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?