Most of us only celebrate the momentous occasions that happen in our lives. When we get a big promotion or raise we go out to dinner. We splurge and buy an expensive bottle of wine and order whatever we feel like eating, living it up Entourage style.
It's good to celebrate the big events, but the small victories are what lead up to the big victories. If we don't emotionally reward ourselves when we accomplish the small things, we aren't setting ourselves up for success.
Sometimes we write a really well-crafted email, come up with a good plan or have a successful meeting and we just let it pass as if nothing has happened. This is so wrong! You need to have small celebrations to match your small successes.
We often get caught up in doing our work. We plow through to get as much done as time will allow. It's during these times that you may think that you don't have time to celebrate. However if you don't celebrate you risk losing motivation and increasing your stress. Do you ever reach the end of the day and breathe a sigh of relief? And when you get home all you can do is sit in front of the TV because your energy is drained. I used to be there. I put so much energy into everything I did, never taking time for a mini-leisure breaks, just rushing through to make the next day seem a little easier. I was fooling myself into believing that I was being ultra productive, when in reality I wasn't having any fun.
Create Your Small Celebration Routine
Every time I write an email, whether it's 50 words or 500, I always lean back in my chair, interlock my fingers behind my head and smile. That's it. Just a little smile to reinforce the good work that I'm trying to accomplish. It takes all of five seconds. If you don't have five seconds for a small win then you are in the wrong business.
Take the Time to Plan a Little Celebration
This is all just a trick of the brain. Even a child that knows when she completes a drawing one of her teachers, parents or friends will get all excited (mini-party) clapping their hands, praising, and showing the child that when she works hard she will be rewarded with positive emotion.
When you finish a report you can reward yourself with a minty piece of gum. By taking the time to take your mind off of your work, reaching into your drawer, unfolding the wrapper and putting it into your mouth, you are creating a mental bridge that will help create excitement before you begin the next report.
Make a habit of your mini-celebration routines and you'll notice the work that you do will bring you more joy and success because you are creating positive emotion after you complete each task.
What do you do to celebrate your small successes?
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- Throw a Mini Party
Image courtesy of Mauricio Pellegrinetti
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