Ep #112: How to Start Celebrating Right Now

Mastering Coaching Skills Lindsay Dotzlaf | How to Start Celebrating Right Now

I’ve got one more episode for you about celebration, why it matters, what it is, and what it definitely isn’t. In your business, your professional life, or any kind of goal you’re going after, celebration is such a powerful tool, and as a coach, when you can help your clients celebrate themselves, they get results that blow their minds.

As coaches, we can get very focused on a goal, whether that’s our goal or our client’s. But sometimes, when that happens, we lose track of the progress and small wins along the way. This was some of the work I had to do as a coach, and I’m sharing my experience of it on today’s show.

Tune in this week to carry on the conversation around celebration. I’m discussing why celebrating the small achievements changes everything for you and your clients, how I’ve worked on my capacity for celebration, what celebration really is, and what it really isn’t.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why helping your clients celebrate will help them get bigger and better results.
  • How, as coaches focused on goals, we sometimes miss out on progress and small wins.
  • What celebration is, and what it is not.
  • Why celebration isn’t a tool to try to ignore or cover up negative emotions.
  • My personal definition of celebration that feels true for me.
  • Why you should never delay celebrating your growth until you hit your goal.
  • How to start practicing celebration for the small things so you and your clients can start experiencing the benefits right now.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 112.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey coach, welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here and today we are going to have another episode talking about celebrating, celebrations, all the things surrounding celebration. And specifically we’re going to talk about why it’s important, what it is and what it isn’t.

And before we get started, I want to be clear, the type of celebrating I’m talking about in this podcast is celebrating maybe in your business, in your professional life when you’re going after a goal, any kind of goal. And this could be like with you yourself, right? Like you learning to celebrate, why that’s important. Or, of course, as usual, anything I talk about today are also things that you can think about for your clients and use with your clients.

Please, please, please take everything I say today and implement anything that you want to with your clients. Please use it. I think that celebrations are so important and I hope that by the end of this episode you will too.

Now, I also think that as coaches we can get very focused either with ourselves or with our clients, we can get very focused, very zoned in on a goal, right? And this is great, it’s part of what coaching is. And sometimes when that happens, we can lose track of progress that we’re making, of stopping and celebrating the small wins, of reminding our clients what is working, right?

Our brains can very easily go to what isn’t working? How do we fix it? How do we keep going? How do we make the goal bigger? Like you know, whatever it is, it’s very easy for our brains to go there. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

And first, I just have to share something. So I’ll be sharing a couple kind of personal stories throughout this episode as I’m talking about celebrating, kind of how I’ve learned to do it, the things that are hard for me sometimes. And before I do that, I want to share something else, which is I’m so grateful for you for being here. I hope that you listened to all of the episodes about the podcast party, all of the bonus episodes.

I’m going to share with you the irony of something that happened, which also kind of goes into, as well, why it’s so important to celebrate and to enjoy the small wins, enjoy the just everyday moments in our businesses and in our lives.

So last month in November I decided I was going to do this whole month of December everything about celebrating, celebrations, kind of covering it from all angles, right? Like celebrating in our businesses, celebrating ourselves as humans.

I decided to do the podcast party and do all of the bonuses. I recorded the episodes, which were so, so fun to record. And, you know, made a whole plan in December I was going to post every day about a celebration, blah, blah, blah, all of that.

Then literally woke up December 1st to my husband being more sick than I’ve ever seen him which, of course, was followed shortly by me being very, very sick. And I still, you might even be able to tell by my voice, which is actually still a little hoarse. I was sick for about 10 days, which is the most sick I have been in probably years.

I don’t know what it was, some kind of virus. It reminded me of the flu, it wasn’t COVID. But all I know is I was very, very, very sick. And so it really put a different take and a different spin on what celebrating is, what it means to enjoy the moment. So we’ll talk a little bit about that today as well.

I just had to share with you because it felt like the universe just dropped that right on me like oh yeah, you’re going to celebrate this month? Well, we’ll see how that goes. But here we are recording this episode, feeling much, much better even though my voice isn’t 100%. And I am just excited to be back here recording this with you.

So first, I want to be clear, again, that this episode is really about celebrating on your way towards a goal, or when you hit a goal, or when you are making progress or doing big things, right? Not celebrating your birthday or celebrating your life.

