I remember when my now-nearly-grown kids were babies. Then, every milestone was a cause for celebration. Forget first words, first syllables were reason enough to circle the date on the calender.
So why is it so hard to celebrate the baby steps in our adult lives?
If you look at the big picture, any major goal or aspiration is a collection of little accomplishments, each of which deserve to be celebrated. Sometimes we’re so obsessed about how long it takes to reach the finish line, we forget to recognize every milestone along the way.
Instead of beating myself up for not hitting the NaNo goal of 50k words this month, shouldn’t I celebrate just how successful this month has been? I logged an impressive word count for such a busy month. I worked every day. I took a class and applied what I learned.
I stayed true to my commitment to better health. I worked out, even on days I didn’t want to. I avoided food I knew would be detrimental and took measures to reduce the negative impact of Thanksgiving dinner.
Today marks the beginning of the winter holiday season. Like it or not, it’s the most stressful time of the year. The true meaning is often lost among the cards, decorations, baking, and shopping lists. It’s oh-so-easy to lose sight of the little things in an attempt to pain the perfect big picture. It’s the season we most need to stop and smell the poinsettias and celebrate every baby step.
So, don’t forget to take some time out in the coming weeks to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and reflect on all you’ve accomplished this year. Celebrate every milestone and plan for a productive new year.