Wednesday marked a milestone for me and my writing on this blog. It’s been one month since I started again, and with this post I have now published something every day for 33 days in a row. Naturally, I made merry. It’s important to celebrate milestones meaningful to us and take time out from the daily grind, even if only for a few minutes to recognize what we’ve accomplished.
A beginning is a fragile thing and celebrating momentous steps along the way, especially at the early stages when the successes are hard to come by, keeps us motivated to stay in the fight, continue to show up day after day after day, and do the work.
Anyone with experience in 12-step programs, either directly or via a loved one, will be familiar with the significance of celebrating milestones, beginning with the first 24 hours. A new member receives a blue chip after his or her first day of sobriety and then receives a different colored chip for every month of sobriety throughout the first year. Numerous studies have shown the importance of these chips and the significance of each new chip awarded throughout the first 12 months of recovery.
Author and podcaster Tim Ferriss devised his own way of recognizing milestones with his Jar of Awesome – a highly decorated mason jar that sits prominently on his kitchen counter. When something tremendous or considerable or even just something that brings Ferriss joy happens, he writes it down on a slip of paper and drops it in his Jar of Awesome as a reminder.
Ferriss explains in his book Tools of Titans, “The Jar of Awesome creates a record of great things that actually happened, all of which are easy to forget if you’re depressed or seeing the world through gray-colored glasses. I tend to celebrate very briefly, if at all, so this pays dividends for weeks, months, or years. If you don’t regularly appreciate the small wins, you will never appreciate the big wins.”
To celebrate one month of writing and publishing every day, my wife and I toasted with a shot of Jägermeister. The fanfare lasted less than 2 minutes, but was important nevertheless. Whatever celebration means to you, take a moment – make a toast, fire off a confetti cannon, go out to eat, dance and sing, go Neanderthal-style on a piece of chocolate cake, or drop a note to yourself into a glitter-covered mason jar. But recognize and celebrate the milestone. You’ve earned it.
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