One of my past clients e-mailed me to let me know she had just closed a massive project at work, and she was really satisfied with the work she and her team had accomplished (her biggest project to date). I love it when my clients reach out to let me know how they are doing, it’s a privilege to be invited back into their lives as a trusted colleague. Ever the coach, I had a question: how she was going to celebrate?
Celebration is key to acknowledging that you did something meaningful. Things like team meals and spot awards are great ways to have others acknowledge you (and you acknowledge them), but it’s also important for you to acknowledge yourself when you have milestone accomplishments (especially since only you will ever know the magnitude of the accomplishment for yourself, as others don’t witness private struggle).
A few years ago, I had a really challenging year, and having worked very hard to embrace the chaos and push forward I hit a wonderful milestone. On vacation that summer I pick up a trinket that spoke to me; a tiny pewter sea urchin. Its little nubby spikes remind me to persevere because not everything that looks difficult on the surface is actually difficult in the end. It sits on my desk, and I’ve picked it up and held it so often its nubs have been burnished from dull pewter to light-catching sparkle. An everyday reminder that when I chose to stay with a problem, I bring new light to it.
My client is going into vacation in the best way possible, on the high spirits of a great accomplishment. Prompted by my question she’s thinking she may get herself something special as well; a new coffee mug. Not just any coffee mug, one that she falls in love with from an artisan pottery shop somewhere on her travels along the coast. One that will bring back great vacation memories AND remind her of her own unique awesomeness every time she holds it in her hands, feeling the warmth of both coffee and accomplishment.
We are worth this. Celebrations should continue into every day; never turn away from reminding yourself what you have accomplished. Let it sustain, and inform, your work going forward. What milestones and accomplishments do you acknowledge for yourself? How do you celebrate them every day?