Celebrate more to create lasting change

This time of year is really special for me – we’re thankful for things that went well, reflective on our experiences and remembering those that we miss. It got me thinking about our intentions – shouldn’t we also be celebrating the intentions that we worked on and the ones that we learned from? After all, come January, we might me setting some new ones but what’s so special about January? And, why stop there? Let’s celebrate more often than once a year. After all, we’ve been working and learning from our intentions during the whole year. So, let’s talk about celebrating more and observe how the joy propels us forward and further through our intentions and our goals. But first, a song that evokes CELEBRATION!

Why do we need to celebrate?

Working on our intentions or any change, for that matter, is hard, especially in the beginning. It may require a significant change to how we think, act and spend our time. Now, that’s a lot to have accomplished all because we purposefully intended to be better. Therefore, we need to celebrate your endeavor. We need to celebrate because it was your willpower (with some neurophysiological involvement) that converted thought to intention, intention into action, action into motivation, motivation into practice and practice into achievement.

You worked on making a better YOU so you need to celebrate.

Joy also creates positive reinforcement for your action and that joy can help you sustain progress toward your intention. Thus creating lasting change.

Celebrate more often

So, why celebrate just once at the end? Why not, celebrate more than once? After all, if joy propels us forward and incentivizes us to keep at it, then more joy and joy more often would equal greater motivation. That, indeed, has been a lesson for me and a key reason why I encourage teams to celebrate more often.

Being more joyful is not bad for you so celebrate more

But some might ask, why are you celebrating if you haven’t achieved your goal? And that is a really good point – celebrating for the sake of celebrating is not meaningful for our intention. In fact, it might lead us to short circuit the work and go straight to celebration. Thus, in that terrific and seemingly, heartless question, lies a nice lesson on finding more reasons to celebrate.

Finding more reasons to celebrate requires us to be aware of our progress and mindful about how to measure it

So, break down your intention into daily, weekly and monthly goals and decide how you will measure progress. And Voila! You now have the means to celebrate more often.

Some ideas on what to celebrate

Do you need ideas? You’ve come to the right place.

  • Celebrate the fact that you started and ended and even that you stuck around at the mid-point mark.
  • Celebrate what you learned whether you were proved right or wrong.
  • Celebrate your teams working together in alignment.
  • Celebrate the losses too – when you win, you learn what to do; but when you lose, you also learn what not to do.

What do you think about celebrating and what are your ideas on reasons to celebrate more often?

Let me know in the comments what was most helpful for you. Stay safe and joyful this holiday!

What does our irrationality teach us

As I read Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, I found his ideas not only enlightening to understand my own predictable irrationality but also to think through ideas on motivation and change management for our teams.

1️⃣ Context matters – we find it hard to understand things in absolute terms so explain value in relative terms with context and understand where your team is coming from. Small change for you may not be small for them.
2️⃣ People will work more for a cause than for cash – This doesn’t mean compensation is not important. Frame your cause carefully.
3️⃣ Free influences choice – Loss aversion is real so when something is free, there is no visible loss from choosing it. Consequently, when something is free, we will irrationally select it over a better choice – find what’s free and explain the choice.
4️⃣ Moods influence our decisions – Set the stage for your team to be in a cool but motivated state when introducing a change.
5️⃣ Ownership drives commitment – when we own something, we value it more thus our loss aversion takes over because of the prospect of losing something we own. Motivate ownership.
6️⃣ Short term pains overcome long term gains – we can lose motivation quickly if the immediate outcomes are negative so celebrate the early learnings (even failures) and shine a spotlight on the small wins. Start easy, go long.

Predictably Irrational

Can a system work for a business?

Absolutely! Intentions, goals and systems work well for business. In fact, they provide a scaling power that builds culture for young upstarts as much as a change in culture at established companies. It powers a company’s values with objectivity. Finally, it gives leadership and founders the ability to know that their teams are making the same decisions they would make even when they are not in the room with them.

But, it requires work, commitment and communication just like with your personal journey but more because you are not influencing yourself, but others on your teams. I wrote a post about using a system for businesses on another site. Here’s the link.


  • Simplicity almost always beats complexity so try to simplify your thinking – just don’t oversimplify it.
  • Focus on what matters most (to your vision for your business) and do fewer things better – effectiveness over efficiency. Simplify.
  • Respond and innovate faster driven by purpose around these few things that matter – agility over productivity. Simplify.
  • Use data, not anecdote to make decisions. It’s within your reach, even when it’s not perfect. Simplify.
  • A system based on fact and focus will help your team make good decisions when you’re miles away (build culture and drive systematic change). Simplify it for them.

Coincidentally, this idea of focus gains importance every time there is talk of recession. The good news is that we generally come out having learned something and those internalized learnings help us grow smarter when the next boom cycle comes.

What was most helpful for you in this post? Let me know in the comments. Share it with your friends and acquaintances that are trying to figure out how to manage through uncertainty in their business.

Take care and be safe!