DJ Tanner Says: Change your Expectations

Set Goals High Bo Jackson

Read any fitness magazine, self-help book or motivational blog and they will all say the same thing: set goals. Without goals, we are just grasping at straws and are more likely to give up, stray, or forget what we were working for in the first place. I get it. I do it.

With goal setting comes something else. Expectation. Somewhere along the line, I made goals for how I wanted my life to turn out and expectations for how and when those goals would play out. I didn’t realize any of this until now. You would think it was obvious, but it wasn’t.

For the first two days I was in Salt Lake visiting Big Sis, I had MAJOR anxiety. I was grumpy, short, quiet and withdrawn. Husband and I were out buying last minute stocking stuffers and we got into a conversation about what was bothering me, and I realized that I was already stressing about having to say goodbye to Bro-in-Law, Big Sis, Booka and Lil Bean. We were only two days into a nine day trip and I was already sad. Redonk, I know, but it literally tears my heart apart to say goodbye to them. The babies are growing so fast; Big Sis is my best friend and teaches me something every time I’m with her; and Bro-in-Law is just fun to be around and a great friend to Husband.

Family Pic 2012

Husband and I were sitting in the driveway having this conversation, mind you, while tears streamed down my face and my family’s faces were smashed against the living room window. Yeah, my family is not subtle and that is why I love them.

Needless to say, my sister later asked what was wrong and I told her as best I could without making her feel bad that it gets harder and harder to see her family because it gets harder and harder to say goodbye. And this is when the Almighty Big Sister threw down some knowledge DJ Tanner style.

 DJ and Stephanie Tanner

{Photo Source: IMDB}

She said that I have always been a dreamer. I dream big things and set certain expectations for how those dreams will go. When the dream doesn’t come true or doesn’t end up the way I want it to, I have a really hard time accepting the outcome. She went on to say that I shouldn’t stop dreaming, but that I need to learn to be okay with whatever direction those dreams take me.

Like a BOSS. Big Sis schooled me like the boss that she is. I haven’t been able to think about much else since because I realized she was dead. on. For example, I moved to Los Angeles in 2003 with dreams of becoming a working actress. I have had that dream since I was a little girl, and I truly believed it would happen. I knew it would be hard and I knew it would take a lot of focus and hard work, but I expected to make a living in front of the camera. After Husband and I got married in 2010 and he was given a job opportunity in Kansas City, I had to come to terms with the fact that my dream was not going to come true. Or if it did, God would have to totally surprise me because I was done chasing it.

Proud Member

I will be honest, losing that dream crushed me – still does some days. I truly, in my heart of hearts, thought God’s plan was for me to be the Tim Tebow of Hollywood. I was angry that I could end up so wrong when I believed in the dream so strongly and worked so feverishly hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I love our life in Kansas City. We have created lifelong relationships, I have a close friend from college back in my life, we own a beautiful home and are closer to family.  God certainly has His hand in our lives, it just isn’t how I pictured it.

And now. I always said that as soon as Big Sis started kicking out babies, I’d move to wherever she lived. Easier said than done. Another dream, another expectation misfire. There are other expectations for my life I thought would have happened by now, dreams for Husband and I. But as I sit and think about what my sister said, I realize that it’s not the dream that needs to change, it’s the expectation of how the dream will happen.


Instead of becoming an award winning actress, I should have simply expected to study my craft from some of the most talented teachers in the world, while learning all I could about 20 year old me.

Instead of living in the same town as my niece and nephew, I should expect to create memories when I AM with them that will last lifetimes.

Instead of being frustrated with certain areas of my life, I should expect God to give me a future and a life that I would never have dreamed for myself. Plain and simple.

And what about you?

Instead of thinking you’ll never lose that last 20 lbs, expect that the work you are put in is adding years to your life and making you a stronger person.

Instead of finding the guy of your dreams, expect that he will find you.

Instead of having kids that behave like angels in Target, expect that every mother that sees your screaming, kicking, bratty little darling has been there and understands that you are not a bad parent.

Don’t change the dream. Change the expectation.


With this new outlook on expectations, I am heading into my first week of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp with the expectation to be stronger in 8 weeks than I am today.  I’m not measuring my arms or checking my weight on the scale, hoping to change my body shape.  Tina provided us with a “Fitness Test”, several strength exercises to perform now and at the end of bootcamp.  Those results will be my only expectation – and I’m okay with that.


How do you handle misfired expectations or unattained goals? 

What is some unexpected, great advice you’ve received?