Using Milestones for Motivation: Guest blog: Mindy Gibbins-Klein Have you heard the expression “Life is what happens to you while you are makin
Using Milestones for Motivation: Guest blog: Mindy Gibbins-Klein
Have you heard the expression “Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans”? It is a sobering thought, if you are the kind of person who is always planning the next event, or setting multiple goals. It implies you may miss out on real life. It may be worth remembering that life offers us all many chances to stop and take stock, to reflect, celebrate and enjoy so we don’t feel like we are on an endless treadmill. You already have milestones in your life and business, and looking at them in a positive way can enhance your life.
Milestones will occur whether you mark them or not. It’s all about your attitude. They can be a motivating force pulling you forward or a debilitating force holding you back. The choice of how to perceive them is yours, and it depends on your ability to live life in the moment and celebrate as often as you can, as powerfully as you can. The thoughtful leader uses milestones proactively and positively.
Several friends of mine hate acknowledging their birthdays. Maybe they get agitated thinking about getting older, like a millstone hanging around their neck, dragging them down. So for them, pushing it under the rug is a form of denial. Not only do they shy away from celebrating it with a party, but they actively pretend it’s not happening, don’t post their birthday on social media etc. I find it kind of sad because that takes away the fun for their friends as well.
I aim to celebrate every milestone in a big way. I threw parties to remember for my 30th, 40th and 50th birthdays. And my 29th, my 42nd and many others! You want to use the milestone as a catalyst or a deadline. Deadline is a horrible word though. How about the phrase we use in our companies: target dates? It doesn’t matter what you call it; if you look at the upcoming event as a chance to achieve something from your bucket list (or even your To Do list), it can be extremely motivational.
So instead of just having a birthday, have a birthday and a book launch. Or an anniversary and house renovation. Use a graduation in the family to create a big reunion. When planning around a business milestone, allow others to participate and celebrate as well, by sharing on social media a work anniversary or significant win. Video works really well for this, as you can express so much more excitement and enthusiasm compared to written content.
It’s a Milestone, Not a Millstone
Milestones will come up, no matter what you are doing or whether you are paying any attention to them or not. Milestones like significant birthdays (or every birthday), holidays, the birth of children or grandchildren, work or business anniversaries. In my latest book The Thoughtful Leader, I suggest that instead of treating these key dates or events as millstones hanging around your neck, you celebrate them for the milestones they are. It makes life more fun and more interesting, but it does a lot more than that.
Last year, I realised that I had been living in the UK for nearly 25 years! As the anniversary date approached, I got an idea to invite all my friends to celebrate this milestone. It was a freezing cold evening, and the bar we chose had no heating, but they gave us a pile of blankets and we all had a good laugh about it. It was so much fun and I was really glad I chose to mark the occasion instead of just letting it pass by.
So, if you have been feeling a bit uninspired or bored, look for a few milestones to celebrate, and you will soon feel much more motivated. Remember to celebrate when you achieve the little things, the steps toward the goal, or any events in life and business. Acknowledging these milestones cements their importance in your mind and creates energy. That will enhance the quality of your life and the lives of others.
About the writer, Mindy Gibbins-Klein
Mindy Gibbins-Klein MBA FPSA FRSA is a multi-award-winning international speaker, author and thought leadership strategist. Her flagship book 24 Carat BOLD outlines the four attributes found in true thought leaders. Her latest book The Thoughtful Leader takes thought leadership to a new level.
Founder and CEO of REAL Thought Leaders, The Book Midwife® and Panoma Press, Mindy has authored and co-authored eight books. www.mindygk.com