A couple of weeks ago a conversation started in Girl Gang HQ that led us to diagnosing an epidemic: we're NOT celebrating our accomplishments.
We recognized that when we achieve a goal or reach a big milestone, rather than taking a moment to pause, swell with pride, and lavish ourselves with the pampering we deserve, we simply put our eyes on the next thing and keep marching forward.
This also came up at Gabrielle Bernstein’s recent London workshop. She mentioned that a woman asked her how she celebrated finishing a book and she realized: she doesn’t. She simply starts planning the next one.
Perhaps this sounds like a best practice for someone with big dreams. Maybe it seems like the most “productive” option. But it’s actually detrimental to our wellness and future success. Never stopping to take a break and celebrate is a sure recipe for burn out. And not pausing to reflect doesn’t give us the chance to course correct and make sure that the path is leading us where we want to go.
Last week I had the pleasure of seeing Emma Watson interview Gloria Steinem and Gloria said something that really stuck with me: “Marx and Engels were good guys but they got one thing wrong: They said that the ends justify the means. In fact, the means ARE the end. So if we want humour and good food and dancing, we need humour and good food and dancing on the journey or we won’t have them in the end (not that there really is an end)."
This is true of social movements AND designing our own lives. If we don’t infuse the journey with the feelings and experiences that we desire, we can’t expect to reach some undetermined end point where all of these things magically appear.
I for one think we should be celebrating it all: good hair days. Promotions. New jobs. Leaving soul-sucking jobs. Ending shitty relationships. Finishing our to-do lists. Sticking with a new habit. Achieving a massive goal. Letting go of a dream that no longer fits...ALL of it.
One thing I’ve found very helpful for actually pausing to celebrate is writing a list of “good things that happened this week” in my Passion Planner (you could do it in any diary or notebook or even a note in your phone). Reading it over I’m able to see what I’ve accomplished and pamper myself accordingly.
It became really apparent in our conversation that most of us aren’t even sure HOW to celebrate our achievements, so I’ve brainstormed this list for us. But the real key is to do something (anything!) that honours your achievement, lets you dwell in your hard-earned sense of pride, and helps you feel good. In Girl Gang HQ we’re going to be hosting a monthly brag-a-thon and holding each other accountable to celebrating our wins (please, join us!)
Now let's decide how to celebrate your achievements!
- Call your best g-friend and BRAG (NO, that is not a dirty word!)
- Pop a bottle of champagne or kombucha and pour yourself a glass. Drink up while revelling in your gloriousness!
- Write in your journal about how it FEELS to have achieved this.
- Make a booking at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to eat at.
- Invite all of your friends over for a pot luck and before you sit down to eat, go around and ask everyone to brag about something (big or small) that they’ve achieved recently.
- Get a new hair ‘do to commemorate this new chapter of your life.
- Spend an entire day doing whatever you find most relaxing.
- Book a treatment at a spa.
- Write a letter of gratitude to someone who helped you get there.
- Make a really complicated, overly decadent dessert and eat as much as you want!
- Take a long bubble bath, book a massage, or practice yoga nidra to let any of the tensions that have built up slip away.
- Buy a confetti gun and sprinkle that shit everywhere!
- Write a list of everything you learned from this experience.
- Start a success journal.
- Dance! Honouring our emotions through movement is so powerful.
- Spread the love: offer to help someone who is chasing a similar dream.
- Similarly, you could write a blog post outlining how you achieved your goal and give yourself major kudos in the process.
- Take a selfie to memorialize this big moment. Bonus points for sharing on Instagram alongside some well-deserved bragging.
- Give yourself an entire week off from dream chasing to really revel in what you’ve achieved.
- Create something with no intended outcome other than to enjoy the process.
- E-mail your friends and family and give them the chance to shower you with pride and praise.
- Create a wish jar and day by day fill it with everything you’re grateful for, everything you’ve achieved, and everything you wish for the future. Dump it out after a year and revel in your magnificence!
- Get really dressed up, just because.
- Or alternatively, spend an entire day in your PJs vegging out (you’ve earned it!)
- Use all of your fanciest china and drink out of champagne glasses, even if you’re having pizza for dinner
- Cook your favourite meal (or order it in!)
- Order yourself a token to mark the occasion (it doesn’t have to be expensive! Even a new lipstick colour would be really fun and will make you smile every time you wear it.)
- Have a staycation and spend some time exploring and enjoying all that your city has to offer.
- Get really clear (write it down!) on how this achievement has contributed to becoming the person you want to be and designing the life you want to live.
- Take a few long, deep breaths and ask yourself: what does celebrating look and feel like to you?
What have you achieved recently? What are your favourite ways to celebrate?