Today I’m going to start this episode by celebrating with you how far the podcast has come. The reason I say I’m celebrating with you is because you are a major contributor to its success. You are supporting me by listening today and if you’ve written a review, left a rating, or shared an episode, that means so much to me. Thank you!
Why You Must Savor and Celebrate Your Success
Savoring and celebrating is our topic today, so on the way to that I’d love to get meta and walk my own talk. Here are some details about the Positively Living Podcast that have me most excited. We’re currently on episode #159, not including bonus episodes and a trailer, which means we’ve gotten past some really big milestones. That’s one episode a week for nearly three years. The podcast has hit and remains in the top 5% of podcasts worldwide. That’s a global ranking out of over 3 million podcasts. Don’t make me do the math, but I know it’s definitely worth celebrating! The podcast has recently blown past 23,000 downloads, which still boggles my mind, and there are tons of amazing 5-star ratings and reviews with comments like:
“The topics that Lisa and her guests discuss have really helped me become even more self aware. I’m a better person for listening!”
“I love all the information I’ve been receiving in a positive and easy to digest way.”
“After listening to your episodes I generally feel inspired and motivated but in a more productive let’s do this kind of way”
“You approach the material differently than a lot of people. You bring your kindness, and consideration to the way you approach the material. It’s very refreshing to listen to, actually.”
Wow. This is why I am here and doing what I do. And in order to keep doing that, I need to stop and take in what’s happened so far. What I just did with you was both savoring and celebrating. I paused to appreciate aspects that I haven’t thought of in a while (and some reviews I hadn’t seen yet) and I announced them here. There are many benefits to doing so, which we’ll get into as I define the concepts.
We’ll start with savoring, which is a positive psychology principle.
What is Savoring and How Does It Apply to Success
Savoring is the act of stepping outside of an experience to review and appreciate it. Often we fail to stay in the moment and really enjoy what we’re experiencing. Savoring intensifies and lengthens the positive emotions of doing something you love. One example I immediately think of is taking that first sip of coffee in the morning. Another example is when you get that special dessert, especially something chocolate, and you place it on your tongue and wait and make inappropriate groaning noises. Or is that just me?
Does it always come back to food with you, Lisa? Yes, it does. But also, that’s a simple way to get the feel of savoring so you can apply it to other aspects of your life. You can savor moments and experiences, savor a view, savor a feeling. Savoring is important because it enhances your well-being by amplifying those positive emotions, which in turn counteracts our inherent negativity bias (we’re wired to see what’s wrong, so this helps reinforce what’s right).
It’s a phenomenal practice in mindfulness, and being present builds resilience and strengthens relationships. And if this sounds familiar…like gratitude, you would be right. They are very much connected. The same principle that makes gratitude important applies to this: what you focus on your fuel. So when you savor successful moments (and celebrate them, which we’ll discuss in a moment), you’ll attract more. I encourage you to check out prior episodes on the power of gratitude and how you’re already practicing it, plus last week’s episode on therapeutic journaling, which connects beautifully to this approach.
What is Celebrating and How Does It Apply to Success
Celebration involves recognizing and expressing joy, happiness, or a sense of achievement for a specific event, accomplishment, or milestone. It generally involves creating a positive and festive atmosphere. We’re commemorating a significant moment, which is often a more outward and communal expression. You think of celebrating in terms of parties. To me, that part is key as it feels like savoring is when you spot the good thing, and celebrating is when you share it outside of you.
Again, the connection to gratitude is evident. Gratitude is a mindset or attitude of appreciation and thankfulness for the positive aspects of life. It involves recognizing and acknowledging the goodness, kindness, the benefits you get from others, circumstances, or even from within yourself. Gratitude is often an inward and it’s a personal experience, but can be expressed outwardly through actions or words of thanks. The practice focuses on cultivating a sense of appreciation, contentment, and recognizing the positive elements in one’s life, big or small.
If I were to distill this down, I’d say gratitude is the concept of appreciating, which can look like a celebration when you share it. Savoring is the pause… taking a moment to be fully present and receive all the good in that moment.
If I were to draw a Venn diagram, which is one of my favorite things, I would place gratitude all around, since it’s the awareness and appreciation, and then put savoring and celebrating inside and overlapping each other.
I’ll give you an example of how savoring and celebration have come up in my life. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Universal Studios with my family. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, and a Hufflepuff, obviously. And to be able to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was breathtaking and exhilarating. If you go to my Instagram account and scroll back through the Reels you can see videos and photos of these moments. I went with my family – my husband, teen, and tween. It was an amazing family vacation in general, but those moments were very special for me.
My description alone is a form of gratitude I have for this experience. I don’t take it for granted and I am thinking of the time and effort my husband put in to plan the trip and the money we were able to make to go and create these special memories with our kids. How I was able to experience this with people I love and to see things…when you talk about creatives at their best, this world is definitely one of them.
