A Gold Star Moment
As part of my goal to practice wellness during the work week, I committed to do a short mindfulness exercise.
I downloaded a Mindfulness app and began using it for a 10-minute practice three times a week. For the first three weeks, I completed all three practices. But during the fourth week, I found myself practicing only 7 minutes each of the three days, and by the end of the work week I had declared myself a failure.
How come we typically only view progress or success as reaching 100% of our goal?
First, many of us adhere to perfectionism, or the idea that it’s all or nothing – that middle ground just doesn’t cut it. Second, research shows that our “brains are designed to look for” failures because our ancestors “who were negative worrywarts were more likely to survive” in the wild, according to Dr. Kristin Neff, professor of psychology, UT Austin.
Taking credit is all the more difficult when we are not getting external recognition and we have to celebrate our achievements on our own.
Dr. Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business School professor and co-author of The Progress Principle, says “you can still enjoy psychological benefits from celebrating your own achievements. They don’t have to be big breakthroughs or huge successes – even small wins can lead people to feel terrific.”
Recently, I took Dr. Amabile’s advice to heart! I don’t like swimming in lakes, but had an opportunity to do so. I put on a swimsuit under shorts and a top and made my way to the lake. While I didn’t quite “swim,” I did get into the lake and pushed through my comfort zone (see above photo). So, credit to me for a small win! And while I am at it, I will take credit for those 7 minute mindfulness practices, as well. I am feeling better already . . . .
What small wins can you take credit for this year? What gold star moments can you claim?
For those of you interested in executive coaching and who might like to join a group, please drop me an email or call at 215.260.4881 so we can chat about what you need. I am here to support you, and just an email away.
Wishing you small wins,
Who among us hasn’t had a moment, a day or a week where we felt the pressure in our lives – professionally and personally – to “go out there” and do what is expected of us even when all we really wanted to do was get back under the covers?
Covid has caused us to reevaluate many aspects of our lives and ask the questions: What am I doing with my life? Is this what I really want?
Once upon a time . . . when my legal career was rising and my mood was falling, I knew I was no longer in the right place. I set out to find a new job that would better fit my need for purpose.
We typically mark the seasonal transition with traditions we enjoy, like Halloween trick-or-treating and cheering with the crowd at sporting events. However, since many of our favorite pastimes remain restricted due to the continuing global pandemic, here are some suggestions on what we still can do
Research shows that being near, in, on, or under the water can improve our mood and our health, and increase our creativity and connectedness. “People can experience the benefits of the water whether they’re near the ocean, a lake, a river, a swimming pool or even listening to the soothing sound of a fountain,” says Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, avid scuba diver and author of Blue Mind (2014).