Ours is a culture that demands progress.
From that we attribute positive identity to people – both our self and others – who produce. One of the drawbacks to this is a continual moving on from one thing to another, whether it is from task to task in our day, moment to moment in our relationships or goal to goal in our leadership.
The feeling that we need to constantly produce in order to maintain a sense of self is very draining. There is pressure inherent in that way of living and leading, and it will eventually wear you, and those around you, down to the nub.
While pursing awareness of motivation and developing soundness of your sense of self are essential to long term success, having goals and working toward outcomes never stops.
An important discipline to not being consumed by goal setting and production is the ability to celebrate.
How often do you take time to celebrate milestones? What is your built in plan to celebrate achieving goals? Incorporating celebration is an important part of leading yourself and others.
Beyond just having fun, there are many positive results involved with celebrating.
1. Celebration releases stress. In the pressure to achieve, stress and anxiety builds up, often in the background while we are distracted planning and working. Taking time that is not task or goal directed gives the opportunity to release stress in a way that will not be ultimately detrimental to future goals.
2. Celebration provides motivation. In an obvious way, if you know something good is on the horizon, there is motivation to pursue the carrot on the stick, as when you promise yourself a new pair of jeans for meeting a weight loss goal. Going deeper, celebrating reminds you of why you are pursing your goal in the first place. It is a great way to be reminded of a vision or mission that is ultimately greater than the celebration itself.
3. Celebrating recognizes excellence. We are drawn to the negative. News is negative; our self-talk tends to be negative. Taking the time to celebrate gives evidence of excellence.
4. Celebration shows appreciation and acceptance. Particularly important with involvement with a spouse or when leading a team, taking the time to pause and celebrate shows that you notice and appreciate the contributions that others are making. Want to have people continue to work hard? Let them know that you are not taking them for granted.
5. Celebration builds energy. Going from task to task, being ruled by deadlines, and knowing you have to produce to meet expectations is draining. Celebrating stands in contrast. It means that the battle was won. Maybe not the war…yet!
6. Celebration provides a time of reflection. Evaluation is critical to achieving goals. In the momentary pause, it becomes possible to look at what went well that allowed the result to be achieved and what could have been done better. Yet, while celebrating, thinking what could be done better is free of condemnation.
7. Celebration a moment. As you press on and experience the typical ebbs and flows of life, you can look back to a moment marked by a celebration to gain
encouragement. Think of that pair of jeans you are wearing and what they represent or the banquet you attended with your team. Good things are happening.
Celebration should be part of your culture. It is a discipline and needs to be planned. But the benefits far outweigh any inconveniences that may arise.
What goals are you pursuing spiritually, relationally, physically, or vocationally? How will you celebrate?
I work with followers of Christ to energize discipleship, improve relationships, decrease anxiety and facilitate leadership development. I am a certified coach specializing in pastoral leadership, relationships, discipleship, life transitions, and Christian identity. Also, I am the author of the forthcoming book Discovering Your Root: Developing Your Identity in Christ.
Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking at organizations/churches, leadership workshops, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.