As you probably heard in some of the episodes that I did for the podcast party, the bonus episodes, I love celebrating. I love celebrating my birthday. I love celebrating other people’s birthdays. I think it’s fun to celebrate in your life just for really no reason at all.

So what I’m going to talk about today is different than that and I don’t want you to get the two things mixed up, because if you want to just celebrate today because it’s Tuesday, do it. If you want to celebrate that you have to hard week and you made it through, do it, right? Like spend time celebrating yourself, celebrating your family, celebrating your friends. Do that as often as you want.

Now I want to shift into celebrations and what that can look like in coaching, when you’re working towards goals, and when your clients are working towards goals. And I want to start with what I think celebrating isn’t because sometimes I see this happening and I think it’s important that we understand what it’s not before we really dive into what it is and why it’s important.

So when I think about what it isn’t, what celebrating is not, the biggest thing that comes to mind is that we don’t want to use it to cover up anything, right? Or to have a lack of awareness, or to pretend like everything’s amazing, or to pretend like we’re not experiencing any negative emotion or just using it to just cover things up, right? To kind of gaslight ourselves or to trick ourselves into like we should just be able to change our thoughts. We should just be able to celebrate this thing and then we don’t have to look at any of this.

That is not what we’re doing here. And that is not what I’m talking about today because pain and negative emotion, they are going to be part of the journey, right? And I think that the tolerance that you have for experiencing those things and your ability to be able to experience all the negative emotions that come up when you’re running a business, when you’re a coach, or for your clients, right, when they’re working towards big goals, we don’t want to dismiss those.

Those are important, they are equally as important as the positive emotions. So celebrating isn’t just let’s create these positive emotions so that we don’t feel the bad ones. Okay? Be very clear about that. It’s also not pretending or like being in make believe, what I would call like la la land, right? It’s not just like, oh, let me avoid anything that didn’t work and just pretend like everything’s great so that I can keep going without examining what might need some work or where isn’t it working, right?

So specifically for what I teach when I’m working with my clients and we’re working on them really helping their clients create the best results possible, celebrating maybe that you’re a great coach doesn’t mean that you don’t examine the pieces that need work. It doesn’t mean that you don’t look at your process and say like, oh, there’s like a breakdown here. What is it, right? Or this piece isn’t working, let me figure out why, let me fix it.

So we’re not doing that either, right? We’re not ignoring things, we’re not being in la la land, we’re not covering up negative emotion. And we’re not covering up things that might actually need improvement or things that we want to examine and say this is amazing, and how can it be better? I just want to make that very clear before we move on.

Now let’s talk about what celebrating is and why it’s important. So I’m going to give you my definition of celebrating. I’ve been thinking a lot, lot about this and this is the definition that I have created. It feels like the most true for me. So I didn’t look it up, I have no idea like if you, you know, look it up in the dictionary or Google it or whatever, what it would say. I mean, I know what celebrating is, so I have an idea.

But for me, I think the most true definition is finding a moment of joy or pride, having complete acceptance and awareness of exactly where you are right now. So if you think about the things that I shared when I said this is what celebrating isn’t, right? This is why I think this definition is so important because this is what it is for me, right?

It’s finding that joy, finding the moment that I’m proud of myself, finding the moment that I stop and say I did it. Or I did this part, or let me put a pin here in my journey to say look behind me, like look what I’ve accomplished in a moment where you have complete awareness and acceptance of all of the reality, right? Which means that you’re not avoiding negative emotion, you’re not ignoring things that maybe need to be looked at. You are in complete awareness of where you are, and you’re finding joy and pride in that moment.

So that’s my definition, I want you to kind of think about that. Play around with it for a minute and see if that feels true for you or if there’s a change you want to make to that definition. But I want you to really consider what is celebration to you, right? On your way to goals, on your way to doing scary things, what is celebration, what is the definition of it for you?

So there are lots of reasons that we celebrate and some of them are really important. And I think one thing about just the word celebration is what it brings to mind, a lot of times, to people is just the fun stuff, right? The like doing a little dance party when you hit your goal. Or having a glass of wine at the end of the day because you hit your goal or whatever it is. Or maybe those little things or a big huge celebration because maybe you’ve hit a big goal, right?

