I like making to-do lists of things to do in a day. It helps me organize my thoughts and helps me see my productivity for the day.
Sometimes there’s a lot on there. And I try my hardest (…ok, maybe not always “my hardest”, but I try, LOL) to get them all done in a day.
But there are some days that I don’t get the list completed.
I don’t know about you, but I can give myself a really hard time about that. It might be a small, inconsequential thing like “wash dishes” or “vacuum the house” that I didn’t get to scratch off the list, but there are times I don’t get off my own case about it. I hear my inner voice telling me how lazy I am, how useless or unproductive I was that day, or how other people can get done their lists and I can’t so that means I’m not good enough.
What I find interesting is that when I do scratch things off my list, I barely notice.
It’s funny how when something small doesn’t get done, it’s a big deal and I don’t get off my case! And when it does get done, I don’t count it as much of a success because it’s just a small thing.
Wouldn’t it make sense that the amount of celebration I do when the tasks are complete should be equal in magnitude to the self-flagellation I do when the tasks are not complete?
Can you relate to this?
What if we were to celebrate our small successes to the same degree that we beat ourselves up about the small “failures” (for lack of a better term - they aren’t actually failures)?
“What does ‘celebration’ look like?” you might ask.
Well, what does your self-flagellation look like? It doesn’t actually look like much on the outside. It’s not like you’re literally whipping or hitting yourself; it is internal. An attitude. An internal excessive self-criticism. (You probably have some sort of flavourful concoction of negative jabs and jeers that is your poison of choice.)
So, your celebration might actually look similar on the outside. It’s not like you’ll be popping open the champagne because you vacuumed the house, or throwing a party because you finished cleaning the bathroom. This celebration is internal; it’s an attitude. An internal fist bump, a high five to yourself, a “Wahoo!”, a “Boom, I’m awesome!”, a pat on the back…multiple times. (You can come up with some mixture that tickles your fancy!)
Why not do it, and do it multiple times? Does it seem ridiculous to do it multiple times? Does it seem too small a success for celebration to be called for?
If it’s too small to self-celebrate to that extent, then maybe it’s too small to self-criticize to that extent.
Imagine what would be different if you were to celebrate the small successes.
How would you be different?
Here’s to conquering stress.
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