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The Little Victories

Last week I received a note from a friend. She was asking how to stay motivated during this new normal/ unprecedented time/ blah, blah, blah (you know I’m tired of hearing all these new terms). It got me thinking about how I am spending my days without pulling out what little overgrown hair I have; like most of us, I need a haircut. It’s the second thing I am going to do once everything starts opening.

Have things really changed? They have, but many things are still the same, at least the important ones.

We still go to work as usual. We continue to take care of our families, we still cook or hit up our favorite delivery spots. We clean and do household chores or have our minions do them? All of these activities we already did, but now we do them a little differently. Our commute to work is much quicker since our offices are now located in various rooms in our homes. Now we balance home schooling with our regular work duties and must adjust to accommodate that schedule; maybe you have the rug rats jump on your lap at inappropriate times, like during Zoom meetings. The basics as described by Maslow’s hierarchy: food, shelter, safety… just adapted.

The challenge is that once basic needs are met, then what? What are we doing to prevent ourselves from going nuts? As an introvert, being shut-in and away from people helps me to recharge, but sometimes my extrovert side kicks in. It’s hard not being around people. Hugging family and friends once I’m able to is the first thing I’m going to do, even before getting a haircut! For now, I will have to be content with virtual happy hours, cigar events, concerts and chats. It is stuff we are familiar with and are still doing, just differently.

Back to my friends’ question. A while back I was feeling unmotivated, like nothing was getting accomplished. That was before this all happened, though I imagine feeling unmotivated must be common for many of us these days. I asked a friend who was a successful entrepreneur, ran multiple businesses and was constantly under pressure, how he stays motivated each day. He told me sometimes just getting a smudge off the window is a major victory and to relish in it. Do small things every day and consider each one a victory. Make your bed, call it a victory; drink a gallon of water, call it a victory; go for a walk (with a cigar), call it a victory; make an old fashioned, call it a victory; make a sandwich, call it a victory. If you know what day it is, call it a major victory! Sometimes the little victories can feel like the major ones.

Here’s the thing: my friend who asked me how to stay motivated is also the one that ruined my cigar time with a walk! Her suggestion came because she was worried about my mental state and she suggested doing something different; it was good, sage advice and taking a walk around the neighborhood was a victory for me. So to my friend, follow your own advice and create little victories; to everyone else, try it!

“Track your small wins to motivate big accomplishments.” -Teresa Amabile

Have a great weekend.  Enjoy the sunshine…That’s a victory ?