And as coaches, a lot of times what we do and what we’re doing with our clients is we set goals that are usually quite a bit in the future, even if they’re six months in the future or a year in the future. One thing that I really want to kind of convince you of in this podcast is that you don’t want to wait six months or a year or however long till you hit that goal to celebrate the growth, to celebrate the progress, to celebrate all the goodness that is coming from it along the way.

Because that’s a long time, right? And if your only measurement is like did I hit this one big goal at the end, you’re going to miss out on so much enjoyment. I’m going to tell you a little story, which is when I was in my 20s I used to hike a lot and I used to backpack a lot.

Now, I live in Indiana and here it is very flat. And yes, I did hike in Indiana, but mostly I did a lot of hiking in the Rocky Mountains, so in the Western United States, right? Like in Glacier, in Tetons, in all different mountains in Colorado, arches, canyon lands. A lot of places I’ve been hiking, I’ve been backpacking.

And the first couple trips that I took when I did this it was with, there were a couple adults, I was an adult but I was very young. A couple older adults with me that were kind of like guides, right? Like they’d been there before, they’d been on those trails before and they were the ones that kind of planned the trip.

And at one point we were, I think it was a hike in the Tetons, which is one of my favorite places in the entire world. And it was one of the very first days of the very first trip like this that I went on. One of the guides walked up next to me, we were walking, it was a particularly tough part of the trail and it was a very stiff incline and it’s hard, right? And it’s part of the enjoyment of doing things like that, is it’s very hard and then when you get to the top you’re like, “I can’t believe I did that.”

Although I quickly learned that going down was equally as hard because it’s just really hard on your body. But he walked up to me and he said, and he was kind of hiking next to me and he said, “How are you doing?” Right, like he kind of checked in. And we were talking and he said, “I want you to stop for a second.” And I was like, “Oh, okay, is everything okay?” And he was like, “Yeah, it’s fine. Just stop.” And so we stopped, and there were a couple other people with us. And he said, “Everybody stop, like just stop right here and turn around.”

And so I thought what he was doing was having us look behind us. Because that is something that you learn that’s like safety of hiking and especially if you’re not on a trail and you’re just hiking, is to like turn around and see what it looks like going the other way because it helps you know when you’re returning. If you’re hiking someplace and then hiking back, it helps you, on your way back, recognize where you are because you haven’t spent any time looking that way. So that’s an important lesson as well.

But that is not what he was doing. He said, “Turn around.” And I said, “Okay, is everything okay?” And he said, “Yeah, I just want you to pause for a second.” And I was like, “Okay, great.” I turned around, I looked, I said, “Okay, let’s go.” And he was like, “No, no, no, stop.” And he made me stand there for a second and he said, “I want you to like really look. Like look around, take it all in.”

And he explained to those of us standing there, he said, “The number one thing that I think people miss out on when they’re hiking and when they’re in these amazing places and maybe doing quite a long hike, right? Like you could be hiking all day.” He said that so many times people get to the top of a mountain or to the place that they’re going, right, to the destination and the only view that they’ve had the entire time is their boots.

Let that sink in for a second. That really blew my mind. And if you know, if you’ve ever hiked in an area where it isn’t flat, you do have to watch your feet because you literally have to watch every step that you’re taking to make sure you’re not going to trip, make sure there’s not a rock in the way, right? Like just you have to watch your feet a lot of the time. And you’re on an incline so you’re kind of like looking down anyway.

And he said so many people get to the destination and the only thing they’ve seen the whole time is their boots. They never stop and celebrate what’s behind them, right? They never stop and take in the view. The view isn’t just amazing at the top of the mountain, it’s amazing a quarter of the way up the mountain, half the way up the mountain. Sometimes there are even better views along the way, right? Like bigger, more grand celebrations, if you will, along the way than even when you get to the top.

Sometimes the view at the top isn’t amazing. Sometimes there’s something in the way, right? Or it’s like you’re hiking up in between two peaks. I hiked the, I forget exactly what it’s called, I think it’s called the saddle, which is the space between the Grand Teton, if you’ve never been to the Tetons there’s the Grand Teton and then there’s like a smaller one next to it. And there’s a little space in between that’s called the saddle.

