By this time, company leaders and managers have usually already moved on from setting organizational goals, budgets and strategies for the coming year. And as individuals, we’ve transitioned into the new year, working toward our goals, organizing family schedules and maybe even pining for spring.
Here’s my question to you: have you taken the time to pause, reflect, and celebrate all your own annual accomplishments, big and small? If not, I challenge you to make a new tradition this year, and that is to take a pause, reflect, and celebrate you – and those around you.
Celebrate Everything, Often
One of the things I stress with clients is to celebrate all the little and big things throughout the year, and especially before you begin a new one. In fact, I’m known to say, “Celebrate your own damn self!”
The past couple of years have been particularly challenging, and by honoring even the small wins, it reinforces our abilities, skills and talents, and inspires us to embrace new challenges ahead.
According to The Power of Small Wins, 76% of people report that their best days involved making progress toward goals.
Even small wins can boost inner work life tremendously. On the flip side, small losses or setbacks can have an extremely negative effect. And the work doesn’t need to involve curing cancer in order to be meaningful. It simply must matter to the person doing it.
Steps to Self-Celebration
1. Jog Your Memory. If you’re having a hard time remembering all your victories over the past year—no matter the size—jog your memory by scrolling through your calendar items, photos on file, or social media posts. Oh, there’s that meeting I had with my boss when I found out I’d the next team project! Or … Hey, that’s when I had the doctor’s appointment where I found out my test results were normal!
2. Make a list. Write down everything you can think of, and be specific about what was accomplished, how it made a difference or contribution at work or home (or both), and why it’s important.
3. Identify. Whether it was working for a small win, new habits you developed (or old ones you quit), new capabilities and skills, or even a significant alignment to values or specific goals you reached, honor them. Pat yourself on the back, acknowledge how significant these things were in your life and why they matter.
4. Celebrate your own damn self. Do something special for yourself and include others if you want – whatever makes you feel good:
- Cook a special dinner and invite friends or enjoy the moment alone.
- Give yourself a victory speech, just like you would if you were accepting an Academy Award.
- Take off a day from work or family duties, and do whatever you want.
- Go to the spa, hike in the woods – anything that shows self-love.
- Write some handwritten notes of gratitude and appreciation for others. It doesn’t take a big effort, but it’s hugely meaningful to people.
- Pick up the phone and call those who helped you get there and tell them that you noticed, and say thank you out loud.
5. Have fun!
In the words of Tom Peters, “Celebrate what you want to see more of!” I hope you send off the past 12 months in a way that makes you realize how special and badass you are.
And then here’s the big part – I’d love for you to let me know how it goes. Who knows, maybe we’ll tell your story on an episode of Cuban & Sooner: Work-Life Teetering podcast, with me and my co-host, Michelle Freed.
Speaking of celebrating, we’re thrilled to be starting a new season of Cuban & Sooner in 2023, and can’t wait to share more inspiring stories and meaningful conversations. In the meantime, here are some episodes I think you’ll enjoy, related to similar topics. They can all be found on cubansooner.com, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts.
Holiday Madness: Stress & Family Gatherings
Tough Decisions: How to Make Them