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You must have heard the phrase “Celebrate all your wins!” For each of your achievements, you are advised to be proud of yourself, show it in some way, and celebrate with your companions whenever possible. Physical celebration (whether it’s simply raising your thumb up) captures a good feeling and creates a stronger emotion.
The same principle applies to habits. Stanford University professor Dr BJ Fogg, who specializes in behavioral psychology and habit-building research, says that every time you do your new habit, you have to celebrate it. By the way, BJ’s former students are the creators of Instagram. For sure they learned a lot from him about human behaviour and this is one reason why a billion people all over the world are using this app. So it’s worth listening to him.
Even the professor of Stanford University suggests to celebrate!
But why is this kind of silly feeling celebrating good? I quote BJ Fogg: “The stronger you feel a positive emotion after doing a habit, the faster it will become automatic in your life.” As a result, you will feel more confident and signal your brain that you liked the activity. When a good emotion is strong enough, your subconscious will act to relive it.
Find a way of celebrating that suits you. For me, this is usually a fist pump and saying “yes!”. Sometimes when I’m with people or at an event where it’s not suitable to do it, I just put my hand in the fist, make a little movement with it and whisper quietly “yes!”. Sometimes you forget, but it doesn’t matter, next time you will remember again. Raise your thumb, put your hands in the fist or point them towards the sky, jump up or do a little dance and smile ? Just the way you like and feel. Also, acknowledge yourself with positive words. Tell yourself how good and cool you are, sing a few lines of an energetic song, say “Yes, I did it!” or whatever you like. Imagine a whole bunch of people applauding you and enjoy the moment. Be creative and make yourself comfortable. Remember to celebrate right after the new habit that you are creating so that your brain associates this positive emotion with the right behaviour.
Create a celebration ritual that will make you feel good and help you develop the habit.
Take every opportunity to make your new behaviour automatic. Celebration is an important part of it, don’t miss it. The better you feel when you do something new, the faster it becomes your habit.
Certified Tiny Habits® Coach
Creator of Habits Mastery