The Power of a Small Celebration

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On a scale of 1 to 10, how good are you at celebrating? I’m not talking about cake & balloons on a birthday or flowers for an anniversary. Nor am I referencing bigger moments such as a job promotion or an annual New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Even if you’re known to dance on a bar top or cheer the loudest at a sporting event, those still don’t count. The celebration I’m referencing is much more subtle yet carries significantly more weight.

I was at my regular Friday morning Yoga practice and just like every class, somewhere in the first 5 minutes, the instructor asks us to set an intention for the next hour. Assign a word or feeling to give this time with our yoga mat a deeper meaning. Something gurgled to the surface and at first it caught me off guard. Traditionally I intend to “give myself a hug” or “find my inner Zen”, both very beautiful reasons to create space and my usual take-away from this particular class week after week. But this day, the word that came so clearly was “celebration”.

Celebrate (def.) - to honor an occasion with festivities, respect or other deviation from routine

That’s what it felt like, a deviation from my routine to give something respect, but what exactly was I celebrating?

The day prior, I’d conducted a training class with a new corporate client and successfully knocked it out of the park. The written comments were affirming, the verbal feedback underscored the light bulb moments participants experienced and immediately after, I was invited back to speak again. Shut the front door!!! I’m incredibly grateful to get to speak & train and this particular project was a labor of love! I was over the moon to know that those 90 minutes played out as well as I had expected and even had the public accolades as evidence.

Needless to say, I went to sleep that night with an incredible sense of satisfaction and the next morning, woke up still on cloud nine. So it hadn’t occurred to me I’d have more celebrating to do, until my instructor asked that question a few hours later in my yoga class. In work and life we often think of a celebration as a public victory with congratulatory comments or even trophies of some sort, yet before these stage worthy moments ever happen, you better believe it’s been preceded by a victory far more personal and private.

For this particular project, there were hours and hours of preparation that nobody else knew about, except me. That diligence, that follow through, that creative capacity had yet to be celebrated and this yoga class on this particular day was my opportunity to do so. I celebrated my work ethic, my ability to start a business from scratch and my brain. I was celebrating doing work that I love in a field of study that makes me come alive. And I celebrated getting to execute my mission of helping professionals operate as their most authentic self and create a life and business that inspires! And it felt good!

I try not to let my mind wander during yoga, but this day, I couldn’t stop. I was reminded of conversations with various coaching clients about celebration worthy events that they were treating more like a check on a to-do list.

Drop off the dry cleaning, check.

Call back that client, check.

Hire a new Virtual Assistant, check.

Discover $45K more billable hours annually from hiring this new Virtual Assistant, check.

Get that invoice paid, check.

Wait, WHAT?!?! Let’s go back, that sounded sort of big!

I ask, “How will you celebrate this?” and they give me a look, letting me know I’ve caught them off guard.

Whether it’s purchasing the newest technology you’ve been eying, eating a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake on a random Thursday for dinner with the family or setting an intention of celebration in a yoga class, take a moment and honor these victories you might normally gloss over. They’re actually bigger than you realize! They indicate a shift in thinking, a growth in confidence and character being developed. You’re celebrating follow-through, completion and grit. That, my friends, that’s the good stuff. Frankly, it’s what’s real. It means more than the number of likes on a LinkedIn post or percentage of revenue growth over last year. Trophies they can be lost or taken away. But who you become in the pursuit of the public accolades; that is what stays with you…forever!

So, as we enter 2019, I ask you to look back at the last year. What were some celebratory victories that didn’t get their moment in the spotlight? Did you add new business systems that increased efficiency, resulting in more time with your family? Celebrate it! Did you take a pay cut to pursue a career that brings more fulfillment? Celebrate it! How about a change in eating that’s brought extra energy & mental clarity? My friend, CELEBRATE IT!!! And I encourage you to make it a tradition as we walk into this New Year!

Need a road map to get to those things you want to celebrate in 2019? Join me at a Purposeful Goal Setting for 2019 Workshop on January 10th. Details & registration at www.purposefulgoals2019.eventbrite.com.

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