Monday, September 22, 2014

Recongizing Unrealistic Expectations

Many of us are faced with the horrible fact that we have unrealistic expectations. It can be anything really. I know that I have a list of unrealistic expectations. These expectations can be a good thing at times because they motivate you to get up and do something. For instance, my unrealistic need to have everything clean and tidy keeps me motivated to get up and clean the house. Or my expectations regarding my weight or how I look makes me want to workout, eat healthier, and drink more water.

There is another more dangerous side to unrealistic expectations though. They can make us feel depressed, upset, and as if we do not measure up. I can definitely say that social media (especially Pinterest) makes me feel less than adequate at times. How is it that these supermoms can manage a household of 3 or 4 kids, keep their houses organized, make delicious meals, and create the most creative crafts ever? I seriously want to kidnap one of those women and have them work at my house for a month and teach me their secret ways!

unrealistic expectations
Image C/O ancient history

Unrealistic expectations can also be a horrible thing because you can't actually do what you want to do. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Do you have more than enough work for you to complete?

A significant other, children, or a roommate that refuses to help out?

Are you in a transitional period in your life?

Does your life happen too quickly due to technology and social media?

Do you have a limited amount of space?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions then you may have some unrealistic expectations when it comes to simplifying your life and organizing your home.

More than enough work for you?

Why its a problem: Its good to have goals for yourself. Much like unrealistic expectations, goals can help us do better than we ever thought possible. At the same time, goals can turn into cumbersome burdens that hold us down and suffocate us. Let's face it, no matter how hard we try there is simply not enough time in one day to get everything done. So prioritize your goals.

How to fix it: The keyword here is prioritize. Keep a list of everything you want to accomplish. Put the most important tasks first so that they will definitely get done and put lesser goals toward the bottom. That way, you don't have to beat yourself or drive yourself crazy trying to run around doing a million different things at once.

A significant other, children, or a roommate that refuses to help out?

Why its a problem: This problem is probably the hardest of them all because you are dealing with outside forces that you cannot necessarily change. There's really no way around just sitting and talking with the person. I'm sure you could find a plethora of passive aggressive ways to show your frustration at their less than stellar housekeeping skills, but that really isn't going to make the situation any better, believe me.

How to fix it: Sit your significant other, child, or roommate down and have a discussion on how to keep things clean and tidy. Tell them that its everyone's responsibility to keep things in order and it isn't fair to put all of that stress on just you.

Are you in a transitional period in your life?

Why its a problem: Are you looking for a new job, changing apartments, getting married, or having a baby? These are all huge transitions that can change your life completely and that's just a few of the major life transitions that we go through at some point in our lives. In most situations there is no use in setting up a permanent organizational system because you have no idea of what is and isn't going to work.

How to fix it: Wait till you have the bigger picture to make a system. Until then, setup a temporary system that will help with the transition and keep you organized.

Does your life happen too quickly due to technology and social media?

Why its a problem: Technology is great. Honestly, I can't imagine life without wifi or my smart phone- which oddly enough was only about twelve years ago or less. I feeling as if I'm telling my age but in the past few years my life has completely developed around technology. And I love technology but sometimes it can be a bit too much. Everyone can get a hold of me and that’s rather annoying. It seems like every time I get into a project someone calls me, it never fails. Then, I lose track of what I was doing and all is lost for a few hours.

How to fix it: The fix to this technology debacle is pretty easy. Simply cut out some time in your busy schedule to start getting your organizing done. Put your phone on silent, ignore the calls, or simply turn your phone off. It isn't necessary to be available to everyone all of the time.

Do you have a limited amount of space?

Why its a problem: Let's face it as women we are pretty much expert packers. We've mastered unbelievable levels of Tetris and can pretty much fit everything AND the kitchen sink into a small clutch. But there comes a time when you must accept that you cannot fit another item into a certain room. Honestly, we're miracle workers when it comes to this sort of thing but there is only so much we can do.

How to fix it: There are so many ways to fix this problem. First of all, you can toss some unnecessary items. If you need guidance or instructions on how to know what to toss you can check out my post on How to Get Rid of Sentimental Clutter. Personally, I love cutting down on my belongings. It makes me feel as if my materialistic possessions do not own me but I know a lot of people out there are shaking their heads in disagreement. For example, my mom cringes every time I even mention getting rid of a few of her twenty-something ice cream scoopers, and that’s totally okay. Honestly, that is another problem entirely and I'll get to it in my next post. Another (less invasive) way to fix this problem is to get a bigger space or rent a storage building. That way you can keep all of your things and still reclaim your space.

If there is something you'd like to see here at Methodical Living or if you are in need of some organizing advice, feel free to send me an email at (I'm always happy to help)!!

If you have any comments, personal stories, or you just feel the need to vent about any unrealistic expectations, feel free to do so in the comment section below!

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