How to Celebrate When You Achieve a Dream

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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How to Celebrate When You Achieve a Dream: Dreams Come True Buy at

A redhead, a Harvard grad, a “recovering perfectionist,” a modern-day mystic, and famously neurotic although she lives her dreams in spite of it… I could be describing myself, or one of my heroes, Martha Beck, a best-selling author and life coach whose work I first stumbled onto about five years ago when reading one of her columns in Oprah’s “O” magazine.

I loved her feistiness, her sense of humor, how direct she was, ambitious and self-deprecating in a charming way. She gave tips on how to live a happier, fuller life.

I went out and bought her books. I loved them – Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live and Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny.  It was one of those reading experiences where I plowed through both books in a sitting or two, and every word truly resonated for me.

I was considering becoming a life coach back then, to expand my skill set and create a completely location-independent business to complement my writing, to allow me to travel, and of course to help people achieve a dream, while also living mine.

Achieve a Dream: Martha Beck

Pursuing the Dream!

It took me a few years to decide to commit to life coach training. In the meantime, I was still playing with other career possibilities, including running for office in my little city of Troy, New York. I wanted to be sure before investing the time and money that this truly felt like the right next step.

Finally in the spring of 2011 I decided it was time. I signed up for the June life coach training with Martha Beck, my long-time inspiration.

I’d researched several life coach training programs, and hers was comparably priced, and seemed more intensive and in-depth than some of the others. Besides, I’d be meeting and working with someone I’d admired for years, and someone who is arguably one of the best known life coaches in the U.S. (Martha now tours with Oprah, and co-produces her “Live Your Best Life” show on Oprah’s OWN network).

I was off and running in an eight-month life coach training program!

The classes wrapped up last spring, but I still had to take my certification exam to be an “official” Certified Martha Beck Life Coach.

At Long Last, A Dream Achieved!

I finally took the written exam in August and passed with flying colors, thank goodness! It was a weeklong process, and incorporated many of the concepts we’d studied, including the fun exercise of doing a “dream analysis” with a client.

Then, last week, I had to coach one of the Martha Beck master coaches live (on the phone) in order to complete my certification process.

I coached Master Coach Chris Brandt. I was nervous and kept checking in with her ahead of time to make sure I was prepping correctly for the call.

She told me to just relax, have fun and approach it as a conversation between the two of us.

I set aside a few minutes to just breathe, meditate and visualize success before the call.

One-half hour later, I’d coached Chris through a challenge she was facing in her life, and survived it! Had fun, even!

“You did a great job,” she said. I got some constructive feedback as well to help me be an even better coach. But I passed!


Next Up: Marketing Fun!

As an official Certified Martha Beck Coach, I will be featured on her Website and get to use her logo and coaching materials with my clients.

I still have to finish designing my own Website, and get that up and running (you can visit my old Website here:

So many new projects to launch, now that I’m a certified coach…. More teleclasses and coaching clients, more workshops and speaking engagements… I will have fun designing the next steps!

Luckily I also have all the tools that I’ve learned through Martha Beck to “self-coach,” and can reach out to the other coaches if I need help working through an issue. It’s a very friendly and connected group, and many of us have kept in touch via our Facebook life coach training page.

A Big Milestone

This is a big milestone for me, since it’s a dream I’ve been thinking about, exploring and now working on for a few years. Completing my certification process will help me to grow my business; I “feel” more official and am more equipped with great tools to help people to follow their own inner guidance to live their dreams.

Sometimes when we reach a milestone, cross a threshold, achieve a long-held dream, we’re so anxious to move on to the next thing that we forget to celebrate our accomplishments.

I’m going to suggest that celebrating YOU is the most important thing that you can do after you achieve a dream you have long desired.

Here are some possible ways to celebrate when you achieve a dream:

  1. Celebrate with friends who will cheer you on and who know what you have sacrificed and how hard you’ve worked to achieve your dream goal!
    I spent last Saturday in charming New Paltz, New York with my friend Bianca, who is my “accountability partner” (we email each other a to-do list ever weekday, and coach each other as we work towards our goals).
  2. Do something to replenish yourself and your spirit.
    For me, this week attending a service at a Baptist church with a rocking band and choir (I love gospel!) and visiting a very spiritual friend on Sunday. We shared vegan pizzas and salad, and talked about how to live our highest possibilities. Good for the soul!
  3. Do something active and fun!
    This, so far, for me has been taking more dance classes – hip hop, belly dancing and Zumba lately along with my usual aerobic dance “BodyJam” classes at my gym.
  4. Buy yourself something nice!
    While in New Paltz with Bianca, I bought a miniature compass, because it is a symbol that Martha Beck refers to frequently (trusting our “inner compass” to guide us on the path). It signifies, to me, trusting in my soul to guide me on my magical life journey.
  5. Get excited about your next goal!
    For me, this includes growing my business, polishing my business Website, and planning out more workshops and teleclasses. I’ve always had fun doing this work, and am looking forward to the next steps…

I am also considering skydiving this weekend with a friend to signify making a major leap forward in my life. I don’t mean to suggest that this is the way for everyone to celebrate, however – I tend to live on the edge and am pretty adventurous, and know that adventure sports are not for everyone!

The point is not what you do, just that it is important to acknowledge yourself and what you have achieved.

Reaching Your Milestones! 

What are some of the milestones you’ve reached lately while working on your dream?

And how will you celebrate your dream achievements this week?


  • Contrats Lisa on your great dream achievement.Celebrating is always put on my back burner so I’ll take you up on  toasting to success!

  • Cath

    Congratulations Lisa.  It’s hard to remember to celebrate the milestones.  I am always looking at the next thing I have to do.  Thanks for reminding me to celebrate! 

    • Lisa Powell Graham

      Well you do SO much – maybe WE all need to celebrate you and the milestones more too! Make sure you take some time to celebrate the latest – your new job, 2 million page views, big stuff – soon!!! love you!! XO