Managing expectations is the most important and most challenging aspect of the holiday season. We put enormous pressure on ourselves to create this Dickensian holiday where all the food is perfect and every child is happy, forgetting that we don’t have an entire staff of servants to help us pull it off.
So what can we do? We need to manage expectations, both our own and others’. You can either slave away in the kitchen to create a perfect meal OR look like a fashion plate in the holiday photos – you can’t do both! You can either buy the gift du jour for every person you know OR stay within your budget – you can’t do both!
This is where the priority we set last week comes into play. Let that priority be the cornerstone for your expectations. Are you focused on “Fantastic Food”? Then don’t worry about your diet on that holiday, and make cookies and bread as gifts to give away.
You can also use your priority to manage others’ expectations. Enlist your friends and family into your priority. Once your husband and other family members are clear about your goal, they can help you achieve it. This is also a great chance to delegate: if your husband is set on finding the perfect gift for each person, while your priority is the most spectacular Christmas light display, then let him do the shopping while you labor away in the yard.
Managing expectations is the magic wand to eliminate the “shoulds” both in your head and in the words of those around you. Want to learn more tips?