Graduation Season and the Importance of Meaningful Milestones

It’s graduation season! This is a time for us to celebrate the successes of our children as they move from grade to grade. But it also gives us an opportunity to reflect on our own accomplishments and goals that we have accomplished.

It’s important because these milestones help create meaning in life-something that we can strive towards, giving our lives purpose and direction. These meaningful milestones give us something to look forward to, but also provide us with time to pause and reflect on what was accomplished in this past year, and the years before between each milestone celebration.

As we move into the summer and this new season-how are you doing? What are important milestones or celebrations coming up in your life that give your life greater meaning?

How do you want to feel?

This is a question that I’ve been asking myself a lot during this season of transition. When it comes to milestones and celebrations, what are the feelings that you hope for your children or yourself? What does success mean to you and to them in these milestone moments of their lives?

Although these may sound like difficult questions, it’s not as hard as one might think. Many people don’t know how they want to feel at any given time because we’re usually so focused on achieving goals that our emotions take secondary priority.

Feeling happy, excited, calm or content-these are all possible answers when considering what feeling would be best suited for each type of celebration throughout life. It’s about being present, in the moment, and feeling whatever comes up for you when you or somebody close to you has met an important life goal.

If there was no goal, we wouldn’t have purpose that gives our lives meaning. The goal is extremely important. So is the journey. Each is important in its own right.

It is easy to get caught up in the moment, working hard and striving for that next goal. It can be difficult to stop and appreciate what you’ve already achieved even though it’s an important part of the journey.

A changing of season, like the beginning of summer is an excellent time to take stock of where you’re at in your life. The summer solstice or official first day of summer is tomorrow, Sunday June 20th. What a perfect time to take some time to reflect on your life and where you were last year at this time-to where you are today. What have you done that you set out to do? What positive changes have you made in your life?

It’s important to move through these milestones with intention. To reflect on where we’ve been and also envision where we want to go.

What do you want your life to look like at this time next year or the year after that? What milestones will you set along the way to celebrate the progress you’re making? To celebrate the person you continue to evolve into?

Once you’ve reached that goal-that milestone, do you stop and reflect? Do you appreciate how far you’ve come and all that you learned along the way? How you’ve grown as a person? Can you take it all in and feel your sense of accomplishment?

If we don’t take time to do this on our own then there are other ways others will remind us and bring the celebration to us. A baby shower thrown by friends, a luncheon to honor your promotion, a going away party for your retirement. All of these are wonderful ways to celebrate important milestones in your life.

First, we have to acknowledge the accomplishment. We can do this by celebrating with friends and family-big or small. Second, take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come and all that has been accomplished from one milestone to the next. Take time out of your day for yourself to stop and think about what’s happened and to appreciate the wonderful blessings in your life and that milestones and celebrations are there to remind you to be present and appreciate your journey.

So today as we prepare our home to welcome our daughter’s friends to celebrate her graduation ceremony, I’m setting the intention of being fully present. Not getting wrapped up in the small details of hosting. But rather, being there with her-celebrating how she’s made it through this tough year, and is moving on to the next stages of her life.

I hope you will spend this weekend thinking about the milestones in your life from this past year and celebrating how far you’ve come. Then thinking ahead to the next milestone in your life and how you want to acknowledge and celebrate it when it arrives.

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