The Emotional Side of Unreached Goals and Unmet Expectations

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In This Episode…

I discuss how to deal with "expectation hangovers" (aka disappointments), my hangovers from 2018, and ways that I am tackling my monetary goals.

Note: In this episode, I mention Dunkin Donuts and the Qapital app because I love and use them. They did not sponsor this episode. 

Key Points

Christine Hassler, a life coach, speaker, and author of Expectation Hangover: Overcoming Disappointment in Work, Love, and Life, said that an expectation hangover “is when things don't turn out like you planned. Or, things do turn out like you planned, but you don't feel like you thought you would...or life just throws you an unexpected curveball.”

But a hangover can also happen if things do turn out according to your plans and desires, but you don’t feel the fulfillment you expected.

"Interpersonal Expectation Hangovers" occur when we are let down by someone else or unpleasantly surprised by the actions of another.

When it comes to monetary goals, it's psychologically more motivating to name your savings accounts with your goal, so I use a tool called the Qapital app I have different savings account goals like home repairs. I have one for an emergency fund. My favorite and most ambitious goal is the one for a Hawaii trip in Thanksgiving 2019!

What You Can Do

Christine suggests some thoughts to consider about diagnosing where this "hangover" came from:

  • Were your expectations tied to someone else?

  • A standard that you set?

  • Were your goals really realistic (it’s OK if they weren’t—be honest)?

  • Do they relate to something that’s happened in the past?

Rather than feel the full weight of the expectation hangover, take a third-party view and get curious. Try to see where the expectations came from and why they might be affecting you. Then talk about it.

While it is good to confide in someone who knows you well, look for someone who truly can approach what you’re sharing with grace and compassion—not judgement.

Most importantly, don't give up. Resist letting this define how you move going forward. Just because you didn’t get what you wanted this time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again and move forward.

Now let's shift to goals and a way that we can manage expectations and disappointment.

Pamela Yellen, author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Bank on Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future.  In it, one of her tips is to wrap up your credit cards in papers that list your goals. She says, "Every time I take a card out, I see a picture or some words that represent a goal that's important to me. I get the opportunity to stop and decide whether what I'm about to purchase is more important than that goal. If it is or it doesn't undermine my goal, I might go ahead and buy it. If it isn't, I get the satisfaction of knowing I'm a step closer to my goal because I chose to not purchase the item."

One of the ways I track my goals is by continuing to follow the model of Michael Hyatt in doing a Life Plan every quarter.  It kind of talks about what I want to accomplish and how I'm doing every quarter when it comes to things like my spiritual life, my financial life, relationships etc.  

I have reminders to revisit my monetary goals weekly because of different rules that I've set up in the Qapital app having to do with triggers to transfer money from a bank account that I designate as the funding account into one of these cool savings accounts. Some use the 52-week rule, where each week of the year, you start by saving $1 and then increase, or $52 and then decrease down to $1. Other triggers I've set are based on a certain dollar amount per week or a set percentage of my paycheck. I even use a guilty pleasure rule where I put a set amount into one of these goal accounts whenever I visit Dunkin' Donuts!  I have an affiliate link in the section below if you want to give it a whirl.


Shout out to my friend Tarra Jackson AKA MadamMoney, who is a financial guru and a past podcast guest, for introducing me to this app on LinkedIn. Catch her episode called "Purse-nality Disorder" so you can learn more about money mindset there.

So what's your expectation hangover that's got you down? Do you have a goal with a monetary component you need to set and get serious about?  Let me know - tweet me @DareeAllen or leave a comment on my Instagram or Facebook post for this episode.

Links and Resources

Adult friendships - interview 1

Adult friendships - interview 2

MadamMoney interview

The Qapital app