I speak often of the concept of celebration, but until recently, I wasn't sure what my definition for celebration was.
Here's what I came up with:
The ability to consciously recognize, celebrate, and build off of actions that support positive intentions.
Now I know you're not supposed to use the actual word in a definition, but it's my definition, so...there you have it. 😊
Celebration is uncomfortable.
It's hard to notice when we do something right. And even if we do, we don't want to acknowledge it for fear of becoming big-headed.
What we do instead, because it's easier, is notice every time we mess up and beat ourselves up for it.
That's not to say we shouldn't acknowledge when we miss the mark, we should, but that's not all we should notice.
We can strike a balance by practicing celebration.
We all have a goal or idea of who we can be and how that version of ourselves lives a joyful and flourishing life while improving the lives of others. In order to move towards that, we need to be able to consciously recognize when we take actions that help us move in that direction.
- Going for a run, no matter how long, is supportive of your dream of being a marathon runner.
- Putting your phone down to listen to your child's question is supportive of your desire to be a loving and present parent.
- Writing once a week, even if you feel you could be writing more, is supportive of your desire to be a writer.
The last one is for me. Even as I write this I'm reminded that celebration is hard.
Now, it's time for the fun part, to celebrate! You've said you want to run a marathon and today you went for a two mile run. You finished the run, consciously recognized that yes, your action supports you in working towards what you want, and now you get to celebrate. Maybe you do a little fist pump? Maybe you share what you did with your partner or loved one? Perhaps you bust a quick dance move? This part is up to you. Make it as extravagant or as low-key as it suits you, but do celebrate.
Lastly, use today's action to build from as you continue to work towards whatever your goal may be. The next time you set out to take a positive action and you don't feel like it, remember you've done this (and celebrated yourself for doing this) before.
All the positive micro-actions we take will no longer be forgotten when we take a moment to celebrate and make the connection between the actions we take and how that supports our vision of who we are and who we want to become.