This month we’ve been diving into the great outdoors and exploring fresh starts and new beginnings. I’ve challenged you to make room in your life for the things you are passionate about and plant seeds or start with small changes that can add up to big results. The last nature-based message I want to share with you is to reap what you sow or to celebrate your victories.
Reaping, or harvesting, is your reward for following through with your goals all the way to completion. If your goal was to eat more veggies at mealtimes, your reward might be finding that your pants fit better and your skin looks nicer. Celebrate this victory! If your goal was to be more mindful as you spend time outside and you might find that you are calmer during your day, celebrate this as well.
Those who take time to rejoice in their victories and appreciate the results of hard work are more likely to succeed in their next goal. Celebrating releases endorphins and makes you feel good. Feel-good moments of celebration reinforce that success is a good thing and trains the brain to want more of it. This in turn makes future goals easier because we’ve crushed past goals.
No doubt there are days where you do awesome. You finish your to-do list, go the extra mile, and keep from losing your head when things get tough. You rocked it. At the end of one of these days when you feel you’ve won, celebrate!
Make it big and noisy. Jump up and down and shout your success. Do a victory dance to your favorite song. Be a little crazy. Revel in how good it feels to have an awesome day. Treat yourself to something you’ve been waiting to do, like use a nice face mask or read an indulgent book.
When the next day rolls around, know that you can celebrate like that every night should you have another great day.
I used to think that part of being an adult meant lots of work and no fun. Finishing chores or finally getting the house clean was just another responsibility and there was no real significance to doing a good job or not. It was just something you were supposed to do. It’s no surprise that I started to dread even looking at my never-ending to-do list.
With that attitude, it was only a matter of time before I started letting things slip. Things started piling up in corners, dust gathered on shelves, floors got grimy. It never got really bad, but it wasn’t good either.
Then, I stumbled on the thought that changed everything. It was so simple. I decided that I deserved to wake up to a clean kitchen. Getting kids ready for school is hard enough without having to fight with cleaning off the counter first or deal with a sink overflowing with dirty plates. That thought progressed into another, that I liked seeing my bed made when I walked into my room.
These small celebrations were enough to change my attitude about cleaning. I don’t clean because I have to, I clean because I like the way things look and feel when it’s done. I don’t tend the garden because it’s a chore, I do it because seeing a tidy happy garden brings me joy. Do I do any of this perfectly? Absolutely not. But my motivation for doing this kind of work has shifted from a negative to a positive, and that has made a huge difference.