Are you feeling like you're stuck in a rut, where it seems like every single day is the same, week after week, month after month? Perhaps you're feeling that despite all the things you do at any given time, you're not moving towards the future that you want to have. You can't clearly see where you're headed or how long it will take to get to your destination.
If any of these issues are happening right now, there's an excellent chance that you're missing one key ingredient that will give you the power to go forward every day until you reach your dreams: anticipation.
Let's take a quick look at some of the definitions of the word anticipation, according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary:
Visualization of a future event or state; The act of looking forward; Pleasurable expectation
The first two sentences are straight-forward: anticipation is the act of viewing what you expect to happen later on. However, the last sentence - pleasurable expectation - is one of the essential tools that you should have in your arsenal when you're working towards a goal.
Personally, I have noticed that whenever I'm in a funk and can't quite put my finger on the reason as to why I feel down, it's usually because I haven't set something to look forward to, either for my day or for the near future. I'm willing to bet that the same happens to most people.
Without having any expectations set, whether it be an expectation for your current day, or the visualization of accomplishing something more significant in the upcoming weeks, months, or years, your days will drag along with no end in sight. You'll feel like you're running in circles, just getting through each day with no reason whatsoever.
That's no way for anyone to live their days. Life is more vibrant and dynamic when there's something to look forward to. When you have anticipation for something good coming your way, you'll wake up in the morning full of energy and excitement. You'll bounce out of bed and can't wait to start your day. We've all had both of these days - the key is to set up anticipation to have more of the "bounce out of bed with excitement" days.
Why this works
The main benefit of building and keeping anticipation throughout the process of accomplishing your goals is that it will give you the strength to keep going every single day, especially when you don't feel like it. It's crucial to work on your goals every day. But at some point you'll have a day where the rest of your day didn't go as well as you expected, leaving you mentally drained and exhausted. That's why having excitement and energy is essential so you can tap into those reserves to keep moving on when you need it the most.
There's also another massive benefit with anticipation that might not be as visible as having seemingly endless energy - the Law of Attraction. As a brief definition, the Law of Attraction is a belief that anyone can bring more of what they think into their lives. Anticipation can trigger this belief by allowing you to have the positive outcomes that you want in your head regularly, which will draw in the things you need to reach that destination. Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or not, you'll still benefit by anticipating a favorable outcome in your mind consistently.
Anticipation does have its caveats that can pass by undetected if you don't pay close attention.
The definitions for anticipation written earlier were positive - looking forward, pleasurable expectations. However, be aware that anticipation can also be detrimental if you set it that way. There's a vast difference between thinking "I anticipate that I can't reach my goals" and "I anticipate that I will reach my goals". The former meaning will hold you back and keep you stuck where you are right now, whereas the latter will propel you onward. So make sure that however you set the expectations in your head, it's as confident as it can be.
Another pitfall that happens is that some people rely solely on the power of anticipation and expect it to take them all the way to the end of their journey. This thought can be destructive in a few ways. First, you can't expect that something will happen if all you do is wish about it and not put any real work in. Achieving anything worthwhile will take hard work, and even if you fully believe in the aforementioned Law of Attraction, wishful thinking without action won't lead to any positive outcome.
Second, if you use anticipation to focus solely on the outcome, you'll be missing the most critical part of the process. Often, the destination is far less important than the journey and everything you learn along the way. It's not uncommon for people to achieve their dreams and think "That's all there is?" It can lead to disappointment and a feeling of emptiness. So make sure that while anticipation is used as a guide to take you through your days, you're not missing out on valuable teachings along the way.
In the end, it's all about putting in the time, energy, and desire into any dream to achieve it. Keep a healthy dose of daily anticipation to move you forward and help you reach your goals.
Small steps for your Practical Good
When you're feeling like you need a boost in your step to reach your ambitions and aspirations, here are some small steps you can take to get your anticipation motor running:
- Get excited over the next milestone in your current goal. No matter what goals you're working on at this time, there should be an event that will be a mark of progress for your journey. For example, if your goal is to lose 25 pounds in the next six months, anticipate losing 5 pounds in the next month or so. Or if you're building a business, anticipate getting the next 50 paying customers or a certain amount of monthly revenue. Once you begin anticipating those milestones, notice your energy levels. You should be getting more excited about getting to the next level, which in turn will help you get there faster.
- Plan your following steps with anticipation in mind. Whenever you're thinking about the next big thing you'll be working on, keep anticipation in mind so that you can plan specific milestones to work towards. These checkpoints will give you something to look forward to and expect so that you can keep your excitement levels high. You'll be running towards the end of your goals at high speed and tackle all you desire in no time.