So when you get up there it’s incredible. But also, in a couple of directions you’re surrounded by, first of all, it’s really hard because you have to use ropes and stuff at the end. But you’re also a lot of the time at the very top you’re surrounded by mountain. And so yes, it’s beautiful, but the view isn’t as amazing as it is when you’re halfway up, right?

So I want you to think about this. I mean, I learned this when I was, I don’t know, maybe 20. And even before I was a coach, it’s something that I have taken with me for my whole life. And now that I am a coach, I have applied this in so many ways to my coaching and in working with my clients. It’s one of the most important things that you can learn, right, about coaching, about the way you think about goals.

Because when you set goals or when your clients set goals and you’re working towards them, that’s like climbing the mountain, right? And maybe the end goal is the very top. But the problem is, especially with coaches, especially with entrepreneurs because as an entrepreneur your business is ever evolving, ever changing, that goalpost moves, right?

So by the time, like when you’re standing at the bottom of the mountain, when you have very first set that goal, let’s say your goal is I’m going to make $100,000 in my business, right? When you get there, when you’ve made the $100,000, when you’ve gotten to the top of the mountain, you have already become the person along the way who knows how to do that thing.

And by the time you get to the end, most of the time you already have a new goal, right? So maybe this year you’re going to make $100,000, at some point, you realize, oh, it’s happening. Like it’s done. I’ve become the person, I learned how to do the thing. And then you kind of decide, okay, what’s the next, like what am I going to do next year?

And this isn’t a bad thing, but what is bad about it is when you don’t stop and really celebrate that you did the thing, right? You really take it in, really look around and say, “I did it. I’m here.” And not only that, but looking around the entire time, right? Taking, oh I made my first 25k, I made my first 5k, I made my first, you know, whatever. I’m only using this example because I know most of you listening are coaches who have your own businesses who measure your goals, a lot of times, in money, right?

But this can be true for anything. You could be on a health journey, on a learning how to manage your finances journey, on a being a better spouse or partner journey, right? Any of it, there’s always going to be a next thing. And by the time you hit the goal, you’ve probably heard coaches say things like, and I know a lot of you have because sometimes you’ll talk to me about this and say, “Oh, this is like really frustrating. I don’t understand why a coach would say this.”

You might hear someone say like, “Oh, how does it feel when I made the 100k?” For example, right? And a lot of times people will say, “Oh, I don’t know, I don’t really feel that different. It doesn’t really feel that different. And this thing that I’m talking about is exactly why, right? Because along the way you’ve become the person.

So when you’re looking at it at the vantage point of just starting the goal, you have this whole like grand idea of what it’s going to be like when you get there. But then you’re working every single day to get there, right? You’re putting in the hard work, you’re putting in the hours, you’re climbing the mountain, you’re sweating, you’re like all the things. And by the time you get to the destination, you have put in so much work it just does kind of feel normal because it is who you are now.

So when you hear someone say that, when you hear someone say like, “Oh, I don’t know, it doesn’t feel like I thought it would or it doesn’t feel that different,” this is why. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t differences or that there aren’t amazing things that you can do when you have hit your goals, or amazing things that you can create from this new vantage point, or that you can see from this new vantage point. It just means that it doesn’t always feel like you think it’s going to when you start the journey.

Okay, so that was a little caveat but I really wanted to share that story with you because it has been so profound for me, and hopefully it is for you too. So using that example, obviously, one reason that it is important to celebrate is to enjoy the journey. Especially when you or your clients are setting big goals that might feel kind of far away. You don’t want to wait that entire time to celebrate, right?

One thing that I do in my mastermind, the in-person event, when everyone is working on a project, right, they pick a project, they kind of create all the first steps. One thing I have them do, which I think I may have mentioned on here before, is to pick a couple of things, a couple milestones along the way that they’re going to celebrate that feel easy and small. And to pick how they’re going to celebrate it.

I’m going to give you some examples of how I do that in a little bit, but the reason this is important is because so, you know, maybe they’re with me in person for a few days, they create this amazing new thing. They’re so excited, they have work to do when they get home.

And then they get home, right, and they’re out of like the excitement of being with their colleagues, of being together in person, of having me there kind of encouraging them, having everyone else encouraging them. And they get home, they sit down at their desk and they’re like, “Okay, what’s the first step?” Right?

