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The Key To Motivation? Celebration!

Last week was a happy week for me because I was celebrating my birthday. Someone asked if it was a milestone birthday….uh yeah! Every birthday is a milestone birthday. Why? Because it means you're still here, you still have the opportunity to grow, learn, and love. If that's not something to celebrate, I don't know what is.

When to celebrate is a discussion that comes up regularly in my coaching practice. If you’re someone who has committed to writing a book, parenting, getting a degree, building a business, or achieving any other big goals that take years to fulfill, it's easy for overwhelm to set in. Clients often wrestle with staying motivated when the space between where they are now and where they want to be, seems impossible to bridge.

Too often we think about the celebration we'll have of the big goal that's three or four years down the line and not the small steps we have to take to get there. For me, celebrating progress along the way is one way to close the gap. By acknowledging every milestone, big or small, we're able to see our progress in real-time, and more than that, we're able to enjoy and relish the process.

The question of when to celebrate was debated in my family WhatsApp group this week. And if there is one place that even the fiercest debater approaches with trepidation, it's the family chat…cause really, no one wants to be relegated to the kids' table for life.

If you blinked, you might have missed that Sha'carri Richardson of the US qualified for the Tokyo Olympics last week, running the sixth fastest 100 meter dash in history. Keep in mind Richardson accomplished this feat one week after her biological mother's death. Talk about focus and motivation.

In celebration, my sister (hey girl!) posted a drawing of Richardson with the glamorous Florence Griffith-Joyner aka FloJo, in the background. As a kid in the 80s, watching FloJo, the women's 100 meter record holder since 1988, run was an event.

That hair! Those nails! The unmitigated swag! I spent many an hour after watching her with a t-shirt draped over my head running across the TV room and longing for the day I was allowed to wear nail polish. But I digress.

The response to the celebratory pic was, "Wait to crown her if/after she wins" at the Olympics.

Nah. Nope. Nyet. Non. No.

Celebrate 👏🏾 Every 👏🏾 Victory 👏🏾

There would be no Olympics without the trials. Just like there would have been no record breaking without personal bests along the way. It's okay to revel in the moment and to celebrate the in-between goals.

While you may not be an Olympic athlete, there will still be noteworthy accomplishments on your journey. Don't wait for the big promotion two years from now to celebrate. Celebrate the first time you get a great performance review. If you're a writer, celebrate the first time you get rejected from a major publication. Why? Because they read and considered your work! If you're an entrepreneur, celebrate the day you register for VAT because it means you've reached a certain revenue threshold. Every Friday, celebrate the fact that you made it through another week, and you're moving towards your dreams, no matter how slow the pace may seem.

The celebration can be as basic as a group text sharing the news with lots of exclamation points. It can be buying your favorite bottle of wine or having a night out with your crew. It doesn't matter how you choose to celebrate, as long as you do. You may have a long road to travel, but take pride in the journey, it’ll make it that much more enjoyable.

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