Celebrate your small wins

Celebrate your small wins

We all lead relatively busy lives and have been through a particularly challenging couple of years with the pandemic, and then there’s our usual day to day challenges. We have goals, tasks to perform, to do lists, life, love, children….ahhhhh the list goes on!

It’s easy for us to forget to celebrate our small wins. In days gone by, it’d also be termed “stopping and smelling the roses” occasions. Not celebrating our small wins is a big mistake. Why?

Acknowledgement. Deep down we all crave some form of it. And we usually leave ourselves for last, avoiding (or forgetting) self-acknowledging our progress, the journey, our achievements and the part we played in that. We tend to disregard the steps and progress towards our goal and only count it as success if we reach the end goal. The end goal is not the only goal. The journey is important too. If we only focus on the end goal being the only success, it is demotivating. We can lose our motivation and momentum, even our will to drive “or sprint” towards reaching the end goal.

While you cannot just rely on momentum and motivation, we need them to keep us moving forward. Keep our chin up so to speak. It’s a key attribute to help us achieve and celebrating along the way ignites that motivation tool along our journey. It helps us to keep going and not give up.

The pathway, or journey to achieving your goals doesn’t need to be all hard slog and a rough journey. Celebrating the small wins will keep you on track, motivated, keep the momentum moving forward.

What to celebrate

The great thing about deciding what to celebrate is it looks different for everyone. We prioritise differently. We have our own unique goals. Our lives aren’t the same and the people in our lives too. Achievements look different to everyone and so do our small and big wins. And so, first you need to decide what your small accomplishment was.

For example, from a baby, there are milestones. Your parents didn’t just celebrate when you became an adult. There were birthdays, there was clapping and happiness at your first steps. Even your first independent poop on the potty! Hahaaaa. These are smaller celebrations towards your achieving toddler stage and through to adulthood. They captured many of that in a sort of journal, called a photo album. Captured the memories for momentos sake.

These days, facebook and Instagram capture those journal entries in posts for everyone to see, share and celebrate too, as the ecstatic parents congratulate their small wins along the way as proud parents of their beloved baby – child - adult. The same theory, we need to acknowledge and celebrate our small wins too.

You may celebrate achieving something on your to do list or action plan, by buying yourself a treat for hitting a milestone, in business or personally. I acknowledged myself when I was quitting smoking. For each month that I did not smoke, I bought myself a new shiny piece of jewellery, until I continued not to smoke and forgot to buy the jewellery. That’s when I knew I had “cracked it". 

How to celebrate

Here are some idea’s to celebrate small wins and big wins.

  1. Create and use a celebratory routine

What is a celebratory routine? This is an emotional reward that happens routinely. It’s structured the way you want.

Brainstorm rewarding activities that make you feel good, then put them in order from smallest feel good to biggest feel-good factor.

So, when you hit a small goal (for example, you have hit half-way through your goal or painted half the inside of the house when renovating), you start your celebratory routine.

Your celebratory routine looks the way you want it to look. You could split it into quarters rather than halves. It could include your favourite piece of jewellery, or a coffee outing with the bestie, buying a new book, breathing the sea air, a mani/pedi at your local beauty bar, or a quiet night in with a good book, bubble bath and bottle of wine.

Here are some other ideas:

  • Coffee/Tea/other at your favourite cafe
  • Reading books by the pool or amongst beautiful scenery/the garden
  • Relaxing at the beach
  • Picnic with a loved one (or by yourself!)
  • Face masks, home beauty spa, even bubble baths
  • Reflexology appointment
  • Massage

      2. Book an appointment with yourself

Sometimes we don’t take time out for ourselves. If you’re good at attending your appointments, make an appointment with yourself and take the time to celebrate your small win. This encourages your own self-care, self-love and acceptance. Simply take yourself out on a date, with yourself. This could mean going to see a movie solo, going to your favourite restaurant or cafe, going to a show, watching the sunset at the beach or it could look like anything else you want that would make you feel acknowledged properly for the small win achieved.

  1. Keep an ‘achievements or wins journal’

An achievements journal is a record any achievements or goals you make, ‘big’ or ‘small’.

It doesn’t require much effort. You record your achievement, or win and note how you felt about it. This could be a journal, or alternatively, this is so simply with the use of social media (facebook and Instagram). You don’t even have to share the post with anyone except yourself. The great thing about these settings on social media is they pop up again and remind you at a later day of that achievement and make you feel good all over again! And it motivates you to progress again, or inspires you to want to achieve again and again.

Whether you use a paper or online journal, every day write a small entry focusing on the small wins or a small win you had throughout the day (you can also document large achievements where suited) be mindful and present in this moment, allow yourself to feel good about what you’ve achieved. This is a great tool for gratefulness, mindfulness and motivating for future achievements.

  1. Celebratory music

It’s much easier to put a playlist together with spotify now, then it was with a tape recorder. Yes, showing my age. Here’s an idea! Put a playlist together with all of your favourite feel-good music. When you want to celebrate, crank up the volume and boogie! Dance like no one is watching!

  1. Share it with a friend or family member

If it’s a bragging group you want, I have an amazing feminine business group I attend where there are many amazing women in business. We as women usually grow up not encouraged to “blow our own trumpet” and to “not stand out”. Within this group, we have a few moments set aside to specifically brag to each other about the awesome things we’ve achieved and proud of, to literally get it out of our system and into the universal portal. It’s liberating!

Your loved ones may appreciate hearing about your small wins and your goals. They also can make great accountability partners, but you need to make sure they won’t just let things go when you lose momentum.

Accountability partners, chosen well, are a great motivator to check in with you once in awhile and see that you are on track to achieving your goal. You could reciprocate and be their accountability partner too!

I know for myself, with our team online tasks to do list, if I’m the only one who sees a particular task, it generally takes me longer to complete it, if at all. However, if I know the whole team can see the deadline and the fact I am not hitting it before the due date, it’s definitely a motivating factor for me!

  1. Reflection

It is important to reflect on how well you are doing and feel proud of yourself. Relax and meditate on a job well done. Be mindful on this moment to ensure you get the full benefit of congratulating yourself. This can be difficult to begin with, so practice it regularly. Or, you may be an active relaxer, so build this into your routine to ensure you fully acknowledge your achievement(s). 

  1. The end goal

Your small wins need celebrating. You deserve it. They deserve it. This is your path to gratefulness and it makes the journey so much more enjoyable!

It’s a pretty sad and hard-edged person who only acknowledges the success or failure of the final outcome. It can be a win win. Don’t fixate more than you need to on the end goal, as celebrating the small wins along the way ensures you continue to make progress towards that end goal.

All of the insights, learnings and celebrating the small wins, acknowledges your milestones. It also helps you to continue to be motivated, while staying positive and having a winning positive attitude.

Carol Manukau – June 2022

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