The path of a goal, whether a goal set for your personal life or in the course of business, is generally seen as having four steps:
- Assess the situation
- Set goals for how you want it to be
- Take steps to achieve the goals
- Achieve the goals (completion)
After Step 4, many people return to Step 1 with the question: “OK, what’s next?” And then it’s on to Steps 2 and 3 and 4 again.
Hold on. Stop right there.
There is actually a very important fifth step that many of us leave out.
Step 5 is where we celebrate our achievements! After working hard to reach our goals, taking time to celebrate gives us the opportunity to:
- Capture the learning. When we take stock of what we’ve learned along the way to our goals, we can consciously incorporate those lessons in the future.
- Acknowledge our internal resources. In achieving goals, we bring forth various internal resources, such as courage and persistence, to meet the challenges. To have others acknowledge us—and to give ourselves credit, as well—is deeply satisfying. Too often, we miss seeing these qualities in ourselves and others. Acknowledging our strengths has the power to call us forth to use them even more.
- Build a sense of unity. Nothing can bond people more than striving toward a common goal and then sharing in the joy of the achievement. However, if you don’t stop to appreciate the people who helped make it happen, connection and goodwill can break down. Your team will feel more inclined to go the extra mile if you give them the appreciation they deserve.
- Send a message to others. Stopping to savor and celebrate your successes sends the message to others that you know how to appreciate this success and that you are ready for more!
- Have fun! Knowing that you get to celebrate in a fun way after your goal is achieved is a great motivator. You’ve done a fantastic job—of course, you want to be rewarded with some fun and enjoyment. You deserve it!
There are countless ways to celebrate and savor your successes.
As this year comes to a close, remember what you did well, what you learned, and what you will do differently as you begin a fresh start in the coming year.
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications