In this day and age, it seems we are all in a race to the finish – but wait. Who defines the finish and what about the journey to the finish? With competition in all areas of life and the speed with which we gather and disseminate information, there are days we don’t know if we are coming or going, least of all where we have been.
We dream of better futures, so we set Big Hairy Audacious Goals for our personal lives and our organizations and work diligently toward their achievement. What seems to happen since the due dates for our BHAGs are so far into the future is that we very rarely get to feel the thrill and satisfaction of achieving these long-term goals. We begin to lose motivation.
Ernest Hemingway reminds us, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Research contained in the book The Progress Principle shows that when people can see that they are making tangible progress every step of the way and experience “small wins” – they become more engaged and productive.
These “small wins” are the incremental steps toward longer term goals. People are much happier and more creative in their roles when they can visibly see continuous progress on their goals in a series of smaller daily and weekly steps.
Many of us take for granted the progress we’ve made and wonder why we get discouraged when our final goal seems so far away. By taking the time to measure how far we’ve come, we gain the energy and enthusiasm for continuing the journey.
So how do we begin to see the process AND measure the progress? The process, not always the outcome, is what helps you define your success. We need to begin by pausing periodically throughout our week, our day, to celebrate our success.
At the end of the day simply identify five things that you accomplished during the day and explain why each one is important. Build celebration and recognition into your life.
Dave Crenshaw says to take 15 seconds to savor your success. You need to fall in love, not with what you are trying to accomplish, but with the process of accomplishing it. After winning, most champions do not talk about what they accomplished, but what they have learned from the process and how that has helped them become more of a person.
So this is where we must begin. Celebrate yourself and your accomplishments and acknowledge all you do. This exercise is designed to increase your self-confidence and improve your performance in all areas of life.
Putting the pen to the paper connects directly to the brain. It is so powerful that it has the ability to improve the functioning of your frontal lobe, which is the executive decision-making area of your brain. Click here to download the Celebrate Your Success Worksheet.