On Thursday night, I mentioned to my boss that the next day I would be hitting send on the final batch of documents for a project that has consumed a good portion of my work weeks for the last 6 weeks. She asked what I would do to mark the success of being done. I couldn't think of anything. All I could think about was all the other tasks on my to-do list I would race to do.
But why do we race from one task to another? Why do we not give ourselves a chance to celebrate, to savor the moment?
So when I downloaded the last file into Dropbox, I took a moment. I smiled. Broadly and triumphantly. I spread some confetti on the desk of a co-worker who's been a huge help for the project. I sent a text (complete with a related Kermit GIF) to my husband to mark the event. I took a few deep breaths before moving onto the next item on the to-do list. It felt good.
There are many ways to take a moment.
Take a moment to reflect. Mark the transition from one task to another by reflecting on what you just did and what you're about to do. This will help you be more present and purposeful.
Take a moment to breathe. Pause and take a breath before responding to a statement that causes a reaction in you. If you've overreacted, take a moment to apologize and do what you can to make it right.
Take a moment to connect. See others. You might have a mile-long to-do list, but there may be someone in your house, in your workplace, in your neighborhood who needs to be a heard for a few minutes. This may be the best few minutes of their day - and yours.
Take a moment to arrive. Instead of racing into work once you pull into the parking lot or racing into the house when you get home, sit for a few moments. Take a few breaths and focus on where you are now.
Take a moment to celebrate. Even when (or especially when) you are facing difficult situations, reflect on all that's going well. If you've done something big or have hit an important milestone, give yourself a few minutes to feel great about what you've done.
Take a moment to appreciate. Gratitude is one of the most effective strategies to boost happiness, and it also strengthens relationships.
This is my 200th blog post. I started writing because I was so despondent over the results of the 2016 presidential election. It has felt incredibly meaningful to do this work. It has helped me process my experiences. It has helped me improve as a writer. It has helped me form ideas for speeches. It has helped me connect with people I otherwise wouldn't have gotten to know. Yes, it's caused plenty of stress - why didn't anyone like that post? what am I going to write about next? do I have anything worth sharing? - but the benefits have outweighed the costs.
So I'm taking a moment to celebrate and a moment to appreciate. If you've been reading, liking, sharing, and/or commenting on these posts, thank you. If you've responded to my email newsletters with words of gratitude or encouragement, thank you. If you quote my posts to others, thank you. If you go to my site when you need a pep talk, thank you. If you've heard me speak at a program on positivity or productivity and decided to sign up for the blog, thank you. If you told someone about me, thank you. If you are still reading this long post, thank you.
Take a moment.