Goals are More than About Reaching the Finish Line
Goals are our effort to aim for completing a desired result. You may desire to complete a team project on time and on budget (Does that happen?), lose 50 pounds in seven months, run in your first marathon before the end of the year, or any number of things that can be considered a goal. Whatever your goal might be, as you work towards reaching the finish line, do you take the time to celebrate small victories?
Recently, I asked myself that very question. It was the afternoon of Mother's Day. The sun was shining, finally. We had experienced rain for a little over a week. It was nice to see the sun again, especially on such a special day. I was sitting at my desk. I sat back after finishing adjustments to the following sentence:
I close with this: Mia Hamm, former American soccer player, two time Women's World Cup winner, and two time Olympic gold medal winner said, “It is more difficult to stay on top than to get there.” Yes, sometimes along this journey you may feel as though it is hard, but you know what? You’re now ready and well prepared to to stay on top for a lifetime. I encourage you to go out there and get it done.
I stopped typing. I pondered the possible grammatical errors, then decided to let the editor – at that time yet to be determined – make the appropriate corrections.
Taking Time Out for Small Victories
I then stared at my laptop. “Shouldn't I be doing something?” I asked myself. I responded, “Yes,” then started typing away to play around with titles and subtitles for my book. Then I had a revelation.
I said to myself, “This is not what you are supposed to be doing. You should be doing something else.”
That is the moment it hit me that I had completed self-editing my first book, but there I was, moving onto the next thing. I had not taken the time to celebrate my small victory.
Check out this video to see what I did to change that.
I am calling finishing the self-editing process a small victory, but that accomplishment was HUGE. I mean REALLY HUGE! I, Pamela Burke, had finished writing my first book.
I shouldn't have been moving right on to the next thing before celebrating one of the many small victories that will occur on my way to reaching my goal of publishing my first book. I should have been celebrating.
Lessons Learned from Celebrating Small Victories
I encourage you to take the time to start celebrating your small victories too. Here are the lessons I learned from that moment of celebration. These are the reminders of why we should be sure to celebrate small victories:
Teaches you to enjoy and embrace the process: I talk about enjoying the process of losing weight in my book. On my own journey of losing weight and while writing my book, I learned more about myself, I was willing to challenge myself, and I grew more confident. I go a little deeper on that one in the next point. It is from living the process that you are able to experience such growth. Pay attention to what your journey is telling you about you and embrace it.
Increases confidence: Projects have something called milestones. They are like mini points of accomplishment. Each milestone you hit – completing your first 5k as you train for a marathon or losing your first 15 pounds on the way to your goal of losing 50 pounds – is a part of the process referenced above. Along your journey, you continuously build upon those accomplishments. The more you accomplish, the more confident you become.
Affirms your ability to do even if you are uncertain or afraid: Before shooting the video above, I was afraid about the next steps. My immediate next step was to find an editor. I started to fear that, even after the edits have been completed, no one would be interested in my book or that I would not be able to find the right audience for my book. Taking the time to celebrate the victory of getting to the point of needing an editor affirmed for me that I am willing to keep going, even when I am afraid. Whatever your limiting beliefs may be, go ahead, do what you do while afraid, then celebrate that you made it past your fears. That is a victory.