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#Squad: How to Set Goals and Manage Realistic Expectations

To bear in mind when you hang with your gang.

07.28.15

Imagine the following scenario:

You post a team photo. You think it’s pretty good — across-the-board flattering with great lighting and a background that makes it obvious you are having fun. You get a lot of likes — well over your average, then Judas goes ahead and deflates your balloon.

Thug life

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She “@’s” you on the above photo with the digital kiss of betrayal: #squadgoals.

Et tu, Brute?

Cue existential panic whereupon you question all that you think you know. What is wrong with you and your crew?

Technically, the answer is nothing. You guys are doing fine. But as we know, social media distorts reality, which means these aspirational #goals we set are merely readying us for disaster.

The best way to avoid disappointment is not by lowering your standards — it’s managing expectations. Begin setting bars now so that you’re not scrambling to befriend Drake and his WOES by the weekend. Get your team together. Sit them down. Order a round of drinks. Then go over your list of realistic objectives.

Goal: Having Fun

Happy 4th! Barbecues over.

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Just because you are not a tiny toweled patriot being hugged by Oprah in her chartreuse moment doesn’t mean that you are not having fun. Sometimes it feels that way, I know. But ask yourself: did I laugh? Were my smiles genuine? Did I pee a little?

Vote: Doable

Goal: Royalty

In general, very few people are born to such lives of luxury. It is a sharp chip to swallow. But remind yourself that in every Amanda Bynes/Julia Stiles movie based on Shakespearean lore, the prince wants to be “normal” and the princess wishes she could go outside without the paparazzi taking photos of her in last night’s mascara. Be thankful that you and your crew are you.

Vote: Unrealistic. Throw it out.

Goal: Winning

There are two kinds of referees in this world: coaches who believe that second place is first place loser, and moms who believe that everyone’s a winner. Taking the maternal approach here, assume that anytime you and your friends have done something to merit an Instagram — even if it’s just “take an actual candid,” you have won. It’s very hard to get a group of people to do something if you are not ants. Celebrate as such!

Vote: Doable depending on definition of “win.”

Goal: Being Well-Coordinated

Family Photo (minus moi) #Chanel #PFW #HauteCouture #KarlLagerfeld

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This is merely a matter of cooperation, leadership and planning ahead. Anyone who’s ever successfully pulled off a group Halloween costume as the cast of Salute Your Shorts knows that.

Vote: Doable.

Goal: Being Celebrities

Once upon a Met Ball #squad

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Similar to the same letdown that comes with realizing you will never be Prince George regardless of dedicated naps is the Xanax-required truth that you are not a celebrity supergroup of friends.

Now here’s your Xanax: THAT IS OK.

You do not need to be Rihanna & co. at the pool to enjoy the sun. You do not need to be Beyoncé plus crew at the club to dance. You don’t need to be the Kardashians to have a family, Jennifer Lopez-n-girlz to have a birthday nor Cara Delevingne x Models to make funny faces. Fostering these mentalities turns life into an everlasting game of Keeping Up With the Joneses — a fruitless rush that blurs great days and makes summer feel shorter.

Vote: Unnecessary, exhausting, unrealistic

Now, once the squad has successfully outlined your collective resolutions and their accompanying plans of action, take solace in knowing that you just got 3-plus people to agree to something. Your next task is deciding where you’ll have dinner, but you know — one thing at a time. #Goals.

Feature image by Hannah Kellner.

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