The art of self-celebration
I've always been intentional about self-celebration, spoiling myself with solo trips, expensive presents to celebrate milestones and incorporating treats into my daily life.
When I quit my full time job and started my coaching business I bought myself a convertible - a longtime Southern California dream - as a push present. On the heels of my first block buster year in business, I rewarded myself with an overhaul of my home office - complete with a new, luxurious pink velvet couch - a space truly fit for a working professional.
Self-celebration is a critical part of filling our own cup and reinforcing our own accomplishments.
A friend of mine who was offered a new position at an entertainment agency paused mid-bite over dinner when I asked her how she was going to celebrate. "You mean, celebrate getting the offer?" She looked perplexed. Between the hustle of getting the new job, giving notice at her old one, and attending to a million details of family life, she hadn't even considered celebration. "We've got enough other things we're spending on right now," she shrugged, "We'll just wrap it in with those."
The danger of not taking time to celebrate - to mark clearly and significantly a goal you have met, a new chapter or even spectacular failure - is that when we do not pause and acknowledge it, we risk running right onto the next goal, feeding the incessant hamster wheel of achievement and leading directly towards burnout.
Many of my clients complain of not feeling acknowledged by their bosses, partners or families. But how much time are you taking to acknowledge yourself? Are you singing your praises publicly, sharing your wins with trusted cheerleaders and key stakeholders who are watching your progress? Are you taking silent moments to acknowledge yourself and really feel your accomplishment sink in?
Treats and rewards have a special way of helping us feel the significance of our accomplishments, and they do not have to be expensive. A day off to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The breaking of a self-imposed rule - like letting yourself brag or display a frame diploma or blow off the next two tasks in service of enjoying right where you are. If you audit your life you can likely find one or two hold outs, things you have been denying yourself for a future moment when you really deserve it. That moment is now. Will you ever deserve it more than you do at this moment?
Regular rewards can also be incredibly incentivizing. With clients, I encourage them to help themselves to at least three treats a day: Two for completing undesirable tasks and one just for fun.
Personally, each day I track a treat, a risk, an intention and a gratitude. I love incorporating treats into my weekly to-do list, mapping them with tasks to help improve each activity on my list: Adding a great beverage, a walk in the sun, a call with a good friend can feel luxurious and make all the difference.
Celebrating also has the forcing function of causing us to slow down and be totally in the present moment. To surrender into joy and the sweetness of the journey. To stand briefly on a lookout and breath in the air and gaze with pride over the altitude climbed up to this point.
Can you pause and look around to soak in your progress, knowing there is still a climb ahead?
Whatever the distance still to come, I encourage you to take a moment to celebrate where you are now, feel our strength and recharge for the journey ahead.