Do you take time to celebrate small accomplishments? Or are you more like me, always rushing to the next thing. Too often, the moment I check something off the top of my to-do list, I find myself adding three more to the bottom.
I’ve decided that’s really a bad idea, since we miss out on a tailor-made opportunity to build our confidence. We also need a moment to rest and regroup before we dive back into the creative pool. I’m trying to become more aware of this in my own life and crazy schedule.
The next time you complete a task, climb a molehill or scale a towering cliff:
Hit the pause button
Just for a few minutes. Yesterday, one of my writer-friends said she finally wrote, “THE END” on her current manuscript and she planned to bake cupcakes to celebrate. I thought that was fabulous. It took her two years to get that puppy written. I was so glad to hear she was taking time to celebrate that not-so-easy-to-come-by milestone.
This morning, I finished editing a synopsis (a story summary) for an editor, taking it from nine pages down to five. That may not seem like a big deal, but it was for me. No sooner did I finish, that I emailed my critique partners to let them know about it. Writing—and most creative endeavors—can be a lonely place, so having a cheering section, whether in person, over the phone or through cyberspace, makes it easier.
Give Small Gifts
Volusia County Romance Writers, my RWA chapter, has what we call a “Motivational Club.” At each monthly meeting, members who have accomplished a small-ish goal are recognized and invited to take a prize out of the goody bag. Rewards are given for things like finishing a manuscript, entering a contest, sending a query letter to an editor or agent, finaling in a contest, etc. The prizes themselves are not extravagant by any means, but they are a tangible acknowledgement of a small victory.
Take time out to celebrate small accomplishments. You’ll find it’s so worth it.
I’d put this in the HUGE accomplishment category, but still, I’ll tell you there was major emailing, phone calling and Snoopy Happy-Dancing at our house this weekend over the release of the movie trailer for Catch of a Lifetime. (If you haven’t seen it, please click the link to view the trailer. Huge thanks to all who Happy-Danced with us! More details coming soon.)
So now I’m curious. What rewards do you give yourself??
Hi Connie – I love the cupcake idea, but I tend to treat myself to a special coffee drink from Starbucks. I ususally stop and say a quick thank you prayer for small accomplishments, but today I too typed The End on the first draft of a contracted book, and I haven’t planned a thing. I definitely feel the uplifting mood and I’m proud I completed another book, but no plans for celebration. However, my husband and I will be out for a special dinner tomorrow night (anniversary) that’s a huge accomplishment and maybe I’ll have a special dessert targeted for finishing the book.
Lynne-Congrats on hitting another milestone with your hubby. And I think you should most definitely indulge in the extra-special dessert for finishing the book! Good for you!
What a great idea! I tend to move to the next job without enjoying the accomplishments of the former tasks. Might have to start doing this – make my husband take me out to dinner! Yeah, that’s a good one!
Dinner out with hubby is always a good thing! And in a world where recognition generally comes slowly–if at all–we have to make our own celebrations!! Enjoy every moment…
Nubby is usually the first one I tell and he always insists we celebrate. Whether that’s because he benefits too, I don’t know, but I just go with it.
That should have read “nubby” not nubby. Ha! That’s what I get for using an I-phone to comment.
Sorry. It keeps changing after I submit it. Just to clarify, I’m talking about my husband, and I don’t call him nubby.
You made me smile, Cherie 🙂 I’m so glad I’m not the only one things like this happen to. And I’m very glad you take time to celebrate with Hubby!
The trailer looks great; I will be waiting for it to come out!
I think I am the “before” picture on this question, struggling to get things done, trying to do too many things, and not knowing how to get started on others….That makes me want to go get a cupcake, but it’s the wrong end of the job…
Hi Hollace, I can totally relate. Most of us are like that, I think. I did a blog post on to-do list overload recently–found out lots of us are in the same boat. Priorities can be slippery little suckers, too. Keep going…and sometimes, stop and eat a cupcake just…because.
Thanks for sharing our movie excitement! It’s been a really cool process…
I’m liking this website! Thanks for this important reminder, Connie. Right now I’m celebrating going to bed 🙂
Looking forward to future visits here!
Thanks for stopping by, Joanna. I’m so glad you liked what you saw. Hope you’ll come back often. Sleep well!