Here we are, about to wrap up 2020. An unprecedented year that has completely changed our perspective of the world, of ourselves, of our priorities.
As a friend of mine says, perhaps this year hasn't brought us what we wanted but has made very obvious what's important and precious to us. Our loved ones, our health, our needs. We have seen so much loss, tragedy and despair around us, almost losing the hope for once and for all.
But - and it's a big BUT - let's not forget that we are the lucky ones that have made it through. That are still standing, looking at the road ahead with renewed optimism.
Energetically, the year ahead presents serious shifts - jump into hyperspace type of shifts - as Saturn and Jupiter (the MVP of the sky) are changing signs into Aquarius - last time they both visited an Air sign (which equals to change + transformation) was around the 1800's and you guessed it, the Industrial revolution was just getting started.
I'm sharing this to put into perspective what we have ahead of us. The vaccine will be deployed and implemented, we will be able to travel and move but the events in 2020 have changed us so deeply that we won't be able to go back to who we were in January 2020 ever again. The effects of our actions are more clear than ever and the need to assume personal responsibility for them is vital for our survival as species.
In the meantime, as we approach the Winter Solstice and the start of the Christmas festivities, I encourage us all to spend a moment or two acknowledging the hard work we have put this year, keeping our business afloat, supporting our families, caring for our loved ones, all in a context of chaos, uncertainty and fear.
And here it comes the key factor of celebrating our wins. We are too used to go on in our lives crossing over to do list tasks that we have completed, moving to the next one without even blinking at the achievement we just had accomplished. We take it for granted, we focus on the still terrifyingly long list of pending things to do.
And there's a science behind it. When we pause the non-stop production mode and allow the feeling of achievement, accomplishment to sink in, we generate a new series of neuro-connections in our brain, solidifying and creating new foundations that support our self-trust, confidence and self-worth. We generate endorphins and serotonins (happy hormones) as we embody that "happy feeling", reinforcing our capacity for resilience, change and problem solving.
Here is an oldie but a goldie article by Harvard Business Review which beautifully illustrates the benefits of celebrating the small wins, in your personal life but also at work, with your team, in your family and relationships.
So, how do we implement "small wins" strategies in our day-to-day habits? Here are my 10 favourite:
1/ Share it with people you love - There’s something really validating and affirming when you share your successes with those that support you fully.
2/ Come up with a celebratory mantra - every time you take a mini step, repeat to yourself your mantra ‘I’ve accomplished more than I had ten minutes ago!’ "I am awesome!" "You have done something completely new, well done me!" That reminds us to take a deep breath and move on to the next task or project that needs our attention. By the end of the day, we can feel like we have had multiple wins on our way towards the larger goal.
3/ Take a day off to integrate and implement - especially if you are working on body related issues, the body needs time to digest, integrate and heal. That goes for the mental and emotional ones too!
4/ Acknowledge each effort - even the ones you don't take, so you can celebrate your persistence, resilience, and ability to follow through no matter whether we succeed or fail at the ultimate goal
5/ Unplug from work and plug into what refills your well - as exciting as it can be continuing on roll of wins, you deserve (and need) time to recharge your batteries so the next day you can generate more!
6/ Gratitude and appreciation - take the time to pause, reflect, and appreciate the effort. Being grateful for these small successes brings a deeper connection to the work I we do, and who we are.
7/ Keep a journal of successes (not only the to-do lists) - at the end of the week, count them and feel the pride and acknowledgement running through, it's amazing!
8/ Find your celebratory way - some of you know my absolute favourite s to high five myself or do a celebratory dance, it's the best way to embody that win not just on a cognitive level but on a wholesome way - physical, mental, emotional. 9/ Reward yourself for your wins - a night out, a nice dinner, whatever makes you feel pampered! In a way, we are tricking our minds adding an extra element of motivation knowing that if we keep going, regardless of how tedious the task can be - we'll get the reward (aka carrot on a stick method)
10/ Celebrate the no-wins too, as important as it is to generate positive patterns, it's also acknowledging what hasn't worked so we can learn from that experience and implement necessary changes that will support us better. Let me know what you think! I'd love to see how you choose to celebrate Deep gratitude for your support through this difficult year, which has been essential for me making it through the rough patches along the road. I am now able, thanks to all of you, to keep looking at the future ahead with optimism and hope. This is the invaluable power of our community. We got each other's backs! Have a beautiful and restful Xmas season ahead. Hope to reconnect with you in the new year!
With love and kindness, Monica x