Occasional Epiphanies

It’s Party Time!

Selfcare Apr 18, 2012 24 Comments


Goals are important. They help us move forward and know what we are working toward. Having goals keeps us on track and motivated.

For me, fall seems like the start of something new. So that is when I sit down and write out my goals for the year. Of course I end up going back and refining and editing them throughout the year. And sometimes I add new goals and change others completely.

But I realized that I have been missing a big step along the way.

I never stop to celebrate.

I keep making goals and keep working toward them. And when I meet a goal, I make a new one that takes me further down the path. Sure, every once and a while I’ll look back and see how far I’ve come. But then I turn back around keep moving forward.

I don’t stop to pat myself on the back or even say “Good Job, Emma.” And I definitely don’t take a day off.

In fact, I never really thought about it until the other day when I was talking with a friend. In the two weeks since we’d talked she had done some amazing things. It was like she had started a whole new career in those two weeks, and it was beginning very successfully.

But she hadn’t seen it. She felt like she was always working, but never getting anything done. It wasn’t until I made a big deal of it that she could see it was a big deal, too. In that moment I realized how important it is to celebrate every step along the way. Every success is important no matter how small.

So, why can we see it in other people and not in ourselves?

I don’t know the answers. And the truth is, I don’t really care why. I just want to work on recognizing my accomplishments and stopping to celebrate them.

Maybe I’ll start with writing a list of everything I’ve accomplished in the past year, month, and week. Or maybe I’ll pull out my old journals and read over the past goals that I’ve already met. And I’m definitely going to start keeping track of all those little scraps of paper where I write down all the little things I want to do.

So I can celebrate each and every one of them.

We don’t have to throw a party every time we cross something off our to-do list. A little acknowledgement can go a long way. But we really do need to stop ignoring our efforts and only focusing on the end goal.

It is too easy to look all the way ahead to where I want to be five years from now and realize that I’m not there yet. But if I stop and look back to how far I’ve come already, I really would want to throw myself a party.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

It’s party time!

Are you always focused on the goals ahead? How do you celebrate the small steps along the way?



24 Responses to “It’s Party Time!”

  1. Reply Shannyn Schroeder says:

    Like you, I forget to stop and celebrate. When I got my contract for my books, all of my writing friends asked what I did to celebrate, and I was little embarrassed to realize I hadn’t done anything. Sure, I was excited, but I didn’t do anything with that excitement. I was already looking ahead to what else I needed to get done. Thanks for the reminder :)

  2. Reply Jennette Marie Powell says:

    I do exactly what you do – I mark the task off my to-do list and move on to the next thing. I just released a book that I’ve worked on for years, and didn’t even celebrate it! I did take most of the weekend off and went out for a very nice dinner, but that was mostly because I had things to do, and the dinner was for a friend’s birthday. You’ve brought up a very good point – we do need to reward ourselves for our accomplishments! I’m going to make a point of celebrating my next release!

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      Yes! I think you deserve a book launch party, but if that isn’t what you want you still deserve somthing. A night out, a fancy dinner, or even a happy hour celebration would be a good place to start. I look forward to hearing about how you choose to celebrate. :)

  3. Reply Karla Robinson says:

    I do something nice for myself, nothing big just something small to acknowledge that I did good. It’s a good feeling to get something accomplished.

  4. Reply Debra Kristi says:

    I’m the same way. Sounds like we all are. Task oriented people. Mark it and move on. Are we all Type-A personalities? I keep trying to step back and look at the big picture. Remember to see the landscape for the house built upon it. These are things I have struggled with my entire life. Things that come naturally to Type-B personalities. Yet they aren’t as driven towards their goals. I know because I have friends like this and sometimes I want to kick them and say, “Come on! Get motivated!” But then I realize they are enjoying something I often fail to see. I have (had – I see it fell off – must find) a sticky note on my monitor reminding me to stop and enjoy those simple things every day. You should add one reminding you to celebrate those accomplishments.

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      That is funny, because I am SO not a type A personality! In all other ways I am the idea person who does see the big picture. I wonder if the driven nature is part of out American culture. I think I had a much easier time celebrating the small steps when I lived in Ecuador. We took any excuse to celebrate! I think I’m going to bring that back! The sticky note is a great idea.

  5. Reply Coleen Patrick says:

    I do things just for me, but I bet it would help if I thought about all my accomplishments. Because I know I don’t do that. I bet if I did i would feel better. Thanks for tuning me in to this Emma :)

  6. Reply CC MacKenzie says:

    We all forget to stop and celebrate, usually because we’re women and are too busy juggling all those balls. The key is to let the balls that bounce go and keep the glass balls in the air!

    Sometimes I think I haven’t achieved anything ‘this week’ and then check my diary and see just how much I’ve done. Why is it we concentrate on the stuff we haven’t done instead of the stuff we have?

    Great post.

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      Such a good question! Especially since we all know that what we notice is what we get more of. I am going to start looking for the good things I am doing or have done instead of the things left to do. I think you are right about it being part of being a woman. We are naturally effecient and used to getting things done. Sometimes I think we need to take a page from the mens’ book and celebrate ourselves. We can start saying, “Look at what I did!” :)

  7. Reply Ginger Calem says:

    Great reminder! I love to celebrate and don’t do it often enough. Where’s the wine opener? Certainly there’s something to celebrate right now! :)

    • Reply Emma Burcart says:

      There definitely is something to celebrate! I think I want to celebrate with a new outfit for Spring! I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I’m ready for a chocolate martini! :)

  8. Reply Sheila Seabrook says:

    Emma, my sister is always telling me to reward myself when I reach a goal, but like you, I usually just make a new goal and keep moving forward. This year, I decided I was going to reward myself by getting a massage every time I reached a goal. Not only is it good for the body and the soul, but the pure enjoyment of it gives me something to work towards. :)

  9. Reply Ingrid Schaffenburg says:

    Love this post! And perfect timing for me. I’ve come a long way in a year and just this morning a friend reminded me that I need to acknowledge that journey and not look at what hasn’t been accomplished yet. Beautiful. Thank you!

  10. Reply Marcy Kennedy says:

    I was right. I needed to read this post. I do the same thing you do. I make goals, but by the time I reach them, my eye’s on the next goal so I don’t stop to celebrate. I think it’s because I also get stuck thinking about how far I still have to go rather than looking back at how far I’ve come and taking joy in that. Sounds like some celebrations are in order :)

  11. Reply Virginia says:

    What a wake up call your post was for me. I said I’d celebrate getting my novel to my beta readers by deadline, but did I? Nope. I focused on the next to do instead. Oops. Thanks for the reminder. Now off to party. :)

  12. Reply Laura Stanfill says:

    Hi, Emma! I love the idea of celebrating goals. It’s so easy to feel bad about yourself for what doesn’t get done. We should make it easy to feel good when we make progress! Party time!

    I just awarded you the Blog on Fire Award. You can find the details here: http://laurastanfill.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/blog-on-fire-award/

  13. Reply Friday Favorites – Love & Romance « Shannyn Schroeder's Blog says:

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