“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary
You’ve heard the cliché, “It’s the little things that sometimes make you happy.” In the goal-setting world, always be open to celebrate all goals achieved both big and small. Whether your goal happened flawlessly or you worked hard to make it happen, stop and smell those proverbial “successes”. Take it in and recognize your accomplishment. Enjoy and savor your success. When we fail to recognize our accomplishments, it’s like pouring water into wine – it dilutes its importance, value and power over our lives.
Learn to celebrate your goals. Whether you knocked off a big goal like launching your company and raising capital, saving thousands of dollars to take a trip of a lifetime to Africa to go on safari, establishing a charitable foundation to increase literacy in your community, paid off your house, or even managed to set an important meeting that will help your career; now reward yourself.
Take time out and reflect on the journey. Add a small celebration to your daily list of things to do; give yourself a gift or personal reward or just go to dinner and toast your success. It doesn’t always have to involve spending money either.
Want some examples of what you can do to celebrate? Here are a few examples that you might attach to a few of your bigger goals:
- I will be completely debt free and achieve financial independence by January 1, 2017 and then I will take a balloon ride over Tuscany, Italy.
- I will lose 20 pounds by June 5, 2016 and then I will complete a charity walk across the state.
- I will be actively involved in raising funds for our charity drive for clothing for children by March 1. Personal Reward: take a trip to Nepal to deliver the clothing and spend time with the kids.
- I will have qualified to run the Boston Marathon by September 1, 2016 and then I will enjoy a bottle of our favorite wine with my wife who supported me through the grueling endeavor.
- I want to do one great thing for someone every week and completed by Sunday every week, and the dual prize is to purchase a cup of coffee for that person standing in line in front of me at Starbucks. The reward is his or her smile – that is all that is necessary.
You get the idea; the key is to add a few personal celebration items to your goals. Many goals will require hard work and discipline while others will happen seamlessly and unfold flawlessly. It doesn’t matter whether you sweated or skated over it with ease – it’s an achievement. It shows something about your discipline and ability to make things happen. It also reveals a little something about who you are and how you show up in this world. You do not passively sit back and falsely believe “life happens to you”. You make life happen! So celebrate your successes big or small.
And don’t forget to take time to reflect. Personal reflection is also something that we often forget to do. With our busy lives, we frequently forget to just add some downtime without interruptions to just think and reflect. The reason I recommend adding a personal reward is that it will automatically provide time for reflection. It reinforces specific action plans during the journey along with learning from the mistakes (remember mistakes are great for learning as long as you don’t make the same mistake twice) and helps you reach your goals. So celebrate and take time to reflect. Also, don’t forget gratitude. Always be grateful for all it – the journey, lessons, experiences and achievements.