Lakesha Cole, 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year
In today’s world, we’re required to wear many hats, quickly moving from one task to the next without missing a beat. Once we complete a task, we check it off our never-ending to-do list and hit repeat. But how often do we take the time to celebrate the check marks and acknowledge our accomplishments?
Last month I caught up with a few friends over a bowl of spicy Japanese-style ramen and a side of gyōza. My bestie Tevis had retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years of service. Angela finished a draft of her business plan. Tanya’s daughter Elise was finally potty trained and sleeping in her own bed. And I received the Military Spouse of the Year award, reached an important business milestone and completed my last semester at Parsons all within the same week. No one felt like celebrating. All we could think about was what was next on our list. We were exhausted, overwhelmed and completely burned out before our next journey had even begun.
What’s wrong with this picture? Even though our successes looked different as a stay-at-home mom, a businesswoman and newly retiree, we had a lot to be thankful for and celebrate. It was in that brief moment where we found strength within to grant ourselves permission to relish in our own accomplishments.
As an entrepreneur, my plate is always full. I find it difficult at times to slow down to reflect and celebrate even though I have full control over how and when I work. I’ve also experienced how not slowing down can affect your overall joy in life. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” I’m a true believer of that. I even have that Oprah quote set as a weekly reminder in my iPhone. What we give our energy to magnifies, so focusing on the celebration brings more things to celebrate.
I understand how celebrating your accomplishments may seem selfish or trivial to some. I was taught that congratulations should come from others because it validated how important our achievements are. But in life and business every step forward is a small victory worth celebrating, and it starts with you.
Instead of sprinting through your to-do list like a dreaded workout video, slow down and take inventory of what you’ve already accomplished. It’s easy to forget the many little things we do each day, and we often tell ourselves we’ve done nothing at all. But these are the moments that collectively contribute to the daily progress we make in our personal and professional lives. So let the celebration begin.
What was the last accomplishment you celebrated? Tell me at [email protected]
Here are some recent spouse accomplishments I’d like to share!
“I recently reached my highest monthly sales goal”- Julia Poole, Owner of The Bubblegum Factory/Air Force spouse
“With four boys I rarely have time for myself. I’ve dedicated time in my day now to workout and I’m loosing weight.” – Vicki Ferguson, Stay-at-home mom/Marine spouse