Taking The Time To Celebrate
Often in our fast-paced and full lives we complete one project and then it’s quickly on to the next one, rarely taking any time to slow down and give ourselves breathing space to pause and celebrate our efforts and accomplishments.
Years ago, during my coach training, I was introduced to the idea of celebrating “wins” with my clients. This involves taking the time to acknowledge yourself for something you’ve just accomplished and then doing something you find meaningful to celebrate.
A win might look like...
- Finding a publisher for your book
- Finishing a big work project
- Having that difficult conversation with your boss you’ve been nervous about.... and having it go better than you thought it would
- Getting to the gym or fitting in a workout – even though you really, really didn’t feel like it (the couch was calling your name!)
- Completing a course or training
- Setting a goal to meditate for five minutes every morning for a week… and doing it.
Celebrations can vary, given your time, desire, and budget. You can keep it super simple or go all out – totally up to you!
The most important thing is actually creating the time to slow down and acknowledge what you have just accomplished. And then: doing something to celebrate that has heart and meaning for you.
You’ve just spent precious minutes, hours, days or weeks of your life working towards this goal and now it’s time to honor this effort and the time and intention you put into it.
Need some ideas for how to celebrate? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Express your gratitude. One of my favorite ways to celebrate is by thanking the people who have helped me along the way to achieving a goal. Rarely do we accomplish something entirely on our own. For instance, I kicked off 2018 with a 5-day writing retreat and a huge part of what made that possible was the love and support of my husband. He has always supported my creative dreams and while I was away he was at home caring for our two dogs and tending to work. I wrote, and mailed him, a thank-you note before I left letting him know how thankful I am for him.
- Take yourself out for a lovely meal at your favorite restaurant and order a glass of bubbly! A little prosecco or champagne just oozes “celebration.” Make sure you raise your glass and toast whatever it is you’re celebrating.
- Share your news with your partner, good friends and family. Let them know how excited you are… and invite them to share in the celebration with you! While I was at my writing retreat recently, one of the participants decided to plan a book launch party once their book was published and ready to share with the world.
- Treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry or some special token that will help you remember this accomplishment.. Last October, I completed an intensive year-long mindfulness teacher training with a week-long retreat in California. On the way home, a beautiful labradorite ring in the airport gift shop caught my eye. Labradorite is my favorite gemstone, so I bought the ring as a little “celebratory gift” for myself. Each time I wear it I’m reminded of the many gifts from my training and how committed I am to my own learning and growth and to the growth of my students in the mindfulness courses I now teach.
- Treat yourself to a massage or a mani/pedi. Or any kind of spa treatment that appeals to you!
- Give yourself an afternoon of “white space.” White space is time blocked off on your calendar for no particular purpose. It’s unplanned, unstructured time and when it rolls around you get to ask yourself “What would feel most nourishing to me right now?” It might be a long walk in the woods, a trip to your local bookshop, lunch with a friend, or catching up on the latest Game of Thrones episode.
- Pay it forward and spread the love. Think about how you might encourage or support someone else in reaching a goal similar to the one you just completed.
- Give yourself a few days or a week off before you launch into the next project on your list. Allow yourself some breathing space to slow down a little before you dive into whatever is next on your list.
- Make a list of everything you learned from accomplishing this goal. What worked well for you? What didn’t work well for you?
When was the last time you took the time to celebrate?
If it’s been a while, one thing you might consider doing is writing down all the things you accomplished (both small and large) in 2017. You may even want to get out last year’s calendar to jog your memory.
And then… carve out a little time to honor yourself for the time, energy and love you put into making all those things happen!