When was the last time you celebrated?
Not a birthday bash, or a holiday party… An “I did it,” or “we did it” celebration.
I celebrated this Saturday. I’m a morning person; I get up at 4:30 weekdays, 5:30 on the weekends. It’s what my body and mind want, and it works for me. This past Friday night I turned off the alarm clock, and found myself waking up at 6:30 the next morning…for me, a celebration!
What was I celebrating, what should you celebrate, how should we celebrate, and why is celebration so important?
I do a great deal of writing and editing, though most of it is on behalf of others. For years, this blog has been the only place in which my thinking has been shared with others in writing, and with my name attached. That is about to change. I recently submitted an article (“Change Success: The Big Secret”) to a Wall Street-based e-zine, and it was accepted for publication. And so I celebrated!
Most of us spend much of our lives doing… We complete one thing and pick up the next thing in the pile, the next task in the plan, the next item on the list. We often fail to even see the milestone we are passing as we move toward the next. We create our change story, plan for the change, prepare for the journey, and move on through it, failing to acknowledge along the way what we (or we and others) are achieving. Check. Check. Check. Whether literal or figurative, we check things off as we complete them; and we keep on rolling along.
Celebration is a way to acknowledge our own accomplishments, and those of others. It is a way to acknowledge the significant achievements we can (and deserve to, and should) claim along way.
Remember this old adage? It applies to each of us. “All work and no play makes (your name here) a dull (your sexual identity here).” Celebrations are a way to bring more balance to our lives, to take time away from the climb in order to “play.”
Yes, there should be a huge celebration at the successful completion of that major change…whether it be personal or organizational. This is the brass band, balloons and fireworks, noisemakers, dancing until dawn celebration.
But other, smaller celebrations along the way can serve to honor the steps we have taken, the progress we have made. They can re-energize us, and encourage us to continue on the journey.
Re-entering the world of publishing. Applying for that new job or promotion. Getting your first, or second, or one hundredth client. Telling your change story to someone for the first time. Each of these is worthy of celebration. They are milestones on the journey. They are accomplishments worthy of recognition; he or she who has accomplished them deserves to be honored for that accomplishment, even when that he or she is you!
Earlier this week I was reviewing a client’s business plan. We began working together when he was unemployed, and trying to determine where his professional life was going. Since then he has committed to, created, and launched a successful business. He has taken courses, formed a partnership, and secured clients. He has launched the website, started social media marketing, and is creating his brand. He has a plan that looks one, two, three, and four years out. He has many reasons to celebrate. And, he is now going back into his plan to identify future “celebration moments.” Where are the celebration moments in your plan?
What comprises a celebration?
That’s simple. Whatever you say is a celebration for you and others that are celebrating with you. What is important about a celebration is that it isn’t part of your routine. For someone who strives for six hours of sleep a night, an extra hour or two can be a celebration. If I start setting my Saturday morning alarm for 6:30, it isn’t a celebration anymore…It becomes “the way things are.” Perhaps it is a massage, or a manicure and pedicure, or a special bottle of wine at dinner, or a walk on the beach, or “playing hooky” for an afternoon, or going to a museum or a play, or sitting down with a coloring book for an hour, or…
Celebrations are personal, even when they are organizational. If you are celebrating with a team, find out what is important to them, what it is that they find meaning–and acknowledgement–in. Again, not every celebration at work has to be “blow the roof off.” Sometimes small, more intimate and personalized celebrations are even more affirming.
How do you celebrate? What do you celebrate? When? Share your celebrations and other thought below.