And they start working, which I have them lay out an exact plan so that they know because that’s a real thing, right? When you’re like with other people, and you’re working on something and it feels like I’ve got this, and then you get home and sit down at your desk and there’s that like, now what? So in order to combat that I have them pick like, okay, I want you to know exactly what your next steps are when you get home so that that doesn’t happen.

And I want you to pick what you’re going to celebrate after accomplishing them, right? Things that you know you’re going to accomplish, that you know right now you can celebrate because it makes the journey so much better, right? It reminds you why you’re doing it. It shows you that there is growth, it shows you that oh yeah, this first step felt really hard, and I already did it, right?

I know, for example, one of my clients in a past mastermind, she was starting a podcast and one of her things was like I have no idea about a podcast. I have no idea, you know, the logistics of a podcast. Not necessarily planning the content, but just the logistics piece.

And so one of her first steps, I might be getting this a little wrong, but it was something along these lines, right? Like one of her first steps was okay, I’m going to contact these three podcast producers and interview them, talk to them. The first decision I have to make is am I hiring a producer or am I doing it myself, right?

So that’s just the first step, just contact them. That’s it, set up calls or look at their website, like whatever. Make that decision first because once that’s made, then you can move on to, okay, if you’re doing it yourself, what are the first steps, right? Is there a book? Can you Google it? Where do you go for this information? That’s the next thing you’re going to decide.

Or if you decide you’re going to hire the person, great. When do you start? What are the details? What are your next steps that you need to work on? And then one thing that we decided, that she decided, is that she was just going to celebrate just simply after sending emails to those three people, right?

It felt scary, she had no idea what she was doing, instead of leaning into the, oh no, I don’t know, I don’t know how to do this, what if I can’t figure it out? She now is like, “Okay, here’s my exact first step. And I get to celebrate that. Like just that. I don’t have to wait until the podcast is completely finished, until it’s all the way out into the world to celebrate.”

Or sometimes my clients are maybe creating a new program, creating a new program for their clients. And it can feel, especially if you’re creating a program where it has lots of content, something like the Coach Lab that has like a vault that your clients can log into, there are lots of logistics and lots of steps to it, right?

You have to write the content, you have to film the content, you have to figure out how you’re going to host it, there’s all the tech things, right? There’s lots of decisions, lots of details. And we work through all of those when we’re together, but then I make sure that there are points that I say, okay, when are you going to celebrate? Let’s decide right now.

Because in that moment it won’t feel like a huge celebration, and this is so important to notice, right? A lot of times, clients will, they’ll think like, oh, I can only celebrate like when it feels like I should be celebrating or when the time feels right, when I know I’ve done the thing. So that is not really all that useful because in the moment it will never feel like now is the time.

So, for example, if you’re creating a program and you have kind of mapped out some content and you know you have, let’s say 30 videos to film and that task feels a little daunting, I would suggest celebrating that you filmed one. Literally one. Or maybe you have content to write for 30. Great, celebrate after writing the content for one.

It doesn’t mean you have to stop and celebrate after every single one, although you could. But just giving your brain that marker of like I did it, I’m moving in the right direction, especially when you’re doing something new that feels hard, right?

One reason, another reason that celebrating is so important is literally what we’re doing is reprogramming your neural pathways. So a lot of times, right now as humans our brains are wired to go straight to like, okay, I did the thing. What didn’t work? How do I get it to work next time? How do I do it differently? How do I make it better? And I see coaches do that with their clients as well, right? Okay, great job. You did that, now what’s next?

But when you take a second and make a note, like note to yourself, oh I did this, I created this, or you created this if you’re doing it with your client, it’s so important. It really is signaling to your brain like, no, we’re thinking about this differently than we have before. It does kind of go against how your brain is programmed, which is why sometimes it’s just way easier to just move on.

Another reason that celebrating is so important, especially in the coaching space, a lot of times things that we’re working on with ourselves and with our clients, they might be very long term or even lifetime pursuits, right? So being an entrepreneur, having a coaching business, growing a business is a long pursuit. There’s really no, at least for me it doesn’t feel like there’s a finish line. Even if I’m not like increasing the revenue I want to bring in every year or whatever, there’s always growth, right?

