January is coming to a close. I know – it’s hard to believe that 1 out of 12 months in this year have already gone by. What have you achieved during these first 5 weeks of the year?
My goals for this year fell into 3 buckets: spiritual, fitness, and professional. As I reflect back on my accomplishments, I have consistently (not 100% but I am not aiming for perfection) met my spiritual goals for the month of January; I have created more structure to achieve my fitness goal and have begun implementation; and I am on pace to meet my professional goal for the first quarter of the year. Not too shabby, especially considering the amount of inconsistent scheduling (due to snowy weather and school closures) as well as a nasty sinus cold that took me down for a little over a week.
While there is still work to be done in these 3 areas, I want to celebrate the small wins that I have gained over this month. If I wait until I have reached my larger goal, I may never reach it. However, through positive reinforcement, I will continue to feed my intrinsic drive to reach the goals I have set for myself.
Did you know that when you receive recognition for the good work you have done, your body releases dopamine. According to Psychology Today, “Dopamine … helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.” So, as you are working towards your goals, stopping to recognize and celebrate those small wins along the way allows your body to release dopamine, which encourages you to keep up the good work.
These celebrations do not have to be extravagant. My examples for this month’s rewards include sharing a success story with my husband, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with a friend, and setting up a weekly walk and chat with a colleague. All in all, those are small, but meaningful rewards to me.
I would love to hear what rewards are meaningful to you. How do you celebrate the milestone victories as you continue to work towards your goals? Share your ideas in the comments below. I would love some fresh thoughts on how I can celebrate my wins in February!
Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers. She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world. Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education. Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!