Do you even notice when you’ve reached a goal? How often do you contemplate how far you’ve come? If you don’t, isn’t it about time we change that? There are plenty of reasons to give yourself a pat on the back; the main reason is the most obvious—make yourself feel good! Acknowledging yourself for a job well done creates more happiness, pride and joy.
When I say, “look how far I’ve come” I’m talking about personal growth. We can look at accomplishment from many different angles; accomplishment is also about ourselves. Who are we today as opposed to six months ago? Or even yesterday? When you stop to notice your growth, it quiets that obsessive part of us that wants to be better. “I want to be more patient with my kids” or “I want to be more easy-going”. If we start on this hamster wheel we can get to the point where every little thing is up for improvement. That’s where self-celebration comes in. Celebrate the little personal growth successes and that nit-picky part of us finally takes a breather.
Here is a process you can use to take stock of how you’ve come:
We might have subconscious ideas of how we want to change or maybe we write down our goals and keep track of them. The main point is to sit down and focus on how you might’ve changed without even realizing it!
1. Break your “goals” into categories:
Personal-this can include anything to do with yourself and how you relate to the world and those around you. Your emotional well-being or emotional climate. For instance, I relate to certain family members much more calmly than I used to. I don’t get as impatient about the pace of my life. What is your main emotional state these days? Contentment? Satisfaction?
Career-do you have an objective with your career? Do you want to increase your annual income? Do you want a position with more responsibility and challenge? Would you like to work for yourself? Switch careers?
Spiritual-do you meditate every day? Once per week? Have you been meaning to join a local spiritual community? Get involved with some modalities like Reiki or other energy work? Are you focused on cultivating more inner peace?
2. Do a comparison:
How did I deal with these situations six months ago? How do I deal with these situations now?
In each category how did you deal with or approach these situations? What did you do differently? Think about each category and compare how you interact with these aspects of your life now compared to six months ago. This is how you find the small shifts, growth and expansion. Focus on the comparison. This is not to give you a reason to beat yourself up. This is a way to see that you’ve come a long way! You really did shift. You really have grown—in a way that you may not have noticed.
Now it’s time to party! Do something wonderful for yourself. Here are some of my suggestions but the sky is the limit! Treat yourself like a VIP.
Get a massage
Go on a retreat
Get your hair done
Go to the beach
Design a plaque saying congratulations and hang it on the wall--“Look how far you’ve come!” Congratulations to me!
Remember that when we don’t stop and contemplate where we are in life, in a metaphorical sense, we lose sight of what’s important. Self-celebration is a way to say to ourselves: you really are wonderful. Look how far you’ve come!