There’s always like, how do I help my clients create better results? How do I evaluate what I’m doing right now and make it even better? There’s always learning to do like on the business side of things, right? There might be hiring, that might be new. Just being an entrepreneur, it’s like a daily gift of here’s the new thing you’re doing today.

And if you don’t learn to say, oh, I did this, like to really take a break and see it, then what, right? Then you’re never enjoying the journey, which is the whole point. Like why wouldn’t you, if you’re going to be working on this thing for a long time, whatever it is, whether it’s you or your clients, right?

Let’s say a client hires you to work on their relationship with their partner. And you are helping them and you never take some time out to kind of celebrate. Your relationship is a lifelong journey, I mean possibly, for the most part, right? I mean it might not be, but if you decide this is work I’m doing, there’s no finish line. There’s no like, okay, check, did it. Now I can move on. It is a constant in your client’s life or in your life.

And if you don’t celebrate along the way, if you don’t decide what you’re going to celebrate, when you’re going to celebrate, then there’s just no enjoyment in it. But if it’s something that you’re going to be working on for that long term, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy it, right?

To decide that you’re proud of yourself, to like tell yourself all the things that you want to hear? Maybe sometimes you want to hear them from someone else, right? I’m so proud of you, you did a great job, like whatever those things are, learning to tell those to yourself along the way is key in any pursuit of any goal.

And when you think about this, the difference between doing this, celebrating along the way, really learning to tell yourself that you’re doing a great job, that you’re proud of yourself, you are going to feel so much more encouraged to keep going, right? This is like, okay, I know this is a big goal, and look what we’ve already done, look what we’ve already accomplished. Now, let’s keep going.

It’s like actually being on the hike and stopping and turning around and seeing the most incredible view you’ve ever seen in your entire life. And then having the thought, “Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to see what else there is.” Which is so different than just staring at your boots thinking my knees hurt, my toes hurt, why did I decide to do this? How much longer right?

Which I know is how a lot of you are experiencing your coaching journey, whether it is learning to be the best coach for your clients or learning to be an entrepreneur. I know this because I see you do it and it pains me. I also know it because I’ve been there and I’ve had to like work through it, right?

And then the other thing, which this kind of is related to why I have my clients do evaluations of their coaching, celebrating and really enjoying the moment does help you create a path forward, right? When you’re celebrating what’s working, which is the first part of, if you’ve listened to my evaluations podcast and I teach this in the Coach Lab, the first part is before we move on to what didn’t work and how are we going to fix it, right, which our brain loves to go that direction.

The first thing we’re going to do is what are all the things that did work, aka what are all the celebrations? Let’s get them out. What are all the ways we enjoyed this? What are all the things we did right that worked, that we loved, right? Doing that allows you to take note of, okay, these things all worked. I’m going to keep doing them.

If you go back to that hiking example, right, what is going well now? It might be, okay, this is a really great pace, I feel good. It’s a little slow but it doesn’t matter, like my breathing feels good, my body feels good, I can keep going. It might be, this view is amazing, I can’t wait to see what the next view looks like. That’s going to encourage me to keep going, right?

I don’t know, I can’t think of a lot of examples when it comes to the hiking metaphor in this moment, but you get the point, right? It really is giving you direction for what to do again next time. I see so many coaches do this when we’re working on their processes, we’re working on how they work with their clients, how they coach their clients. And they’ll come to me and say like, well, this thing isn’t working, or this thing, I need to fix it, I need to examine this.

And a lot of times, the first thing I’ll ask them is like, okay, but what is working about it? Because, especially when they’re like, “Well, my clients are getting results, but…” It’s my favorite thing that people start with. It’s like, my clients are getting results, but, and then they fill it in with all the drama.

I’m like, okay, but let’s start with, why are your clients getting results? What are the results that they’re getting? What are the celebrations here? Like let’s take a moment and really dig in there because knowing what to keep doing is just as important, I want you to like really let this sink in, write it down if you need to. What is working is just as important, maybe sometimes even more important than what isn’t.

And when you don’t stop to collect those things, when you don’t stop to celebrate, it’s really easy to forget about it and to kind of let them go and like throw them out. What is it, it’s like throwing the baby out with the bathwater or whatever, right? Sometimes my clients are like, “Oh, here are all the things I’m going to fix.” But they forget to bring with them all of the things that are working.

