Have you ever had the feeling that no matter how much you accomplish and no matter how many things you do, it’s never enough? Me too! On January 1st, I sat thinking about what I want to accomplish and how many things there still are to “be successful”. I started to feel overwhelmed and even bombarded with an onslaught of thoughts and emotions of how I “should be” more. Over the next couple days, it occurred to me that there is a big flaw in my thinking. How can I force myself to do even more that I already am? What ever happened to nurturing?
Can you imagine having a little baby, puppy or plant, and yelling “GROW”, and expecting results? No! They need tender loving care and kindness to really thrive. And so do we! Can we just stop right now and take a moment, and be grateful and happy about how good we already are? If we are not giving ourselves pats on the back and loving talk, then who will? We are our own best cheerleaders and friends.
This is a great opportunity to stop for a minute and breathe. Take a moment to be grateful for your successes, and for how much you already have. You could say something like, “Hey (me) you are doing a great job at this life thing. I know there is more you will do and I have no doubt that you will accomplish everything on your to do list in the perfect timing. And, in case I forgot to mention it to you…I appreciate you!”
Celebrate small successes. While it’s common to strive for the best in life, whether that be a perfect body, an awesome place to live, a career that is fulfilling and pays well or just to have someone to love, it is less common to take stock and decide that when we look around, we already have enough (of the things that matter).
As you focus on things to create or have, it can be easy to miss the small things that make your life good already, and to appreciate them daily. I have found that when I take a moment to check in and look at my life so far, I have many things I am grateful for. A healthy body, a sound mind, a quiet peaceful place to sleep and friends and family who care about my well being. These are all reasons to be happy in this moment.
Here are some ways that you can celebrate your small wins and successes daily:
Take a moment: When you wake up in the morning, or even just as an afternoon break, take 5-20 minutes to meditate (or pray) and focus on your breath. I do this practice almost daily, and on the days I do it, I notice a big difference in my mental attitude and my approach to “problems”. Here is an app which has helped me to focus while I’m working, and also to meditate better: https://www.brain.fm/app
Keep a daily to do list on a yellow pad with only the things you know you can do today and check off everything you do. I have found that even putting Do Laundry and then checking it off after doing it helps me to look back on my day and celebrate how much I accomplished.
Keep a gratitude journal next to your bed and write in it every night before you go to sleep. List 5 new things you are grateful for that happened today.
Celebrate your wins: My good friend in Hong Kong, Priscilla, who runs a raw chocolate company called Raiz the Bar, celebrates small wins. Every time someone lets her get in front of them in traffic, she says “That’s a win!” This helps her to be more appreciative of all the little, good things that happen daily.