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Expecting more

Progressive Forage Editor Joy Hendrix Published on 30 April 2021

May seems to be a month full of expectation and anticipation. Consistently warmer weather and longer days open a whole new world of possibilities of what to fill them with. For those in this industry, it means fresh plantings and the start of another growing season.

The start of a long-awaited season comes with a whole new set of expectations for the year. Expectations of how the crop will look in a month, how the yield will rank, when it will rain and if your hard work paid off when it comes to harvest time.

The anticipation of all these things can be exciting, but when you’ve done this year after year for most of your life, this process may stir up feelings of dread. This anticipation may hold its own level of anxiety knowing that your expectations haven’t always been met and you may be facing another hard year.

Unfortunately, the idea of expectations is often associated with disappointment. The message of lowering our expectations or giving up on them completely in order to avoid disappointment is far too common. Imagine telling your kids they should never expect anything positive out of life and how heartbreaking that would be, but I understand the idea that unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment.

Like most decisions for your operation, you manage your expectations. What you expect from the next year is entirely up to you, and that expectation is formed through your past experiences. If you are like me, realistic expectations are an important part of goal-setting. So here are three tips to keep in mind when forming your expectations for the year.

1. Modify

It’s no surprise that good management requires flexibility. Being able to adapt to the hand you’ve been dealt and make the most of it is a mark of a good manager. Readdressing your expectations when new information is learned should be a common practice in your system. Don’t hesitate to change your expected outcome when a new variable comes into play.

2. Simplify

Often our expectations are too complex to be feasible. If there are too many facets to your idea, one of them not happening has a domino effect on the rest of your expectations, which can lead you to disappointment. Keep your expectations simple and independent from one another.

3. Solidify

Low or nonexistent expectations aren’t a sign of being naive. Instead, consider setting realistic expectations as part of your personal development. Expectations and goal setting should go hand in hand when envisioning what type of manager you want to become. Reinforce your goals with your expectations.

Earl Nightingale once said “Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.” I know I want to live in a world where the expectations I set for myself create a positive environment. That’s an optimistic way of thinking, but after all, my name is Joy.  end mark

Joy Hendrix
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