“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”  The holidays are upon us.  The year is coming to a close.  It’s time to celebrate!  It’s time to give extra attention to the good things in life, whether big or small.

Why Celebrate?

Celebrations connect us to other people—to family, friends, co-workers, clients, or even strangers.  We share the experience.  It’s easy to think of sharing the moment with family and friends.  Picture a Norman Rockwell painting as you sit around the dinner table or toast the New Year.  Think about the high-five you share with a co-worker for a job well done.   The handshake with a client celebrates the agreement you just made.  The smile and nod to a stranger at the community Christmas tree lighting, or waving flags together as the parade ambles down the street.   We connect in that moment at that time just to say, “well done,” or “me too,” or “we’re all in this together”.

Celebrations can be a good reminder of our talents and abilities.   They may remind us of our resilience or persistence.  These celebratory moments can motivate us to keep working towards our goals.  They can give us new insight into other situations, and buffer us from the difficulties in challenges we are facing.

Celebrations help us look ahead.  When we have something to look forward to, it renews hope and we feel more optimistic.  Celebrations, no matter how small, renew our energy and help us build resilience to overcome challenges ahead.  Research by Hadassah Littman-Ovadia shows that even looking ahead to something worth celebrating increases feelings of optimism.  It could be a new job, retirement, finishing a project, or something simpler but meaningful like lunch with friends, or a day off work.

How to Celebrate?

Celebrations don’t necessarily have to be a big event.  Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most.  Regardless of a big party or just a big smile, savor the moment.   Reflect on what is good, what is well done, what is an accomplishment.

Celebrations cause you to step out of the routine, even for just a moment or two.  Go to a special place or a beautiful setting and relish in the goodness or the achievement.  Setting the moment apart from your routine helps make it a celebration.  Going to a special place, even a lovely corner of the room, or putting party decorations up in a work cubicle or a conference room, sets the moment apart and makes it memorable.

Celebrations are to commemorate the moment.   Make a toast, say a prayer, hug a friend, high-five, sing a song, eat special food, do a dance move, light a candle.  Animating the moment with a powerful, celebratory action will ignite positive energy.  That energy will reinforce the connection with others.  It will remind us of our talents and accomplishments, and give us the optimism that drives us toward our goals.

What to Celebrate?

There will always be big celebrations like holidays and new years and birthdays.  But, the goodness of our everyday accomplishments is worth celebrating too.  As the new year approaches, take inventory of the good in your life and your company.

Connect with co-workers to celebrate improvements in the company.  Did you make a profit?  Celebrate!  Did you improve your products and services, or streamline processes?  Celebrate!  Do you have employees who have accomplished great things, or gone above and beyond?  Celebrate them!  Do you have co-workers that make your job enjoyable or meaningful?  Celebrate them!   Have you made a difference in the success of your clients?  Celebrate!

It IS a wonderful time of the year!  Don’t pass up the opportunity to connect with others.  Reflect on your talents and accomplishments and those of others.  And look to the future of next year’s goals with optimism and positive energy.  Take time to celebrate the large and the small.  Appreciate the goodness.  Celebrate!