Celebrating winning the battle to propel you to win the war

Preparing for the battle and to win the war

As this is goal setting and resolution season, it can be easy to make several overwhelming goals for your year and just as quickly become discouraged by stagnate progress along the way.  To reach whatever goal you set, however, the truth is that it comes step by step progression.  To finish a marathon you have to focus on completing each mile.  These checkpoints remind you of how far you have come and are important inspiration to get to where you want to be.  Similarly, celebrating milestones you reach in the journey of any goal give you a great opportunity to appreciate the process not just the result.

The real goal is taking a huge change or transition in your life and breaking it down into manageable pieces.  Remember the airplane trick to getting a baby to eat food?  Every little bite was purposeful and difficult but celebrated in equal measure.  With each small celebration of one bite down the hole you get to feel good about the process and before you know it your whole plate is clean.  This may seem a little childish but reaching a big goal can be hard and almost certainly there will be set backs along the way.  If you don’t celebrate the successes, even small ones, then what is left to focus on other than the shortcomings? Building a breadcrumb trail of small successes along the way can guide you back on your path when one of the setbacks pops up and tries to detour the entire process.

Now you probably don’t want to throw a big bash with every step you take a small step forward.  Doing so can give a false sense of success and an unrealistic expectation of how easy the process is.  When I was studying for the bar of course the ultimate goal was to pass the bar.  In the process, however, it was just as important for me to give myself a pat on the back when I made a successful jump in one of my practice test.  Really passing each section of the exam is what would get me to my actual goal so each one represented a milestone for me along the way.  In doing so I learned that my goal of passing the bar was really just a milestone in being prepared to practice law.  With almost any goal or change the process in achieving it can be broken down to a series of steps.  Once you do something, give yourself credit.  If nothing else going through the process prepares you for other goals and challenges you will face along your way.

Win, lose or draw there is some measure of success in trying and another in picking yourself up.  Conquering both is a true measure of success.

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