Finding Success Where You Are Now

At first I thought today was going to be a cereal for lunch kind of day.

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I began my midday meal with a bowl of Honey Nut Chex but 20 minutes later when I wised up and realized cereal keeps me full for 2.3 seconds, I made myself a satiating protein smoothie.

protein smoothie

In the blender:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 handful frozen strawberries
  • 1 scoop fitmixer chocolate milkshake protein powder
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 large handfuls fresh spinach
  • Enough almond milk to get everything moving

smoothie chocolate spinach

Much better.

Now it’s time to move on to something I’ve been thinking about a lot this week: Success and feeling grateful for our achievements and the blessings we have in our lives right now.

Finding Success Where You Are Now

Last summer I attended a church service where the pastor addressed success. He said that so often we are reaching for the next thing and the next milestone in our lives that we forget to enjoy our current successes.

I stumbled upon my notes from this service last weekend and it really got me thinking.

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We achieve so many of the goals we set for ourselves in life, but rather than enjoy the process and the end result, we immediately reach for the next thing.

I bet a famous actor at one time just wanted a part in their high school play. Then they wanted to be cast as an extra in a movie or star in a commercial. Then they wanted to move to Los Angeles and get a supporting role in a movie. Then they wanted to get a staring role. Then they wanted to win an Oscar. I bet if you would’ve told that high school student that they would simply have a role in a movie at all that they would be so excited!

It was a very eye-opening service for me, because I often set goals for myself and once I reach a goal, I rarely take time to acknowledge or even enjoy the achievement, and simply make another goal and begin again.

We often focus on what we want and what we don’t have rather than what we do have and what we already achieved.

You’ve likely achieved some kind of a goal you had in your mind for yourself to get you to the point where you are in your life right now.

Maybe you can’t find a job right now… or maybe your job totally sucks. Well, you did graduate from college and that’s a pretty awesome achievement. I bet there was a point you were just hoping to get into a certain college. And that sucky job? It will help you gain experience to apply to your next job.

The example my pastor gave related to salaries. Once you get that raise you’ve been coveting, you’re happy, but it doesn’t take too long before you want more… and more… and more.

That’s great… on some levels. Being ambitious and setting goals is incredibly important. Working hard is important.

But so is recognizing your success and enjoying the little everyday successes. Take time to recognize the amazing relationships you have with your sister, husband, children or friends that you work hard to make a priority in your life. Feel proud of the degree you busted your butt to obtain a few years ago. Pat yourself on the back for making it to the gym four times last week. Acknowledge the positive feedback you got from your boss on Monday.

Celebrating the success and achievements we have in our lives is so important. Making goals is important. But being blinded by these goals can be destructive and cause us to miss out on enjoying the rewards of our hard work and the success that comes our way because of our efforts.

There’s always a better job, more money or someone achieving something amazing that you only dream of achieving, but if we only focus on what we don’t have, we’ll miss out on all of the blessings and successes that are right in front of us every single day.

(And just so you don’t think I’m telling you to chill out and be complacent and never try to achieve anything in life, if you have a BIG goal in your mind that you want to go for, GO FOR IT, just remember to celebrate the little milestones along the way. If you’re struggling with self doubt about whether or not you can achieve that goal, you might be interested in this past post: Changing “Yes But” to “Yes And.”)

Questions of the Afternoon

  • What was the last major goal you set out to accomplish that you achieved? Did you take time to celebrate your success?

Comments

  1. says

    Inspirational post! As someone who deals with anxiety I am very rarely living in the now- nonetheless enjoying the now! I think it is really important to aspire to things but to also celebrate and enjoy it when you do- before moving onto the next biggest and better thing. I definitely will keep this in mind. I guess my current goals is to do more in the fitness industry and I’ve just been offered another permanent class as well as offered paid-for training in another program. Before I think about more classes and more programs I think I’ll just enjoy what I have achieved so far 🙂 Ps. Sorry for the novel Julie!

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  2. says

    I love this post and you are exactly right, find the success in where you are now! We just happened to stumble across a stray pit bull this past week and we are fostering her right now. She is the most happy little bundle of joy anyone could ever ask for. She has made me realize to just step back and enjoy the here and now. Amazing what a little pup could do for our well-being!

