The Secret Power of Celebrating
Updated: May 7
Do you celebrate when you complete an activity? Most of us don’t. Instead of celebrating our accomplishments, many of us cross that item off, and immediately race ahead to the next item on our to-do list. We tell ourselves that we’re too busy to stop. But racing ahead dishonors the learning and growth that made our accomplishment significant.
Your accomplishment could be something that others might think is small (e.g. “I got out of bed this morning!”, “I ate a sweet potato instead of a doughnut for a snack!”, “I took a time-out for some deep breathing when I felt frustrated”, etc.), or something everyone recognizes as a big deal (e.g. “I graduated!”, “I got promoted!”, “I had a child!”, etc.). Regardless of the size of your achievement, it does represent something significant: you said “yes” when you could have said “no”. You kept going when the going got tough. You found detours around the roadblocks.
By pausing to reflect on your victory when you are at your pinnacle of satisfaction, you can establish a framework to support you when you encounter the inevitable low point. After you complete an activity, debrief on how you got to where you are. Answer the questions below in a journal (feel free to add any additional questions and insights that come to mind as you are reflecting!), or record yourself answering these questions on your phone while playing a background song that evokes the same emotions you felt at the moment of completion:
What strengths did you lean on or grow to follow through on [your action]?
What have you learned about yourself through completing this task?
What resources/people most helped you?
What was your favorite moment?
What was the most challenging moment?
What messages did you tell yourself?
What emotions did you feel at the moment of completion?
What are your emotions telling you?
What surprised you?
Celebrate your accomplishment by creating a reminder of your feelings at the moment of completion. This could be a picture above your desk of the moment you crossed the finish line. It could be a party hat from your celebration party with family and friends. It could mean changing the ringtone on your phone to the song that evokes the same emotions of your special moment. It could be a picture of the treat or the meal you ate to celebrate.
Review these musings and reminders when you’re feeling discouraged. Revisit the resources that helped you before. Reach out to the people who supported you. Repeat the messages that got you through. Reflect on your “why” (the reason you’re doing this). Remember what it felt like to succeed. Choose a strength to grow or develop through this challenge. Identify what you’re hoping to learn about yourself. Plan how you will celebrate when you accomplish this task.
What was your most meaningful celebration? Let me know at email@example.com!