Congratulations on your victory! I’m talking to people who won a championship, got the deal done, received the promotion or achieved the goal.
Winning is what we want. We don’t show up with our best everyday to lose. But it’s loss, pain, setback and struggle that paved the dirty-brick road that got us here, that makes the triumph so much sweeter. And we cannot forget that.
Here’s the thing, there’s a head-in-the-clouds kind of high after a big win. It’s part of it—necessary even.
Savor the moment. Enjoy what you’ve earned.
Have a plan.
I’m offering you a plan for the 8 days after your achievement so that you DON’T…
- Miss the moment
- Get overwhelmed
- Sell yourself short
- Hurt people around you
- Lapse into bad habits
- Stop being your best
The problem is that most people don’t think about their post-victory plan because they don’t want to jinx it. Or, because they are so focused on crossing the finish line that how they or may not celebrate and recalibrate never crosses their minds.
Let’s just assume that you’re seeing this for a reason. After a recent win, or prior to a win on the way. It’s not bad luck to print this out and put it on your desk, just-in-case. In fact, it may the key to your wins that follow.
Here is what you want to do the 8 days after you win.
DAY 1— Celebrate with childlike gratitude
Enjoy it! Don’t play it cool or pretend it’s not awesome. Celebrate the results of your efforts. Reinforce the joy and worthwhileness of the path and its conclusion. You did it. You’re here.
This isn’t the end, of course, but it’s a marker. We need markers in our lives to look back upon and smile. “I did that. That happened. Life is generous. God is good.”
Scream, shout and let your joy out. Say your words of thankfulness out loud. Yes, out loud. Express those words. Let others enjoy your joy. Affirm the generosity of a benevolent Source (God, Universe…). You worked hard, but you were also guided…gifted…protected…awarded.
Say “Thank You” — like, a lot of times. And once more with your head on your pillow.
“The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe.” —Wayne Dyer
DAY 2 — Honor each person
You did not become you by yourself. You did not ascend this mountain free-solo. You were helped. Supported. Cheered on. Believed in. Enabled. Resourced. Trained. Accompanied. Collaborated with. Coached.
Honor your support system. And not with half-measures or platitudes. Honor them. Look in their eyes if you can. Say awkward words if you can find them. Don’t assume they know they helped you—tell them. Convince them. And thank them, from your heart, thank them.
It’s not the awards, honors, trophies nor cash are by your side in the hard times, low times or end times. It’s the people. The people who believed in you before it was cool. It’s people who will stick with you when you cease to be cool. Honor them now, and honor them well.
“When eating fruit, remember the one who planted the tree.” —Vietnamese Proverb
DAY 3 — Reflect on the journey
You’re still energized and enthusiastic, but today—perhaps for the first time—you have a little space to breathe. So breathe.
Close your eyes. Inhale the breath of life. You didn’t design your lungs or the air they breathe. You’re being sustained.
And you’ve been sustained and guided all along. Look back, see the journey. See the twists and turns; trials and struggles; the setbacks and moments you stepped up, rose to the occasion.
Make notes—journal or otherwise—on a few key characteristics of this journey:
- What were my best decisions?
- Who were my most helpful allies?
- What good habits mattered most?
- What “bad” things were turned into blessings?
- What do I know now that I didn’t before?
- What do I believe now that most people don’t?
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” —Socrates
DAY 4 — Set a restart date
By all means, play, party, enjoy, appreciate and reflect. There is time for that.
Set a date. Circle a date on your calendar when you will reengage with the key habits, rituals, and routines that got you to where you are. The things that help you to be the best version of you.
Yes, we’ll re-up and revise those things, but for now, just look at the calendar and choose a date.
There are two ways to think about this date.
- The date you re-engage in earnest with the intense scope of your work. This day can be pushed out some number of weeks, depending on the work that you do.
- The date you reset the fundamental habits that keep you healthy. This date is Day 8, if not sooner.
I’m talking about when you start going to bed again at a reasonable time. When you wake up and meditate, then move your body. I’m talking about the simple basics that help you stay grounded and connected.
“Things don’t have to end. They can begin again.” —will.i.am
DAY 5 — Give something away
You have gained in some way. Now, give.
And give on the scale with what you are receiving. If you inherited a circus, don’t give away peanuts. Be generous enough that you feel it.
There needs to be a cost, otherwise, there is no sacrifice. And it’s sacrifice that got you here, right? Honor the nature of growth and gains and plant more seeds with your generosity. There are so many benefits:
- Giving keeps you from believing that you are entitled to what you have.
- Giving reminds you that there is more out there, more coming, and more that will flow to you and flow through you.
- Giving coverts your gratitude into conviction and action.
- Giving blesses others and empowers future wins.
- Giving opens our hearts in a way that nothing else can.
- Giving feels good.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” —Jesus
DAY 6 — Stop doing something
You have entered a new realm, with new opportunities, invitations, options. Some will be good. Some will leach to you and suck your blood, your time, your life.
Pay attention to what you can leverage and what must be released. It’s often the sexiest of opportunities that must be passed up for your own health.
But one thing is clear, there will be more. And More requires you to keep your Less-Sword at the ready. If you add something, you must also cut something else out. I know you think you can do it all, but thousands of years of wisdom whispers to you… “Less is more.”
Everything new bringing a corresponding old—something that must be stopped, killed, released, let go. Pay careful attention to the demands of your time, but mostly energy. It might be intriguing, honoring and seductive, but if it drains your life, offer a polite “Thank you, but no.”
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly, and non-apologetically – to say no to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger yes burning inside.” —Stephen Covey
DAY 7 — Rededicate yourself
It’s been a full week. Now is the time to look yourself in the eye and remind yourself that you’re not finished. This isn’t the end. If you’re still breathing, there’s still a contribution for you to make. In fact, you’re just getting started.
After all, life is not about the accomplishments and accolades. It feels good to be recognized, but fulfillment is found in becoming more and more ourselves in the service of others.
Decide today that you’re going to leverage whatever progress you’ve made for a greater purpose. You don’t have to know what that is yet, but decide it’s what you will do. Decide to humbly embrace who you are still becoming.
We still need you to be you. You are not done yet.
“The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it’s who you become. That’s what you will take into eternity.” —Dallas Willard
DAY 8 – Begin again
In the ancient wisdom literature, Day 8 is representative of new beginnings. It will be helpful to you if you think about this in two ways:
- There is a new thing happening. I’ve come to this position for such a time as this, for a purpose, and I’ll pay attention to how I can give back and be a blessing.
- I’m not done yet. I’ve enjoyed the past week of celebration and reflection. Now, I begin again.
Not that you are stating over. You are not. But you are starting new.
New day. New goals. New focus and energy and conviction.
You might rededicate yourself to a familiar aim, but you will pursue it from a place of increased strength, confidence and perspective.
But pursue you will. Because today is full of new grace, new gifts, new guidance and untapped potential. Who knows what is possible! Who knows what still awaits you. Just receive and believe and begin again.
“The trouble is that relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing has yet been done.” —C.S. Lewis