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  3. says

    Such a great post and so true! I am always struggling with anticipating and planning for the future andlately have been really trying to just live in the present and enjoy where my life is NOW. Thanks for your encouragement!

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  4. Shalini says

    Loved this post!! So relate-able, I think it’s hard though when everyone around is accomplishing things and you’re just sitting back and “watching”. Not that you’re not doing anything but maybe not having the same success as a friend. It goes back to the comparison trap and sometimes I think we’re trying to do the next big thing for someone else but not ourselves, but only sometimes! great post!

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  5. says

    LOVE this post.. it’s so true. I’m the same exact way – always reaching for more or thinking about the “next step.” Thanks for writing this – I needed to hear this today! And ps. Love your “changing yes but” post too!

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  6. says

    This post is so very true. I always worry about not doing enough and not accomplishing enough when I also need to be aware of what I have done. I worry so much that if I stop and give myself credit, I may not push myself as hard as I need to. On my weight loss journey, I feel like I have tried to find a balance between being proud of myself for what I have done and also being honest with myself about where I am presently. Thanks for this food for thought!

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  7. Morgan05 says

    This was a wonderful post Julie. I too fall into the habit of setting goals and not celebrating my achievements. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

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  8. Kristen says

    Great post! I left my job in finance a few years ago to go back to school for elementary education – super scary. One of the best things I learned getting my license was just how powerful spending time reflecting is in the growing process. I think too often I rush from one thing to the next without processing not just what I could do better next time, but what went right the first go ’round. I ended up not using my elementary license at this point, but I feel I have so much more peace with my daily life from what I picked up along the journey of changing paths for a short time.

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  9. says

    I made it my goal to get to grad school for Criminology – and low and behold, I start in a week and a half. If you told my 12 year old self that not only would I be going to university but I’d be going back for a Masters Degree I probably wouldn’t have believed you. 🙂

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  10. Megan says

    I just want to say that Honey Nut Chex is like crack cereal. I can’t keep it in the house.

    Not only do you need to celebrate small milestones on the way to a larger goal, I’ve found that you have to be flexible on the path to a goal. If you have a particular goal, don’t be surprised by bumps in the road. Just change your path a little, slow down/speed up, or take a break if you need to. It doesn’t have to mean giving up on your goal to do that. The path to achieving your goal might just be a bit different than you imagined, but that’s OK! 🙂

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  11. says

    I love this post, Julie! I too, constantly feel like I’m always moving from one goal to the next and never taking any time to savor the moment. For example, we just recently moved into a our first home (of our own) in a new town and I am forever bending over backwards to do more, instead of savoring how much we have done so far. Sometimes I have to force myself to slow down and take a breath and realize how much it took to just get here.

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  12. Jessie says

    Just stumbled upon your blog and this post. This is exactly what I needed. I have graduated from university with my dream job, but have not been celebrating this achievement this past year, but rather thinking about things that are still missing from my life. This post made me realize that I need to step back and enjoy this time that I worked so hard for.

    Thanks again!!

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  13. says

    This is such a fabulous post! It can be so easy to wish the days away while we wait for our big dreams to come try while we drudge away with the steps we have to take to get there. I’m really trying to make the most of each day, because God has adventures and blessings for us everyday!

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  14. says

    I love this post and am really glad that I stumbled across it today! Not really enjoying my current job, but I did work really hard to get it and need to remember that if I just try to enjoy my time here, then I can move on to the next big thing. All about perspective. Thanks for sharing, sounds like you found a good church!

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  15. says

    This post was incredibly timely. I am in a job that I’m not particularly fond of and I had such high hopes for it. This post made me realize how the experience I’m getting right now is invaluable and will prepare me for a better one in the future. Thank you so much for posting this, Julie. It definitely made me sit back and realize a lot that I was missing!

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  16. Meg says

    Thanks for writing this. Recently I graduated from uni and accomplished my goal to run a 14k race. It’s been a busy three months achieving personal goals. Now I feel like I am in a lull, but I am not ready to make new goals just yet. I know I need to appreciate the successes that I have had and live in the moment. So thank you for this article- I feel like I am not alone in this feeling.

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  17. says

    My last goal was getting on the vice principal’s list… I think that I enjoyed that success about as long as your cereal keeps you satisfied before I registered for my next goal which was getting a masters degree.

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