How often do you celebrate taking a small step toward your desired outcome? Or do you only celebrate when you’ve reached your goal? The interesting thing about acknowledging small steps is it primes your brain to continue taking action. You actually stop your progress when you only count the big things.
Have you felt really good about sharing a small step to then have someone slap it down because it wasn’t enough? Do you resist giving praise for progress on a project because you grew up thinking it only counts when you’ve reached the end?
I am a master “small step celebrator” with my clients. I recognize the small steps necessary to help move them forward. I’m boldly enthusiastic about each small step they take and encourage them to do the same. On the flip side of that, not only do I forget to celebrate my small steps, I often don’t even see them. We often have blinders on about ourselves for those things we easily see in other people.
Last week my accountability partner asked me about my progress on a goal. I hemmed and hawed, thinking I really hadn’t taken action (since I hadn’t completed it). She reminded me that I already had two meetings on the calendar to discuss that project. So, those were steps moving it forward. In my mind, those didn’t count because they were already on the calendar. It wasn’t like I was taking new action on it. I completely forgot that they did, in fact, count!
Let’s dig into this a bit more deeply. What would change for you if you acknowledged taking a step and then felt good about it? I wonder if somehow you see celebrating small steps as the equivalent of receiving a “participation” trophy. Have you become so focused on the big outcome that you don’t let yourself celebrate the little steps along the way?
A friend said, “But the small steps don’t count! It only counts when I’ve finished and succeeded at the project.” Is that true? Or, is that a belief it’s time to let go of because it keeps you stuck in inaction? I wonder if this ties back to being told, “Don’t be so full of yourself. You’re acting braggy!” Then again, it really doesn’t matter what the origin is. It’s more about recognizing those judgmental voices in your head as you tamp yourself down. Call out those voices and let the celebration begin!
Since Mardi Gras is right around the corner it might be time to adopt, “Laissez les bon temps rouler” – let the good times roll. What if that was your attitude toward your small steps? Imagine if every small step was a cause to celebrate. What if those small celebrations actually lead you to completing more? Interesting, isn’t it?
What is a way for you to see those small steps? And, how could you remember to count your small steps? My dad used to say, “Little by little, bit by bit.” That is so true here. It’s about building your “celebration and taking action” muscles. Start celebrating one small step at a time and see them add up.
I personally like to give myself gold stars. There’s something inherently pleasing about putting that star on a sheet of paper. What gives you satisfaction as you celebrate your small steps? Share your celebrations below! We’ll clap for you!!!