These days in between holidays are always a strange time for me. Resting from Christmas, building reserves for New Year’s, but mostly looking forward to a year that has not yet arrived. A kind of in between land with lots of time to reflect.
When looking to the year ahead I am often filled with all kinds of plans and while I don’t do new year’s resolutions I do always have an intention, a focus for the year. While all these plans, intentions and/or resolutions are wonderful and keep us moving forward, it can also make us more aware of where we are not in this moment.
For instance, I want to exercise regularly again and that makes me more aware of how much my stamina dropped. You may have the intention to eat healthier, but that could make you feel bad about the ‘crap’ you’re eating now (your words, not mine). This doesn’t make for the most pleasant mindset.
I propose a different approach. Let’s dream a little here.
Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of looking where we want to go we start celebrating where we are?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we paused a moment to reflect, not just on the big milestones, but to acknowledge the smaller things that we have accomplished or just made some progress on?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could fully appreciate how far we’ve come and revel in that instead of lamenting what we have not yet done and use resolutions to “fix” that?
Wouldn’t it be nice if our resolutions were not about “fixing” anything period, but instead we resolved to be more appreciative of the things that are already working?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do the same for ourselves? That instead of trying to do better or be better we could just be a little nicer to ourselves? (I happen to know that by being kinder to ourselves, everyone around us benefits as well.)
Wouldn’t it be nice if being more appreciative of ourselves and our life puts us in exactly the right mindset to get going on all those other things we’re hoping to achieve?
Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of having to wait for a new year or even a new day we started celebrating in every moment we remember to do so?
To sum it up it one nice actionable step:
Celebrate when you show up for something you’re working on, regardless of result.
Celebrate when you make a healthy choice.
Celebrate when you let yourself off the hook and indulge without making yourself feel bad.
Celebrate the second you notice you are being hard on yourself and soften your attitude. The noticing is the victory. By celebrating every time you notice, there is no failing at this!
Let’s celebrate that too, while we’re at it.
Celebrate any time you make a choice that is in line
with the kind of person you want to be,
but most importantly:
Celebrate anytime you refrain
from making yourself feel bad when you slip.
Because I call that a win.
The wins may not always be easy to define. My friend Susan finished writing her book which is HUGE(!) but I’m sure she’d agree that every step taken in the direction of that was also worthy of celebration. As for me, I know I’ve come a long way, but my progress is harder to put into words. That doesn’t matter. The point is to celebrate progress wherever you find it.
And when I say celebrate I don’t mean treat yourself to chocolate (though I will definitely be doing that at times (i.e. pretty regular basis)), but I mean revel/bask/delight. Raise your arms in victory. Dance around the living room. Or, you know, pause, smile and just take a moment to appreciate… you!
Writing this made me feel so good that I went on a powerwalk and really enjoyed it even though I didn’t feel like it before. Taking a moment to celebrate how far I’d come made me feel good and feeling good made me want to do more things that make me feel good.
Another win, another reason to celebrate, but this isn’t about me. I know for sure that at this point in time you have plenty of reasons to feel really good about yourself (whether you recognize them or not), so I’ll celebrate on behalf of both of us.
A virtual toast then: let’s celebrate how far we’ve come and take delight in how far we’ll go next. Here’s to a happy new YOU. Cheers!
See you next year!
P.S. Found something about you to feel good about? Leave a comment to tell me what you’re reveling in or how you’re celebrating. Bragging is encouraged. I’d love another reason to celebrate with you.