Celebration Rituals

Do you have a special way to celebrate your writing victories?

I tend to gloss over mine and keep going. I often intend to celebrate the big wins, but I usually don’t get around to it. And the smaller wins I don’t celebrate at all, except by doing a little happy dance at my computer and then getting back to work.

But I recently did a workshop with Michelle Pualani over at Her Healthy Habits that has me rethinking the way I handle my successes. The workshop consists of a 90-minute video and workbook and has nothing to do with rewarding success—or so I thought. I signed up for the workshop with the idea of basically beating myself up more—the workshop promised I could get more done in less time and promised to help me with scheduling all the things I need to get done in my business and in my life.

I’ve blogged before about the way I tend to put work first and live the rest of my life in the cracks. What I actually learned in the workshop was how to restructure my life by establishing routines and creating daily habits, so that priorities like family, health, and fitness provide the framework for my life and work is scheduled into that framework. It wasn’t what I wanted or what I went looking for when I signed up, but I discovered it was what I needed. And in the end, it actually gave me what I wanted, too. I’ve created those daily routines and am working on engraining them as habits. (Michelle points out that the idea of it taking only 21 days to form a habit is appealing, but not realistic—six months to a year is more like it, and knowing that has me more committed to change for the long haul.)

By creating that framework for living, I find that I am getting more done during the day and have improved the way I schedule my work, business development, and other activities. And most importantly, my life is better—I’m slowly beginning to feel less overwhelmed, healthier, and happier on a daily basis.

One of the things Michelle talks about in her workshop is the importance of rewarding ourselves when we do well. It’s important not only because it feels good and not only because we want to be our own biggest cheerleaders but, Michelle explains, because reward is one of the components of building a new habit, whether it’s a good habit or a bad habit. For example, the “reward” of a nicotine buzz contributes to developing the smoking habit. The “reward” of a sugar high contributes to an addiction to sweets.

Michelle’s Her Healthy Habits workshops are fantastic, and if you’re struggling with fitting everything into your life and schedule, I highly recommend taking her productivity workshop. But it also made me do a lot of thinking about the way I treat my successes in life. The little ones and even the big ones. I tend to revel in the moment, maybe call a friend or family member if it’s a big win, and then get back to it. For many reasons, I’m thinking it’s important that I take a pause to really celebrate not only my writing and business successes, but the things I’m doing well, like sticking to the routines I’m establishing for myself for a period of time.

I realized part of the problem is I’m not prepared to celebrate, and when you’re not prepared for something, it takes time and gets put on the back burner. So I’m putting together some ideas of ways to celebrate. That way, I’ll have them at the ready when the time comes. I won’t have to stop to think about it, and celebrating will become a habit.

A celebration doesn’t have to be big or costly. It could be treating myself to a new book at Monarch Books or a West Coast Oat Latte at Honeymoon Café or a trip to Avila Valley Barn for the good produce or a slice of pie.  I’m trying to come up with some ideas for no-cost rewards, too—I don’t know about you, writer, but I’m planning to succeed a lot in 2023, so it could get pricey! 😉

Today, I hope you’ll take the time to celebrate your wins, too, writer. You deserve it—all that and so much more!