Making celebrations a habit

by | Nov 11, 2013 | Blog | 0 comments

victory armsCelebrating our achievements.

Why is it so hard for some of us?

Many of the leaders I coach and consult with tell me that they don’t celebrate their individual successes.

Their reasons run the gamut of:

  • Celebration doesn’t fit their personality or situation. They don’t object to others’ celebrating; they just don’t want to observe their own successes.
  • They don’t remember to celebrate.
  • They prefer moving on to their next task, rather than taking the time or energy to celebrate.

These leaders definitely work outside the field of athletics. Watch any sporting event around the world, and you see athletes celebrating. The victory dance. The fist pump and bumps. The hugs.

Athletes are great role models for celebration, which all of us need to embrace.

The act of celebrating is a powerful potion for the brain.

When you whisper “Good job!” to yourself under your breath, throw a huge bash for your team or do any celebratory act in between, the action helps your brain make a strong connection between the celebratory action and the behavior. That helps your brain rewire and reinforce the behavior.

Plus, the celebration feels good in the moment, which is its own reward. When you feel good, you’re more positive, open to new ideas and experiences and able to think more clearly.

I have to confess that I’m not great at celebrating.

However, now that I know the science behind celebration, I’m trying to do more rejoicing as well as encouraging my clients to do so as well. I’m still bad at it, as I’ll explain.

To change my behavior, I’m now focused on taking the tiny step of acknowledging myself every time I do something positive. This involves recognizing myself for making an effort as well as getting results.

The acknowledgement serves as a building block for encouraging more actions in the right direction.

It doesn’t take much time or effort to acknowledge yourself—maybe just 30 seconds or so. And it’s something I want to do at least once a day.

These three criteria—daily, taking less than 30 seconds, and requiring little effort—classify acknowledgement as a tiny habit, according to the psychologist BJ Fogg who developed the breakthrough Tiny Habits® method.

By tapping into the power of baby steps and environment, you can develop simple routines quickly and easily.

Even better, as BJ explains, the “success momentum” you gain can help you build the confidence to make even more positive and bigger changes in your life.

Since December 2011, when BJ started running weekly online seminars to teach people how to design and adopt Tiny Habits®, more than 16,300 of us have taken the program, working on three habits in five days. The program has been life changing for some of us. (See Success! Sustaining tiny habits for my story.)

Late last month, I took the program again in preparation for my participation in BJ’s new Tiny Habits® coaching certification. While I successfully adopted my three habits, I still didn’t follow the directions to celebrate my daily successes. (I know, I’m bad and out of compliance….)

During last week’s coaches training, we talked about the challenges of celebration that some of us have. BJ observed that learning to celebrate should be the fourth tiny habit you work on.

So I’m taking that on as a personal challenge. I’m hoping that reframing celebration as a tiny habit to adopt will give me the impetus to practice what I preach and celebrate consistently.

What about you? Is celebration one of your daily habits?

If yes, congratulations!

If no, let me help you introduce celebration into your daily routine.  It’s a good habit worth practicing!





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