Celebrating your own successes is incredibly important. Doing it keeps you motivated and helps you “live in the now” instead of just moving on to the next thing. And it infuses some fun and whimsy into the day-to-day. It’s all about sustainability.

Also: I’m terrible at it.

This year has already been tremendously busy and very productive for me. At work, I set a few too many goals for Q1 and yet I crushed them all (maybe because a Nina in motion stays in motion?). And then, while riding the wave of my Q1 successes, I had several big wins these past couple weeks.

But did I celebrate these wins?

My team at Upswing sent me some of my favorite things—flowers, coffee, chocolate, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos—to congratulate me, and that’s when I realized that I have to reward myself, too. (One of the dangers of being an adult is that you control your own rewards.) So, I’m writing this on a much-needed day off. (Don’t worry, I have fun stuff besides blogging planned.) And I’m also taking a week off in May.

Happiness and habits researcher/writer/podcaster Gretchen Rubin suggests that rewards should be related to and strengthen the activity and shouldn’t hinder progress. So if you’re celebrating 100 days of yoga practice, the reward (besides the benefits of practicing yoga for 100 days!) could be a fancy new mat instead of an expensive bottle of wine. But that’s really more for habit formation and less for a well-deserved pat on the back for something you have to do, like work.

I think what would be helpful is having a list of go-to treats for the next time I want to reward myself for a job well done. They should range in size and expense to match the effort. For example, whenever a colleague of mine figures out something tricky related to technology (like moving the contents of a date + time column in Excel into separate columns), she throws her hands up and yells, “I win!” to herself. I’ve tried it. It’s satisfying.

How do you celebrate successes and reward yourself? I need ideas!

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