A friend asked me what my expectations for 2022 were, and I hesitated. Almost afraid to say anything for fear that it will not happen (again). But before I give you the full gist, let me first congratulate you for making it to the new year!
My friend and I went on to talk about how normal it is for life to throw us some curveballs, and how we all need to be more flexible even while making plans. To be honest, some of us are just tired of the curveballs and dents on our plans… it’s like ‘Why bother?’
In a different conversation, I was asked what I took away from 2021 and for me it was that ‘Life Goes On’. No matter how many nights we cried, or how difficult the year went, we’re still here! ‘Life goes on.’ ‘The show goes on.’ ‘C’est la vie!’ Whatever way you choose to see it. And you know what? That’s a good thing! But before I get to that, let’s circle back (yup! See what I did there with the corporate lingo?)
So about expectations… I’ve always been a fan of making plans. I love making plans. But from 2020, I have experienced a major shaking in my plans and goals. All I had planned for myself seemed to be tossed out of the window and I was in a high speed chase with life. It bruised me, challenged me, gave me some few victories, but in general, it was tough! And here we are at the start of a new year. Naturally, it’s like ‘why bother making plans? Life is going to happen either way.’
So here’s how to start the year with(out) expectations
1. Start with the simple goals: low hanging fruits that can be attained from the first quarter of the year will give you some sense of progress. It will also build your confidence in your ability to achieve the bigger things. For instance, this could be the year you get your driver’s license. Or you take an exam you’ve been postponing. Or maybe the year you lose 20kg. Keep it simple and attainable.
2. Start with God: this can’t be overemphasized. What better way to start the year than with the one who knows how it ends? Also, this verse that says ‘Commit your ways to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will bring it to pass’ (Psalms 37:5) comes to mind. Knowing that He’s a good father who wants good things for His children will help you be confident in setting up expectations for the year. “
This is God’s Word on the subject: I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.Jeremiah 29:10-11 MSG
3. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen? If 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything, it’s how to be resilient. We’ve witnessed a pandemic like never before! We’ve gone through lockdowns, lost people, lost jobs, gotten broke, etc. What’s the worst that could happen if you choose to have positive expectations for the year? What will life throw that has never been before? Another heartbreak? Another rejection letter? There’s nothing new under the sun, and as such, you’ve got a chance to dream again and hope again.
4. Focus on your focus: I hear that phrase a lot, and I think it’s important to know where we’re placing our focus. While 2020 and 2021 were pretty difficult, they were also some of the best years for some people. Why can’t we be those people? Why can’t we choose to focus on the endless possibilities that lie ahead of us? This could be the year we’re truly happy and have found fulfillment. This could be the year we develop wings and fly. This could be the year we fall in love, find new jobs, and live life truly. Train your mind to focus on all the good things that could happen for/to you.
5. Steer the ship: yes, life happens to us either way, but you could also change the course of life with your choices. Choose what content you allow in your life (start by limiting negative content). And be in control of your life. There’s this quote that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. This means you’ve got so much potential to change the course of your life this year. Who sees an iceberg ahead and keeps going head on? Every good captain knows to change his course, away from the destruction ahead. As life happens, be flexible. Try to give room for change. Don’t let the hardships sink you.
I hope you find some wisdom in all of these. Please share with anyone who is struggling with the idea of starting again.
Remember, you are worthy of new beginnings.