We all recognize that a project or goal is complete when we cross the finish line. And I love breaking through those big ribbons of ultimate triumph as much as the next person. But I think when we are intent on that Big Finish, we can lose sight of all of the Little Finishes along the way. I believe this can cost us a great deal of satisfaction—and even momentum.
In my experience, honoring the mini-milestones (and mile markers) along the way can give us lift-off. This practice also makes us less vulnerable to those wobbly pedestals on which we place our big dreams. Because we are grounded in the authority of each step we have taken along the way, we have so much to feel good about, whether we reach our destination or not.
For example, when I sat down to the third and final round of proofing my soon-to-be-released book Fierce on the Page, I was in the slipstream of a long track record of completion—from query to proposal to contract negotiation to writing each chapter, to submitting the first half, then the second half of the book, to the two rounds of review that preceded this one.
Because I had honored each of these thresholds along the way, I had a deep appreciation for my commitment to bringing Fierce on the Page to the world. And I had a deep appreciation for how hard I was willing to work—every night and every weekend for years—to fulfill this commitment.
When we measure and celebrate each step we take in the direction we want to go, we teach ourselves that we are reliable to our desires. And when we view completion as a process, not an event, we can tune into the deep satisfaction of showing up for the work.
I heard it said recently that completion is a mountain with no top. We spend our lives striving and completing, and yet there is no absolute pinnacle. There is only this present moment where we stand somewhere between where we started and where we intend to be. Each so-called arrival becomes the departure point for our next destination.
I believe the more we honor the process, the more powerfully equipped we find ourselves to be. We wake up to the beauty of the scenery. And become invigorated by the climb.
One of my favorite strategies for honoring completions is writing down every micro-accomplishment on an index card, then dropping the card into an enormous mason jar. As the pile of cards grows, I have tangible proof that I’m making progress.
Recently, I was introduced to the Leap Mandala, an inspiring way to track completions while crafting a piece of art. I love filling in the blanks with color to commemorate every leap I take.
How do you honor your completions?