Change is hard. Sometimes, it’s super-hard. Five steps forward, then two steps back. So notice yourself being the change you want to see, and celebrate it! Don’t wait until it’s over. Because it never is. It’s not cheating to celebrate your progress along the way.

Celebrating what you and your team are doing right is a great step toward making sure that success happens again. And again. Click To Tweet

High achievers are always looking for the next problem to solve or mountain to climb. That’s terrific! But don’t forget to take a moment to look around, take stock, and notice what you have (or your team has) accomplished.

To truly reinforce the link between achievement and reward, take a 3 step approach to get the most from your celebration:

  • Before the celebration: Think about your awesome achievement when you’re designing your celebration.
  • During the celebration: Remember why you’re celebrating. Revel in it. Luxuriate in it. Take photos (they could be of the celebration, or something that reminds you of it), save mementos (ticket stubs, a pretty stone, your golf scorecard), or buy something to remind you of your experience (postcard, bookmark, t-shirt). Or do all three!
  • After the celebration: Journal about your experience or pin a photo of your celebration or mementos to your wall so you can remember both your achievement as well as the great feelings you had when you were celebrating.

Sometimes, progress is easier to see in the rear-view mirror. Where were you when you started this effort, 6 days/weeks/months ago? Holy cow, can you believe how far you’ve come since then? Sure, there are still improvements to be made and other steps to take. But just for a minute . . . breathe! And appreciate the awesomeness.

Every celebration doesn’t have to be a big giant deal. It could be something as simple as treating yourself to a special coffee drink. Or getting a pedicure. Or doing a happy dance. Or hitting a bucket of golf balls. Or going to a movie with your pals. Or hiking in the woods. Or chocolate. Or whatever has meaning for you.

If you have a significant milestone, like getting a new job you’re excited about or completing a certification or degree program, make sure your celebration’s magnitude fits the achievement.

A pedicure as a celebration for completing a project sounds awesome; if that’s how you’re celebrating getting your MBA . . . well, you might want to make that a spa day — heck, make a weekend (week?) out of it.

Of course, it’s not about the money you spend on celebration, either. If you’re strapped for cash, think of ways you can celebrate that don’t cost big bucks. A picnic or bike ride or taking the time to read a book you’ve been longing to read can be wonderful ways to celebrate.

Wow! You are awesome!

What’s your favorite way to celebrate? Tell us in the comments below!