“Celebrate The Small Successes!”

Baby steps…toddler steps…sometimes this is the pace we have to take to achieve our end goals and desires.  Overcoming any kind of struggle can be very daunting, frustrating and discouraging, and setting large goals can seem overwhelming.  They require patience that sometimes we don’t think we have anymore.  It’s easy to get over-ambitious and all too often, we are looking for an overnight success, which is understandable.  In the meantime, we overlook and neglect the small accomplishments that lead to larger victories.  Busy schedules can bog us down; pain can seem to overtake our entire waking moments that we wonder if there is ever an end; then we miss the chance to celebrate those wins.  Progress is good at any level because it means we are headed in the right direction.  I realize this is easier said than done.  Believe me, I’ve been there many times.

When you have a success, do you say a quick “yay”, move on as if nothing special happened, and then rarely or never give it another thought?  The next time you have a success, remember this:  Recognize…Reward…and Celebrate!  You are working hard to reach your goal, so don’t brush it aside.  The body and mind need the reinforcement and encouragement.  When you celebrate, you are helping to breed an attitude of “I’m successful” to your mind, which will then breed more success.  One success leads to another to another and hopefully you will accelerate the process of reaching your goals, i.e., the snowball effect.  Mental health affects physical health.

If someone you care about is struggling, help them by providing encouragement, compassion and support.  They need it…and the more the better.  Recognize and celebrate their successes with them.  Call or email them if you are geographically far away.  The encouragement will help legitimize and accelerate their progress, and will help them feel good about themselves to know that others care.  Not responding, or responding with a short, fleeting, unattentive, “that’s good” and then going about your business may leave that person feeling more discouraged and invalidate the value of their achievement.  Also, realize that a seemingly small step for you may be a huge accomplishment for the person who is struggling.  Don’t minimalize it.  Be enthusiastic about their achievements.  If you’ve had an accomplishment recognized and rewarded before, remember how uplifting and motivating you felt.  You probably felt great that someone really noticed.

If you are the person struggling, here are some things that may help you recognize your achievements along the way:

  • Journal – I journal every day and try to keep track of the good, the bad and the in-between.  One thing I need to do is separate the successes into a separate list so I can look back on my progress along the way.  It’s a good thing to draw on when you hit bumps in the road and setbacks.
  • Awareness – when you have a success, take time to acknowledge it.  Soak it in.  Bask in your accomplishment!
  • Share your successes with your friends and family – Tell someone who is genuinely with you along this journey!  It’s a big deal!  And it’s even better when you can share and celebrate with friends and family who demonstrate they truly care about your progress.
  • Celebrate – Even if you happen to be alone, celebrate yourself anyway!  Don’t brush over it.  Celebrating can be something as simple as snuggling in a cozy blanket and savoring your favorite music or treat.
  • Reward yourself – Make time for yourself; go shopping; buy yourself something; somehow treat yourself.
  • Blog – If you are comfortable doing so, tell others of your success.  There a whole community of blogging friends where you can encourage and support each other.  I have had many who visit and leave kind, encouraging comments on my blogs!

I still have a long way to go in my healing, but I’ve had many small successes and a few big successes along the way.  My most recent success was when I had an overall decrease in pain to a level that I hadn’t experienced in over 2 ½ years!  (My normal pain range is from “7 to 9” on a pain scale, but on that day, the pain level dropped to a “6”!)  It was for a few hours one afternoon, and then it happened again a few days later.  It’s two occurrences, but  still an important step because it tells me that more should be on the way if I continue my treatments and exercises.  When I called my mother to tell her about it, she was so excited that she said an enthusiastic, “Yay, yippee, I’m sooooooo happy!  That’s wonderful!  We need to celebrate!  I’m taking you out shopping and then out to dinner!”  I couldn’t help but smile and feel good.  She knows me well.  When she picked me up, she gave me a HUGE bear hug!  My hubby was really happy and took me on a short road trip.  A road trip is something I haven’t been able to do in over 2 ½ years also, so that was another big success to note.

Remember, even a small success is a step in the right direction…and that IS a big deal!  Recognize…Reward…Celebrate!

How do you recognize your achievements?  What are some of the successes you’ve had and how did you celebrate?  It can be any type of success, not just health related.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Clare Flourish
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 16:04:58

    Celebrating: I find that difficult, I am looking at the work I need to do. So, thank you for that.


  2. mcolmo
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 17:27:53

    I think I can make a small list of last year’s achievements:
    1. got leaner and stronger
    2. started doing yoga
    3. augmented my pulmonary capacity to 100% (used to be 88% due to asthma related problems)
    4. finished my book and published it.

    How do I celebrate? I’m having a party inside all the time! 😀


  3. TBM
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 01:49:00

    Great post! I’m a huge believer in celebrating successes. I know it makes me feel better when I accomplish something and I love to recognize other’s as well. Congrats on the road trip!


  4. Laurel's Reflections
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 12:43:00

    What a lovely post. I’m so glad for your brief respite from pain, and hope this continues. Celebrating is luckily something my mother taught me how to do well, and for this I am deeply grateful. We usually find ways to celebrate the large and small successes, with a glass of good wine to toast with (a rare treat, and of course not while I was on pain medication!) or a special dinner, or cuddling up with a movie instead of working through the evening. Recent successes include getting our UK citizenship applications completed, my getting out of hospital, my return to work. When I am finally well enough to cycle to work again, there will be a big celebration of some sort, as that will be a huge milestone for me!


  5. Betty Hayes Albright
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 16:44:25

    Thank you for this! (And I hope you have more “6” days – and better.) You help a lot of people with your posts, I’m sure.
    With gratitude, Betty


  6. ElizOF
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 21:37:46

    This is beautiful and I send you virtual hugs and healing light. 😉


  7. granbee
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:37:49

    Hooray and double hooray for the improvement in your pain! I do all these steps you listed to celebrate my successes. I also love to sketch and write poems on the borders of the sketches. I CELEBRATE your improvement with the pain issue!


  8. Cee Neuner
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 14:16:49

    I do forgot to bask in the realization that I made a small achievement. Thanks for the reminder.


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