Stop Waiting to Celebrate

At the end of February there’s an unofficial holiday called “Open That Bottle Night.” On the last Saturday in February, it prompts you to take out that bottle of wine you’ve been saving and enjoy it. No more excuses, no more waiting. Celebrate NOW, not later.

I think we put a lot of things off. Goal-oriented professionals (totally including myself in this critique) tend to be the worst about this, always giving ourselves some finish line to cross before we let ourselves take a victory lap or (gasp) a whole weekend off. It’s not that we aren’t proud of our accomplishments…we can just be our own harshest critics. We get where we are in part by being willing to delay gratification. But at some point, the delay in celebration is a missed opportunity to energize and motivate our work.

Why Do We Wait?

Performance experts show that celebration energizes performance, reduces the negative impacts of stress, and strengthens confidence. But the most effective celebrations are the ones that don’t involve finish lines; they are about celebrating team work, meaningful progress, and personal growth. When we celebrate who we are becoming, it consolidates our energy and pushes us to achieve more. Waiting to “finish” a project or achieve a rank before we can notice our growth slowing when we get tired.

So maybe your team is still trudging forward on a tough project, or your sales conversations haven’t all borne fruit yet. Maybe you’re a team-member down and everyone’s capacity is stressed to pick up the slack. Maybe your side hustle needs more heart (or time) than you can seem to spare lately. Whatever it is, take the ending of this month to celebrate something about your progress, your endurance, your good humor, or your creativity.

If all else fails, “Open That Bottle” and celebrate being alive. Tough year or not, your life matters and there’s no telling what amazing things might be just around the corner.

I’ll be opening a special bottle of bubbly I’ve been saving. It can be hard for me to remember to celebrate all along the way, but every time I do, I find myself more ready for the tough days and the extra miles. I’ve even created an informal Zoom party where anyone can join me in opening a bottle, celebrating today, and enjoying a little community. Check it out and join us Saturday at 6pm Central for some free networking.

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I hope I see you there. But if I don’t, remember to celebrate your own way as this month comes to a close.

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