For Success, Celebrate Your Victories

Last year I blogged about a new and better way to make goals, confront obstacles, AKA opportunities, and be accountable. (“New Year’s Resolutions.” You can find it here: ) To recap, briefly, make short-term, immediate goals of 90 day increments and build upon those successes. Brainstorm possible obstacles and use those challenges to form short term targets. In creating 90 day goals, do these three things to increase success.

  1. WRITE it down.
  2. BREAK it down.

Now, I want to teach a secret method to increase your chances of success. By CELEBRATING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, no matter how small, you can reach your New Year’s Resolutions. Being mindful of your achievements reinforces motivation and often improves reaching and surpassing goals.

croppedI make goals yearly addressing health, wealth and happiness. My wealth goals involve reducing and eliminating liabilities while maximizing my streams of income. Everyone usually has this type of goal. Happiness goals are about improving my general well-being. Happiness is core and interrelated to everything, including my health and wealth. In these broad areas, I make short-term, 90 day increment goals which I want to build into a yearly goal. By celebrating my successes, I keep motivated.

For example, my health goal this year was to eat better and tackle a goal such as a 10K or half marathon running race with an ultimate goal of a full marathon; something more significant than run/walking my dogs daily. Although Hobo and Taco keep me in good shape, I wanted something more intense and something in which I would be accountable. My chosen target was the Gate River Run, the largest 15K race in the United States with a course through Jacksonville, Florida, from our Gator Bowl (if you’re an old-timer local, you know where I am referring!), over the John T. Alsop (Main Street Bridge – the blue one!), through historic San Marco and up and over the GREEN MONSTER (The Hart Bridge. You guess the color!).hart_bridge_in_jacksonville

Initially, I had convinced my daughter to run and (or walk) the race with me. Unfortunately, as the day of the race approached, my daughter succumbed to a spring cold. This left me with a huge dilemma: wake up early and drive downtown to run the race alone or suffer the guilt. Neither was a fun prospect. I made up my mind that if I woke up early (a huge challenge for me in and of itself), and found parking in the maze that is only worse during Florida v. Georgia Football weekend (AKA the Largest Cocktail Party on Earth); I could walk during the race. The only exception would be the GREEN MONSTER which I told myself I had to run because my very significant other has photographs running the beast in races years past. Small goals, right? Show up, walk to the last bridge, then stage a successful run down the bridge to the finish line. A good game plan, I thought.

As I parked and found my way to my starting heat, the energy of the event enveloped me. Proud that I actually made it out of bed and downtown, early and alone, I changed my strategy. Celebrate small successes! I decided I could start the race running and stop when I felt tired. But due to the energy, camaraderie, music (oh, it’s a party!) and sideline champagne (Thank you San Marco!), I kept running. I ran over the Main Street Bridge with firemen dressed in full gear and continued through the beautiful, historic river front homes of San Marco until I approached a man cheering racers with a sign that read “7 Miles! You’re almost there!” I was stunned. I had been having so much fun with other runners, cheering fans, and the entertaining bands, I lost track of the miles. Upon realizing my accomplishment, my goal changed again to run the whole race, no matter how slow I may have to go.

12832546_10208797052073793_7287160034175854763_nThe Green Monster loomed ahead of me. I ran in slow motion (ok, it felt that way!) up the on-ramp. I knew that if I could make it to the top, gravity would carry me down. I envisioned the photograph of my boyfriend running toward a photographer on the bridge. It fueled my energy and my speed. As I crossed the finish line, I saw the clock read 2:04. Not only had I run the whole race, alone, I finished in 2 hours. I laugh thinking that if I didn’t take so many pictures and play along the route, I could have finished 20 minutes faster! That may be next year’s goal!

My 2016 successes included completing the Gate River Run, selling my big house and decluttering my life, completing a mindfulness meditation program, increasing my plan for multiple streams of income while leaving behind toxic environments and/or relationships and eliminating stress.

gateTo recap the important moral of my story, don’t focus on what you didn’t do or achieve, focus on the small triumphs. If you didn’t succeed and it is still a goal, write down what blocked you from accomplishment. Brainstorm how to overcome these obstacles. That renewed focus will allow you to see new opportunities. All challenges are opportunities in disguise!

Do you have any questions on how to make, break down, or strategize short term goals for long term success? Any examples you would care to share?

I welcome your comments and advice for future topics.

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