Life is a scoreboard. We set goals and then measure our progress against them. While this goal-setting process can be ruthless in the workplace, it’s difficult to make it through life without a couple of big wins. But sometimes going too far in your celebrations can overshadow the accomplishment.
For the past three years, I’ve been on a mission to be debt-free. I started it as a single person and now am working on it with Alison. To her credit, she turned me on to it.
The first time I paid off a credit card in full, I felt good. I mean really good. I wanted to celebrate! This was the first step towards a success on a difficult journey. The problem was I celebrated that success by going out to eat… read “spending money.”
It didn’t set me back very much, but it did set me back. Was that the right way to celebrate becoming debt free? No.
You and your wife will be presented many occasions for celebrating huge accomplishments. Alison will be graduating from Medical School soon. After many, MANY years of schooling, she’ll finally be a Doctor. While I’d love to celebrate this huge accomplishment with a trip to Europe or a nice spending spree, that would get in the way of our journey to no debt. So the trip to Europe will have to wait.
The key to celebration is to do it in moderation. This is especially important if your accomplishment has come at the expense of another, like you winning a promotion over a colleague. In this case, you must be especially gracious in your victory.
If you’re celebrating a new weight loss goal, the appropriate response is not to go eat an ice cream cake.
You didn’t reach this milestone on your own. No matter what we do, we’re often only successful because of the help of others. Be grateful to those who helped get you here and be sure to take time to thank God.
Every good accomplishment deserves to be recognized. Make sure your celebrations are proportionate.