning), we have a surge of confidence in ourselves accompanied by some extra will power. The mistake is assuming that this confidence and will power will last. This leads to unrealistic goals and, ultimately, disappointment when you fail to achieve those goals. This is a huge de-motivator and will make you less likely to keep trying.

The solution is simple. Lower your expectations.

Think about your enjoyment of movies when you go in with high expectations. Even if it’s good, you’re bound to be disappointed. Conversely, if you had low expectations, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when it turns out to be good.

Apply this logic to your habits. The further something is from your current habits, the harder it will be to achieve. Don’t expect yourself to radically change and then punish yourself for failing. Instead, expect less from yourself and reward yourself for it.

So if you’re trying to form a new habit, like publishing a blog post every week, maybe the posts don’t have to be long, well researched, and perfect. After all, you’re new to this. Maybe just write the bare minimum for one semi-coherent thought and publish it anyway. The fact that you published anything is a success.

That last paragraph was mostly for me. Congrats on hitting your goal, Russ!

2 thoughts on “Expect Less from Yourself

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