Setting goals isn’t the only thing we need to do to achieve what we want. We also need to keep working toward those goals every single day. How do we do stay motivated and sustainable? One way is by rewarding ourselves for a job well done. In other words, we need to celebrate our wins.
I have to confess, I am pretty good at establishing a goal and sticking to it for a while, and then I fall off the wagon. This makes me feel discouraged and flaky, even though I’m pretty sure this happens to the best of us. I don’t always take the time to reward myself for what I’ve achieved. Maybe it’s my Puritanical roots coming through, but I have an underlying believe that achievement should be its own reward. This belief is counterproductive! I often achieve something only to immediately set my sights on a bigger goal, and another, until I get so burnt out I eventually collapse in frustration and feel like a failure. So, I’m working to change this belief. Celebrating wins is important, and it’s what keeps us sustainable. It’s something I’m working to build into my life this month.
If you’re reading and nodding, you might consider what a win celebration would look like for you. Download the FREE PRINTABLE Celebrate Your Wins Worksheet to plan your next reward.
Read on, to hear about how I celebrated a win of my own:
My husband and I had special date night. The achievement? We successfully potty trained our youngest son! I’ve been dreaming of sending my son off to preschool this fall so I have more time to pursue my business and write this blog, and I’ve also been excited about the possibility of parent date night at my gym. Parent date night is the night when you can bring your lovelies to the gym and drop them off for an evening of bouncing in inflatables, crafting, eating pizza, and watching a G rated movie all for the low price of $10/hour, which is way cheaper than hiring a sitter in Seattle. Basically, it is kid and parent heaven. And this week, it was the one thing we could all agree on around my house, and it was going to be good. Considering my enthusiasm for parent date night, you might be wondering why my family hasn’t participated in the past. There’s a requirement: your kids have to be 3 and up, and they have to be FULLY potty trained.
A word on that. The process of potty training our son reminded me of a key part of goal setting. Casual doesn’t cut it. In order to achieve your goals you need to be specific, be consistent, and do hard things. So, after a year of casual, and a lot of reading about goal setting, I got serious, blocked off three days on my calendar and ordered Oh, Crap! Potty Training by potty maven Jamie Glowacki. After only three days, my son was fully trained day and night. Three days! Why on earth did I take a year to do something I could have done in three days, you ask? I did not make it a goal. If we don’t make our goals a priority they won’t happen. I actually feel a lot of pride in my son’s achievement, and he does, too. It was a process both of us needed to go through in order to be reminded that we can do anything we set our minds to. The book made me bristle, and it made me cry, but it also brought to my attention the fact that I needed to get serious about it. Her message: do it now, do it quick, be firm, be consistent. After I got over my shame at not doing it sooner, I did what she said, and it worked. Thank you, Jamie!
So after that great success, I dropped two very excited kids off at 5 p.m. sharp for parent date night (truth be told they were the first kids there, because if you’re going to do it, why not do it right?) and waited in the clean, air-conditioned, very adult, lobby of my gym drinking an iced coffee and cheers-ing inwardly to this accomplishment. My husband met me and we decided to stay near to the gym, so we could swoop in if the date night thing ended up falling apart. Luckily, my gym is near Sail Sandpoint on Lake Washington, a place where you can rent paddle boards, small sail boats, kayaks and more.
We rented two paddle boards and took off together during the golden hour of the day. To me, the perfect date night is one where I can talk to my husband without interruption, and he will actually listen. Pretty basic, really. For my husband, it is something that involves exercise, and trying something new (these are the things that relax him enough to listen), and he is also a big fan of parking once. Check, check, and check. We literally sailed off into the sunset. We paddled, lay on our boards and looked up at the Simpsons-like clouds in the sky, talked and talked. We even took turns swimming and shrieking from the cold lake water. Happily, my husband’s watch didn’t buzz with any calls about the kids. We felt giddy at the thought that we could do this very same thing again next month.
What could be better than this you ask? Beer and fried food, because as my friend Ash likes to say, “Sometimes it’s nice to eat without limits.” Amen! We ended the night at the Magnuson Cafe and Brewery which just opened next door to Sail Sand Point. Amazingly, our date night corresponded with their grand opening. As a parent to young kids, I feel like I’m not usually privy to a grand opening, and it felt pretty sweet.
We sat on the deck overlooking the lake, drank beer (the Peach Sour for me, and the Hop Fog IPA for my husband), and ate a crispy chicken sandwich and some fish ‘n chips with spicy Sriracha tartar. It was a beautiful thing. When we picked up our kids at the end of the night, they were happily exhausted, fed, and brandishing cute little felt bumblebee magnets they’d crafted. We all decided that we’d sign up again next month. I’m already looking forward to it, as well as my next achievement.
What do you do to celebrate your wins? Drop me a line and let me know!
Take care, and happy celebrating,