Throughout these moments where there was a lot of action and crowds and excitement, a lot of activity. You could be pulled along in the throng. But I would pause and take a breath and take it all in to fully appreciate the details. I remember when I went through the Diagon Alley entrance with the bricks and saw the world for the first time…feeling awe. When I got my first butterbeer, I drank it slowly. (I highly recommend the frozen one, by the way) and when I walked through the Hogwarts queue, looking at the incredibly detailed theming…all of that…those moments…that’s savoring.
When my kids went on one of the most popular rides in the theme park–Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure–and came off glowing, we stopped right there and asked them to “tell us everything,” and they proceeded to share all the details…how incredible it was, how much they loved it, who they were on the ride with (they were single riders) how they felt in those moments…what happened during the ride. That is celebrating for all of us and also a bit of savoring for them.
However, you relate these to each other, savoring and celebrating are key to being more present and building resilience.
So Why Don’t We Savor and Celebrate More?
Three things block us, and to help you remember them, they all start with B: busy, bragging, and big
When we live a busy life, it doesn’t allow for much time to “stop and smell the roses” so to speak. Our society isn’t wired for pausing. We’ve had to create mindfulness and meditation classes to teach people to stop, and breathe, and be. We also struggle to see savoring as a beneficial action, so we deprioritize it. When it comes to celebrating, I think we perceive it as events only (like parties) and that takes time and money, which again encourages us to drop it.
Sometimes expressing gratitude can be a wonderful experience, especially in the form of thanking others. But when we want to express it for something that has gone well for us, and especially when we celebrate it, which means sharing with others, that doesn’t always land well. Everyone sees this as bragging. And while parents are somewhat allowed to get away with that…to an extent…the minute we try to share our own achievements, it becomes less acceptable. I think it’s time to change that. Let’s brag on ourselves and each other, but not in the way you think. Bragging doesn’t mean “I’m better than you.” Bragging can mean “I did a thing and I need to say something so I can encourage myself to keep going!” If you are struggling to celebrate what you do, I’m here. Message me (you can find me on social media or through my connect page) and brag away!
The last of the three reasons I named “big” because I see way too often how we feel that the only things worthy of celebrating are the big things in life. If we buy into that, we’re missing way too much. Think of the saying, “good things come in small packages.” It’s time to look for the small and honor it.
In episode 132, one of the ways I told you that you are already practicing gratitude when you pay attention to the little things. You don’t want to let life pass you by or take the moments for granted so you watch for them and acknowledge them.
This tactic is especially important for habits which you can apply to your personal and professional life. When you start a habit, you need to start small. That’s the best way to build on it and ensure you remain consistent and accomplish your goals. That means you need to celebrate the small. When you are learning and growing, you will stumble. Celebrating what went right is key to encouraging you to keep going. This is the resilience part and it’s necessary to achieve your goals.
So how can you savor and celebrate more?
4 Ways to Savor and Celebrate More
- Keep searching for moments to be mindful and fully present – the small stuff. Engage your senses and notice the details of positive experiences. Watch for mundane moments like being in a store or restaurant or even in a line waiting for something.
- Share and discuss positive experiences with others – this is where gratitude, savoring, and celebrating can all meet. It’s not a brag, it’s sharing your joy!
- Try a gratitude journal and reflect on the good things in your life. Get specific. Get granular. The more you dig, the more you’ll find to appreciate. And the more appreciate in detail, the more you’ll practice savoring (reflecting the savoring).
- Review what you write. When you put in details of what you savored, you’ll be able to relive when you read it later. (Your brain experiences it like it’s the first time when you review.)
If you’re listening to this and thinking you are ready to savor and celebrate a bit more, then I am so excited for you because it’s going to make a huge difference. You are going to get those important dopamine hits that propel you ahead and you’ll attract more good things in life.
If you’re convinced this sounds like a good idea with the savoring but the celebrating is hard “Lisa I still don’t wanna brag” then I would encourage you to start with savoring and find small steps to celebrate. That’s where I can help. That’s actually a big part of what I do when coaching clients. In each session, we celebrate the smallest and sometimes unexpected steps. Many times my clients feel a bit surprised that I’m calling out an action that they’ve taken for granted. Our motto here is to take every W we can! So what’s a win you can celebrate and who can you celebrate it with? Hopefully you have someone or a community in your life who will celebrate with you, but remember I am here for you too. Message me and brag away!! I will cheer like crazy for you!
And if you want me to cheer you on regularly, connect with me. You can grab my free multi-passionate toolkit and hop on my mailing list or we can have a discovery call. It’s up to you and I’m looking forward to connecting.