So sometimes they might take something and throw it completely out, try something totally new. And maybe even just because it’s new, it feels awkward and weird and maybe bad. Instead of no, no, no, let’s bring these with us because we know they work, we know that your clients are getting results. And then after that let’s examine what needs work and where you want to make changes.

Okay, so I’ve given you a lot of examples, a lot of reasons. Hopefully I have convinced you why it’s important to celebrate, what celebrating is, and how we don’t use celebrations, right?

The last thing that I kind of want to leave you with is just some ideas, like when I say celebrations, you might be like, “Okay, but what does that mean?” I’m just going to give you some examples of what I do, all the way from something very small that might take 30 seconds, one minute, up to something bigger, okay?

So when I say celebrate or learning to like enjoy the journey, I don’t necessarily mean, okay, I hit this goal, now I’m going to throw this big party, or I’m going to buy myself this thing, or I’m going to, you know, schedule a whole spa day or whatever. Although all of those are perfectly fine. But what I’m talking about is truly stopping and taking note.

So that could be that you’re sitting at your desk, that you do something that you’ve been putting off, or that you know is like the first step towards a goal, or that you’ve been scared to do, or that, you know, just like the thing you check off your list, you did it. It might mean just sitting there and enjoying that moment.

Taking it in, making a mental check mark of not just it’s done, but it’s done and here’s how I feel about it. Here’s how I’m going to celebrate this. Here’s how I’m going to remember this moment.

There are times that I, this is something I’ve just taught myself to do. But there are times, especially when I’m working with my clients, I highly suggest that you do this. It’s fun to check in with them, right? Like what are their celebrations. But I also love to just check in with myself, just literally a quick mental note, what do I want to remember about this moment?

So for example, in my current round that’s like about to finish up, it might be finished up when this, or no it won’t be finished up when this comes out, but that’s finishing up soon. My current round of Coaching Masters, the mastermind, it’s the first time that I’ve done a live portion, a live event. Which is also happening in the next round, you should definitely join us because it’s amazing and my favorite thing.

But it was the first time that I’ve done that. And you only get one first time, right? So let’s say that I continue this format and every six months I run a new mastermind and every six months I have a new Coaching Masters Live. They’ll be great and there will be things to celebrate with each one, and there will be differences, and there will be growth and like all of that.

But for the first one I made so many mental notes. Okay, stop, take this in. Stop, notice everything that’s happening in this moment right now, right? Notice the connections being made. Notice the clients crying because they’re just so thrilled with what’s happening, right? Notice the growth. Notice how I feel in this moment. Even notice like, oh, I feel a little nervous, right?

Sometimes stuff like that can be a good thing. Let me make note of this. I might not feel nervous next time. Who knows, maybe I will. But just taking note of that, right? Like this is an experience that I get to have as a human because I put myself in the situation, that even if it’s not particularly delightful, right? Like I wouldn’t say feeling nervous feels delightful to me.

But it is an experience that I get to have as a human and I can pause and make a note of it. Oh, I feel a little nervous. Why? Because this is important, right? Why? Because I know the growth that’s about to happen. Why? Because I can’t wait to deliver all of this.

Okay, so that’s just one example, right? Like literally just stopping, taking a breath, making a note. Thinking I want to remember this. And even just by thinking, I want to remember this, it’s so much more likely that you will remember it, right?

Another example of a simple way to have a celebration, to make note of something that’s happening that is delighting you is to call a friend and tell them. Call a friend and say, “This just happened, I want to make note of it, I have to share it with you, even if it’s like just for me.” Right?

Now, if you’re a coach, hopefully you have coach friends who will understand why you would do something like that. But if not, maybe call your mom, call a parent, call a sibling. Call whoever is in your life that will be over the moon for you, even if they don’t understand why you would celebrate the thing that you’re celebrating, right?

So for me, I have friends who are coaches who I call and say, “Can I just share this with you? I’m so proud of myself, I did it.” I’ll give you a silly example of something that I just did this with recently, just to show you that it doesn’t have to be something huge. It doesn’t even have to be something that your friends understand why it’s so big for you.

