Here’s to 🗹 small accomplishments

Jul 16, 2022

Big accomplishments get big celebrations, right? Graduation ceremonies, birthdays, first prize trophies - they mark the moment in time and in our memories.

But each of these are actually made up of thousands of smaller steps. We should mark those small moments as well - it can actually keep us going.

Take divorce, for example. It is a long-range project - it can take months and even years, and it sure can be hard to find anything that feels like celebration when you’re in the thick of it. But there are elements of progress or celebration in there. Maybe you booked a session with a therapist; you and your ex agreed on something; you wrote in your journal.

Why is this important? It turns out we humans are hard-wired to seek rushes of accomplishments. Have you ever had a to-do list, completed something that wasn’t on it, then added that task - just so you can check it off? Neurotransmitters, baby! We get a little rush of dopamine every time we mark an accomplishment, even a minor one.

So instead of writing “get divorced” on your to-do list, think of this big difficult project in smaller pieces. Organize your budget; clarify two goals; get a first draft of the settlement agreement. Then pat yourself on the back for those accomplishments (my preferred treat is a fancy coffee) and allow yourself that bit of dopamine. It will make that long road ahead seem more manageable.

What about you? What’s the small win you’re celebrating?


PS: Small steps are part of my online course Fresh Start. Watch a series of short video interviews with experts on the legal, financial, emotional, and co-parenting aspects you need to know - and emerge whole. We got you - and you got this.


Image: The Letter, by Charles Baugniet (1814-1886)

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