I write a lot about the importance of what I call Proactive Positivity. Because people have a natural ability to think about negative things, we need to work to offset that by being proactive about what’s positive in our lives.
There many good positivity exercises, for example, daily (or weekly) lists of:
- things that made you smile
- things you are grateful for (known as a gratitude list)
- your achievements / areas of progress.
Today, I want to talk about the importance of third item above, celebrating your progress.
Since the day I launched sixsimplerules.com, across the center of the home page it has read:
“Stop to celebrate the progress every day, looking back at all that you’ve accomplished.”
Goals are important. They are the raw materials of our progress. If we don’t have goals, we don’t know where we are going. As Stephen Covey said, “Begin with the End in Mind.” (That’s the second of his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The first is “Be Proactive”.)
Once you set your goals and begin making progress, it’s critically important to celebrate that progress. If not, those goals will become a joyless grind.
I want to illustrate what I mean using the picture which accompanies this post.
We all start at point A.
As soon as we begin to make any progress at all, we move to point B.
I show B as the largest point on the continuum because we spend nearly all our time there. No matter how little progress we have made, once we take that first step, we are no longer at A.
Why do we spend so much time at B? Because we rarely get to C, instead, continuously setting new goals, and as a result, C moves further to the right in the drawing.
Here’s the key: What do we do when we want to evaluate our progress? Do we look at point C and feel bad that we still have such a long way to go? If that’s all we do, we are making a big mistake.
It is critical that we look back at where we came from and celebrate our progress. And we can do that every day, with everything in our lives.
I’m sure you’ve heard that optimists look at the glass as half full—this is exactly what we are doing when we look back at A from B.
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a great time to celebrate our progress. Look back at everything you’ve accomplished this year. Look how far you’ve come from A. B is a great place to be. You may have to proactively celebrate your progress to realize it. I hope you will join me in doing so.
Do you stop to celebrate your progress? Please join the conversation with your comments…