How To Celebrate Small Wins And Make Greater Progress

Beautiful Young Woman Outdoors. How to celebrate small wins

Learning how to celebrate tiny victories is an incredibly useful way to stay motivated and keep you working towards your dreams and goals.

I’ve explained in more detail why celebrating small wins makes such a difference to us in this article.

Here, I want to focus on exactly what you can do in order to feel good about your achievements, which in turn will motivate you to make even more progress.

Note, I also cover this topic in my mini-course, Find Your You: Life Review. Check it out now.

Take a look at these 6 suggestions:

1. Recognise what you’ve done with a ta-da! list

Each time you complete a task or activity, especially if they are habits you want to form or maintain or tasks and milestones for a larger project, write them on a blank piece of paper.

By the end of the day, you’ll have a ta-da! list that is cause for celebration, even if that’s in the form of a sticker.

A ta-da! list doesn’t replace your to do list but it helps you to recognise what you got done during the day by providing a written record.

2. Make time to reflect throughout the day

If you don’t want to write down all the good things you’ve managed to do during the day, try using your bathroom and refreshment breaks for reflection.

While you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or washing your hands, you could look back on the past couple of hours and consider what you’ve achieved.

A mantra like this could come in handy (adapt it to suit yourself):

“I’ve achieved more than I had an hour ago. I’m heading in the right direction.”

3. Feel proud and excited

Pride has a bad reputation as one of the 7 deadly sins but it’s also one of the 10 positive emotions we experience. As such, it’s really important to allow yourself to feel proud of yourself when you accomplish a specific task or activity.

Keep the momentum going by reminding yourself of the positive outcome you are working towards and use your pride to fuel your excitement.

Happy woman celebrating a small win

4. Share your positive emotions

Forget what you were told as a kid about not bragging. Tell your friends, family or colleagues what you’ve accomplished.

Providing you aren’t trying to lord it over other people, those close to you are likely to be happy to hear about your success and want to cheer you on.

If you know you’ve got some Negative Nellies in your circle, you can be selective about who you choose to share your good news with.

If you’re in a suportive Facebook group with like-minded people, that would be a safe place to share.

5. Let others know your plan

Telling other people about your goals and achievements adds in external accountability as well as support.

You’re more likely to summon up whatever resources you need in order to get something done if you have to report to someone else, even on an informal basis, than if you’re going it alone.

You can also share when you’re struggling and need some encouragement or help. As Brené Brown explained in her TED talk, vulnerability is not such a bad thing.

6. Celebrate your little wins!

Not every action warrants a full blown party but even the small wins deserve a moment of self-congratulation.

Try to choose a reward that reinforces your progress rather than undoes it; stuffing your face with chocolate cake after every run is not the wisest move.

Check out these fun and healthy ways to acknowledge your success: 

30 cheap and easy ways to celebrate small wins

Pick one of these fun ways to celebrate small wins, or make a celebration jar full of ideas that you can dip into whenever you need inspiration or a treat.

I have a version of this list on my notice board (titled Fun Things To Do That Are Not Facebook Scrolling).

  1. Go for a walk in nature
  2. Listen to birdsong, real or recorded
  3. Watch a funny animal video or comedy sketch
  4. Remind yourself of your big dream – gaze at your vision board if you have one
  5. Have a 5-minute dance party
  6. Listen to your favourite song and sing along!
  7. Put some money in a jar so you can save up for a big reward
  8. High five someone nearby
  9. Stand outside for 5 minutes
  10. Watch some clouds
  11. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how awesome you are
  12. Add a sticker to your achievement chart
  13. Make some time to read a book or magazine
  14. Eat your favourite meal
  15. Watch a beautiful nature video
  16. Have a delicious smoothie
  17. Have a massage, even if you have to learn how to give yourself a hand or foot massage
  18. Jump up, punch the air and shout Woohoo!, even if you’re on your own
  19. Buy or pick some flowers
  20. Arrange to spend quality time with friends
  21. Do some yoga or other exercise that you enjoy
  22. Create your own victory ritual
  23. Take time out to do your favourite creative endeavour
  24. Plan a fun activity to coincide with your deadlines so you have something to look forward to
  25. Feel gratitude 
  26. Strike your Power Pose – if you haven’t got one yet, invent one
  27. Meditate 
  28. Treat yourself to something you like
  29. Write a note to thank someone who has helped you get this far
  30. Give yourself a sticker!

What would you add to the list?

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