As we begin 2023, let’s pause and reflect on our many gains over the past year, including small, medium, and major successes, projects completed, life changes or leaps taken, and the positive ways we’ve grown and become a better version of our Selves. Take the time to celebrate your past Self as you move into a new year.
The Latin etymology of celebrate means “assemble to honor or acknowledge.” I love that honoring is part of what celebration means. How often do we honor our Selves, and acknowledge not only what we do, but who we are – our values, character, strengths, and dreams? Often in the new year, we’re busy thinking of all the things we plan to do and the resolutions we want to keep. We rarely pause to acknowledge the time, energy, skill, and commitment that led to our successes. Even less do we acknowledge the incremental steps of progress and hurdles overcome that directly led to our successes, large and small, and how we’ve grown.
We don’t celebrate for many reasons. Besides busyness, we may feel undeserving, guilty, or believe “who do I think I am” to celebrate. Perhaps we have a hard time even seeing our strengths and successes, making it difficult then to acknowledge them, and almost impossible to celebrate. Many of us focus on the gap – where we are now and the seemingly endless chasm to where we want to be, rather than our gains, which is how far we’ve come.
What if we consider celebrating as a wonderful habit we haven’t yet developed? As we practice celebrating our Selves and our accomplishments – one incremental step forward at a time – we give ourselves the gift of acknowledgment. We can also celebrate others in our lives, their uniqueness, beauty, and accomplishments. Taking time to see our Selves and others provides fertile soil for us to blossom.
Cultivating the Habit of Celebrating
Consider two meaningful successes and several ways you’ve grown over the past year that makes you proud, happy, more confident, and/or grateful. Reflect on the journey it was, including the courage, effort, commitment, and consistency involved to accomplish that success and grow in the ways you did.
Identify one goal you have now. Clarify the incremental steps and estimated time frame needed to reach this goal. As you reach each step, take time to acknowledge your positive momentum and this mini-success. How might you acknowledge your Self so that it feels like a celebration, an honoring in some way?
Consider keeping a celebration journal, reflecting each day on 1-2 things you would like to honor and give attention to. For example, it could be about your unique qualities and strengths; a habit or skill you’re developing; or progress made toward a goal.
This week, select one of the above celebration practices you would like to try. Which one speaks to your heart, and feels good? Start with that, and if it feels uncomfortable or awkward at first, that’s normal.☺ As you continue to practice, notice any shifts in your feelings, mood, or confidence. Perhaps a bit lighter and happier!
Please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the CONTACT PAGE, if you would like more support and know you want to make some important life changes. Moving forward can be challenging at times, however, feeling more empowered and happier in our lives is worth it! We can have a relaxed conversation and decide where to go from there.
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