So when I was feeling really bad I just could not shake it, I couldn’t get over it. I decided I was going to try all the things. So I made a doctor’s appointment, I just made some appointments, right? I’m like, “I’m over it, I have to figure this out.”

One of the appointments that I made, and whether you agree with this or not, I don’t know. My opinion is still out on if it worked. I mean, I definitely started feeling better, so maybe it did. But I went and got an IV, like the kind of IVs that you can get for hydration, but with like vitamins and whatever, all of that. Some of you might be laughing, it might be a waste of money, it’s fine.

But what happened is I made the appointment and I was immediately terrified. I hate IVs, like hate them, have a little bit of maybe trauma around it. Had a really bad experience a couple of times, one when I was pregnant, and it just, like I literally have flashbacks about it. So even just saying the word IV or like talking about it, it’s not like a needle phobia. It is like actual trauma that I experienced that my brain goes back there every time I think about getting an IV.

But I decided I’m going to do it anyway. So I did, I made the appointment, I went, I told the woman, “I’m so nervous, here’s why.” She was like, “It’s okay,” right? Like, she kind of talked me through it. Then she took my blood pressure and had to measure my heart rate. And she was like, “Oh, well, so your heart rate is very high,” which made sense because I was so nervous. I could literally feel my heart beating out of my chest.

She was like, “Your heart rate is a little high, it has to be under X amount.” I can’t remember what it was for me to be able to start the IV. She said, “What do you want to do?” I said, “Well can I sit here for a few minutes and bring it down?” Because I know what my heart rate usually is. This is like way, way above and I’m a healthy human. It shouldn’t be that high. Just like give me a minute. And she said okay.

So I sat there and closed my eyes and just took lots of deep breaths and really used all the tools that I have, calmed myself down. I said, okay, let’s try again. So she did, it was lower, it was still a little high but it was under the limit, right? Like quite a bit. I brought it down a lot. And so I did it, I got the IV. It was actually kind of a pleasant, not the getting of it, but the IV itself was kind of a pleasant experience, I guess. It was different.

And afterwards I texted my group of friends and I said, “I am so proud of myself, I’m so brave.” Now, if you’re not scared of this, of course, that’s like, okay, great, you like did a thing. But for me, it felt huge. It felt like I had fought a bear, literally.

These are the things, right? These are the moments where you can stop and say, “I am so proud of myself.” So that’s another example, texting a friend, calling a friend, documenting I did this thing.

Another way to celebrate, which of course I’ve mentioned before and I think this is pretty common, especially in the coaching world, is to buy something that reminds you that you did the thing, right? So this would be a little bigger of a celebration, although it doesn’t have to be something expensive, right?

To me, the point of it isn’t like, can I buy expensive things? Can I spend a bunch of money? Like that’s not what it’s about at all. It is about making that mark in your brain of like, I did this thing, here’s this thing that I now have that I can carry around in my life or look at on my desk, or look at on my wall or whatever to remember that I accomplished the thing, right?

It’s like a reminder, not just having like the sparkly object, at least this is how I think about it. It’s like the actual reminder that you did the thing. And then this could be all the way up to like I accomplished a huge goal, I’m going on vacation, or I’m taking days off, or I’m, you know, whatever. But I think those are more common.

And what I really want to fight for, for you, in this episode is to learn the small things, right? To learn the things every day. Even if it’s reprogramming your brain to at the end of each day, what’s one thing I want to celebrate today? You can do that with your clients, right? You can start calls with what’s one thing you want to celebrate since your last call? What’s one thing you want to celebrate or take with you at the end of this call?

Putting those tiny little markers in there more often will retrain your brain and help you just pick them out automatically, right? It’ll become more normal. It’ll become more normal for your brain to say, “Look at what I just did,” instead of, “Okay, now there’s more, what’s next? What’s the next step? Keep going.” Right? Like whatever, or that didn’t work, it’s all terrible, right, like going to the negative.

Okay my friends, I hope that this was really helpful. Thank you again for being here for my month of celebrations. I am celebrating you. I am celebrating the end of this year, if you’re listening in real time we’re coming to the end of 2022. I am celebrating you, I’m celebrating literally everything that you have accomplished big and small, even if it’s just being present and listening to this podcast today. I will see you next week, goodbye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. See you next week.

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