Are you a list-maker? Do you have a daily to-do list and you love to check off tasks as you complete them? Then you already understand the power of accomplishment.
Making lists can be stressful, though – especially if you are like me and tend to over-estimate what you can get done in a day! But accomplishing a goal – big or small – can contribute to your happiness, if you do it right.
Mind you, it’s not actually achieving the goal that makes you happy – it’s the planning and execution that do the trick. They get you focused and moving towards a goal. Then, when the goal is achieved, you get that momentary flush of a job well-done. This is where many people stop, but I want you to do one more thing after you hit your goal. More on that after this story.
Picture this – a person with a very messy home has the goal of clearing the clutter. The house didn’t get messy all at once, and it won’t be easy to clean it out all at once, either. This person breaks the goal down into steps – each day, 1/4 of a room will be organized. The home isn’t huge – only 6 rooms – so that means it will take 24 steps on the to-do list to achieve the goal of a neat home. No matter what else is going on, focusing on one corner of a room isn’t too big a task, so each day, another step is crossed off the list. This person didn’t have to try to achieve the impossible goal of cleaning the house all in one day, nor did (s)he have to wait nearly a month to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. There was something to celebrate every day, until finally there was a very tidy home to celebrate!
And that’s the secret to making this work – give yourself a little celebration when you accomplish a little goal. A new handbag…dinner out at your favorite place…a manicure…whatever feels like a celebration to you. And of course, the bigger the goal, the bigger your celebration can be.
If you’re not in the list-making habit, it’s a good one to acquire. You don’t have to have daily to-do’s…I keep a weekly list. Think of what you need to get done and write it all down. If you have some big projects, break those down into the smaller steps you’ll have to take to get the big projects done, so you can check off the steps as you take them. Feel how good it feels to check or cross something off your list. And don’t forget to celebrate yourself. Mission accomplished! Now, go have a happier day – remember, you’re in charge!
I’d love to hear how you accomplish your way to happiness – please contact me here or on my Facebook page and share your wisdom. And if you’d like a happiness quick tip to show up in your “in” box to start each week off right, sign up and it’s yours. Just scroll to the bottom of any page on my website – the sign-up form is in the footer. Have a happier day!