How Celebration Changes Your Thoughts, Habits, and Life

Developing the skill of celebration is the single most powerful thing you can do to change the way you think, feel, develop new habits, and achieve your goals in life more easily.

In fact, if you only do one thing on this website, keep reading to learn what celebration is and why it’s so important, and then use the Always Greater Celebration Tool to make it much easier for you to celebrate and change in the best of ways.

And after that? Make it a daily habit to celebrate, like with the Daily Happiness & Success Tool.

Who created the celebration technique?

Dr. BJ Fogg, a Stanford behavior scientist, created what I call the celebration technique.

BJ teaches the skill of celebration in his free Tiny Habits training, which I highly recommend, especially since you get to learn about celebration directly from him.

He also has an entire chapter devoted to celebration in his Tiny Habits book, where he goes into greater detail about the skill of celebration and ways to celebrate.

FYI, in his book, BJ says that if he could teach people only one thing — it would be celebration.

How celebration changed my life (without me knowing it)

Since 2006, when I first developed my systems for changing my thinking, I have naturally celebrated whenever I’ve taken steps to change my thoughts. It’s just something I’ve always done, because it’s fun and I like it.

In fact, when I look back at notes on some of my earliest thinking changes, I see a lot of “Yes, yes, yes!!!” exclamations in my notes, and I’m not a guy who’s prone to excessively using exclamation marks!!! (That one was for fun.)

Anyway, 14 years later, in early January 2020, I read an article by Dr. BJ Fogg on how emotions — and celebration — wire in habits. The instant I read that, I realized a simple, “obvious” truth about why I’ve been able to change my thinking and rewire my thoughts so easily all these years.

It’s because emotions don’t just wire in new habits. They also wire in new ways of thinking. And celebration is the key to wiring in new ways of thinking quickly and easily and have more fun doing it at the same time.

So what is the celebration technique?

We all understand celebrating on some level. For example, it’s that thing you do when your team scores the winning goal, and you jump up and down, and you’re so happy and excited.

It’s a positive feeling of success. Or a feeling BJ calls Shine.

BJ’s insight was that if you attach this positive, successful emotion to a new habit — even a very tiny one, like flossing one tooth — this positive emotion will wire in the behavior quickly and easily.

And guess what? It works the same way with thinking changes. You just take a few, simple, deliberate steps to change your thoughts, and then you celebrate your new thinking change.

Just like that, you help wire in a new way of thinking, which changes your thinking patterns moving forward, which instantly changes you and your life for the better. Almost like magic.

Why does celebration have such a powerful effect like this?

Among other things, celebrating and feeling good delivers a dopamine hit to your brain. And that’s powerful.

To understand how powerful this is, think about someone who smokes a cigarette for the first time, and has the most awful experience with it, with coughing, burning eyes, and burning lungs.

Even if it’s a miserable experience, the nicotine in the cigarette still delivers a dopamine hit to the brain. And the next time that person is prompted to smoke, the person thinks “Hey, that might be a good idea”, simply because of that dopamine hit.

The great news is that just like you can quickly become wired to smoke via a nicotine dopamine hit, you can also quickly become wired to think and act in new, better ways via celebration dopamine hits. You simply connect the celebration and dopamine hit with whatever new thought or behavior you want to do automatically.

The unintended, amazing effects of celebration and regular dopamine hits

So now you know how celebrating creates a dopamine hit that makes it easier for you to wire in new thoughts and behaviors.

But it gets better: when you start regularly celebrating to wire in new thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, it has some amazing, unintended side effects.

This is because regularly feeling more successful with celebration and regularly getting that dopamine hit makes you feel better and happier on a regular basis.

And this changes everything. It helps you get better sleep, enjoy social interactions more, feel more energized, and on and on and on.

The effects cascade and ripple in powerful ways that can completely transform your life.

This is why I’m telling you that if you learn only one thing from this website, learn how to make it easy to celebrate comfortably, easily, and naturally, and enjoy getting these amazing benefits on autopilot.

So how do I celebrate?

Celebrating doesn’t have to be anything dramatic like jumping up and down excitedly every time you floss one tooth.

The point is simply to celebrate in some way that helps you create a positive emotion on demand, which you then associate with a new desired habit or thinking change.

For example, it can be as simple as just saying “Yes!” in your mind to something that you liked that you did (like a new habit or new thought), if saying “Yes!” in your mind creates a positive, successful feeling.

Again, the whole key is to be able to create this positive, successful feeling on demand, so that you’re able to wire in new habits and thinking changes quickly and easily.

Any other tips on the best ways to celebrate?

BJ has tons of ideas on how to celebrate (his Tiny Habits book has 100 ideas!), so I would really recommend you go to him if you want to consider lots of different ways to celebrate.

But I do have some thoughts on this.

First, if a mental, enthusiastic “Yes!” works for you, make that your go-to celebration, because it’s super simple and easy.

Second, to make this (or any other) mental celebration even more powerful, add something physical that feels good and natural to you. Like a small fist pump, a thumbs up, the “ok” sign, or a smile.

This mental + physical combo is powerful for celebration.

A bonus tip for making it easier to celebrate anywhere

Once you start celebrating and realize how powerful it is, you’ll probably want to be able to celebrate everywhere you go.

So here’s a final recommendation: have a go-to celebration technique that you can do anywhere and at any time without anyone even knowing, even if you’re in the middle of a conversation.

For example, a “Yes!” in your mind while you give yourself an imperceptible fist pump or thumbs up in your jeans pocket.

The point is that you can easily develop the skill of being able to celebrate at all times, whether in the privacy of your own home, or while delivering a speech on stage, without anyone even knowing what you’re doing.

Test it out and celebrate right now

You just learned some powerful, life changing information. So go ahead and celebrate this right now, in whatever way you prefer (like saying “Yes! in your mind), and see how it feels.

Does it feel easy, comfortable, and natural to you to celebrate?

If so, congratulations! You might be a natural and find it super easy to change your habits and thoughts moving forward with daily celebration.

On the other hand, does it feel weird, strange, uncomfortable, goofy, or unpleasant in any way for you to celebrate?

If so, congratulations! You just tried something new, and you learned something as a result. And it’s not a big deal at all to make it easier, more natural, and more comfortable to celebrate. You’ll see.

Does it feel hard or uncomfortable to celebrate? Especially if it’s something tiny?

Lots of people might find it easy to celebrate something big like a job promotion, but find it hard to celebrate something very tiny, like flossing one tooth or doing a tiny shift in thinking.

If you fully grasp the powerful, life-changing benefits of celebration, and you want to celebrate, but you find it weird, unpleasant, or a struggle for any reason, here’s what to do.

Go now to the Always Greater Celebration Tool which which will guide you step by step through the exact, easy, tiny shifts in thinking that will instantly help make celebrating feel more comfortable and natural to you.

It only takes a few minutes, and it has the power to change your life forever.

So try the tool out, and see if it helps make celebration instantly more comfortable, natural, and easy for you.

About the author

Hi, I'm Dave Fonvielle, the founder of Always Greater. On this website I teach you step by step how to be happier and more successful achieving your goals, whether it's completing a small personal to do task, like doing the dishes, or a large business goal, like launching a new product. Get my free 3 Tiny Habits for Being Happier & More Successful training for all of this right here. 

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