What do you think of when you hear the word celebration? Do you picture extravagance? Or maybe you think of lots and lots of people getting together for a party. Maybe you even think of a fireworks display. Sometimes, extravagance with lots of people (and possibly fireworks!) is the perfect way to celebrate! And, sometimes, a quiet walk on the beach with your significant other or 15 minutes to read a chapter in a book is the perfect way to celebrate something you have
Let’s take a look at Google’s definition of celebration, which is:
“the action of marking one’s pleasure at an
important event or occasion by engaging in
enjoyable, typically social, activity”
The phrase that stands out for me is “marking one’s pleasure”. How often do we really mark our pleasure after we accomplish something? If you’re like most people, it goes something like this… “Done. Now, what do I need to do on this other project?” This may be accompanied by crossing off the item on a piece of paper or checking it off of an electronic list. That’s it. Does this sound familiar?
We are not robots programmed to do a task, check it off, do another task, and check it off, into infinity. I’d like to suggest that when you complete a task and you immediately move to the next item in your huge to-do list, you are missing a golden opportunity to create what I call “Success Momentum”.
Athlete Mia Hamm said it this way — “Success breeds success”.
There have actually been studies done to test the “success breeds success” theory. You can read more about one of these studies in Psychology Today’s (May 9, 2014) article “Does Success Breed Success?”: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-sense/201405/does-success-breed-success
One of the keys to this concept is actually ACKNOWLEDGING the SUCCESS, not just saying “Done” and crossing it off a list.
You might be saying to yourself, “Helen’s crazy if she thinks I have time to ACKNOWLEDGE the tasks I complete.” To that I will say, I think you’re crazy if you don’t! You DO have the time to acknowledge and even celebrate your accomplishments! I believe you will actually get more done, if you take the time to celebrate vs. just drilling through your never ending to-do list.
One important thing to keep in mind when I say celebrate is it doesn’t always mean a lavish party or a big expensive night out on the town. Those types of merriments are wonderful ways to celebrate BIG accomplishments (e.g., getting your website up, landing that new client, getting a raise). Here are some simple examples of ways you can celebrate smaller accomplishments:
- Create a special success dance that you do after you accomplish something. Be sure to include a favorite up-beat song (Celebrate by Kool & the Gang could be a contender – her’s the link to it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M
- Keep a Success Journal. Write a note when you complete something. Be sure to include the date!
- Share the success with a friend or on social media.
- Reward yourself with something that means something to you, this by the way doesn’t have to cost money. It could be as simple as taking 10 minutes (without interruptions) to enjoy a special cup of tea on your back porch.
Think about how good it feels to be successful! Once you get into that frame of mind, looking at your to-do list is a whole different experience. Instead of grumble, grumble, “What do I have to do now?” it becomes “What will I accomplish next?” Very different! And as you celebrate and accomplish more, you rev up your momentum and start to complete things faster. Isn’t it much easier to move forward when you’re excited about what’s next, rather than dreading it or even just lukewarm about it?
By celebrating your accomplishments you are tapping into that wonderful positive energy that makes life more fun and enjoyable. Add to that the fact that you will most likely accomplish even more when you celebrate your successful undertakings. What do you have to lose by adding more celebrations to your day?