Lower Your Expectations: A More Satisfying Life Awaits!

“The key to happiness is low expectations.  Lower.  Nope, even lower.  There you go.” 

~Ramblin’ Mama

I came across this quote online.  I read it and it was a light bulb moment, people.  This Type A mama needed to lower her expectations.  

My high expectations were creating problems in my life.   I realized almost everything and everyone around me was affected by my unrealistic expectations–high or even low.  This was true for a work project,  a well-kept home, planning big events, or even just running errands.  If I expected the best and it didn’t turn out spectacularly, I had feelings of disappointment and frustration.   If I expected the worst, it would damper the situation and ruin it. 

I wanted to make a change so I wanted to experiment.  So, for the last couple weeks, I have tried to remove or lower my expectations.  You know what?  It totally made everything better. Work, home, personal relationships, errands or chores, you name it.  I expect nothing, neither good nor bad, and this has made a world of difference. 

Example 1: A phone call

I had to call to schedule a medical consultation.  Normally, I would expect a pleasant and courteous experience but I decided before the call I would have no expectations.  This way, if it went great I would be thrilled and if it went poorly, it wouldn’t be a terrible experience and risk ruining my day.  So I dialed them up, and after a few minutes it was done.  

I couldn’t believe it, but this experience was entirely different than normal.  The person I called was pretty unhelpful and a little rude.  Normally, I would have been offended and reacted negatively.  Since I am in my 3rd trimester of my pregnancy, I maybe even would have gotten a little sassy back and tried to get a little snark in myself. (No filter when pregnant, people!)  But instead, I was calm, collected, and thanked them for their time.  Nothing would have changed if I would have reacted that way except it would have ruined my day. 

No expectations for the win! 

Example 2: My house

I tend to be a little particular on how I want things.  My home is never spotless, but things are put away in their place and it is neat and clean.  With this experiment, I lowered my expectations of how we keep the home.  The floors haven’t been mopped in a really long time, there’s toothpaste on my bathroom mirror, my basement is in dire need of a purge and there are so many matchbox cars all over my living room it is hard to walk without risking your life.  Do I care?  Deep down, yes, but right now, I am going to go sit down.  Again, this is partly because I’m hugely pregnant, but also I want to enjoy these last few weeks as a mom of one before life with a newborn turns our routine upside down.

My goal: Keep this up!

Life it too short to let a grouch ruin your day.   Most of the issues we have are because we made them into one, and we can get over them as fast as we want.  It’s really hard sometimes when I want others to step it up, but I have to remember I can’t put my expectations on other people.  I have no control over anyone but myself.  

This is like minimalism applied to my expectations. Expect nothing and maybe, just maybe, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. 


Megan, an Iowa native from West Branch, shares her home with husband Cody, their three kids (Charlie-8 Gwen-6 & Ben-2) and 2 dogs (Dottie- lab-basset mix & Ham-all basset). When she is not smooching on them she is trying to change lives as a social worker, taking walks around their Iowa City neighborhood or cruising in Rita her minivan looking to score deals at local thrift stores. Check our her finds on her Instagram page @megthethriftingqueen.



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