You and I both know that there’s so many days that you actually do a good job. You go out in the world. You knock off your to-do lists. You do two or three things that stretch or push you. You add some creativity and flare to the world and you feel like you did a good job today.
Maybe you have a glass of wine and celebrate, or you eat your favorite food or you take a walk and you brag with your friends. Whatever it is for you, at the end of the day you feel pretty good about yourself,
Let’s be honest. There’s also plenty of days where you actually do the same thing, achieve those to-dos, make an impact, but then at the end of the day, you just go to bed and you don’t really notice that you’ve achieved something.
Celebrating your wins is all about celebrating the small steps, the initial steps, towards achieving your goals and knowing why that’s so important. You might win a couple games, but you didn’t win the championship, so you never let yourself feel like a winner. You do a good job a couple days at work, but no one said, “Great job,” and no one gave you a raise.
You don’t feel it because you’re not allowing yourself to feel the wins. We know from psychology and we know from goal attainment theory, that unless you’re starting with those small steps and giving yourself credit for them, the odds are you’re not going to go on to the next steps that are bigger, and bigger, and bigger. That’s because your identity is still at the beginning stage.
If you always feel like the beginner at something and you never feel the competency gains that comes from accomplishing and moving forward, by giving yourself credit for it, you’re not likely to take on the bigger things in life. So check yourself on this one.
When’s the last time you really gave yourself credit? When’s the last time you really celebrated just a small, little thing?
What did you do? What was the achievement, or what was the step you took and how did you celebrate? Did you go out to dinner? Did you tell your spouse about it? Did you write in your journal about it? Did you put something up and frame it? What did you do to celebrate your win?
Are you in a transition or embarking on creating new habits in your life right now? Maybe your career is changing or you want it to change, or your relationships are in transition, or you’re trying to get healthier. Those little steps you’re taking: are you celebrating them?
Well, here’s three ways that may help you think through it and do it more often.
#1: Create a Win Journal.
You need to have a place to collect your wins throughout the day. It can be a text you send yourself or a notes app on your phone. Whatever works for you. Being able to recall and remember your wins of the day is the hardest part. Capture them before they escape you.
In my Today I Can (TIC) membership, I ask everyone to share their wins on Friday. The week is done and some fun and downtime (hopefully) is ahead for the weekend. Everyone is in a more celebratory mood. Again, remembering those small wins is a big challenge.
I encourage you to end your day, capturing your wins no matter the size. Create a win habit!
At the end of everyday ask yourself:
- What did I do well today?
- What did I get done today?
- What first step did I take today?
- How did I take care of myself today?
- How did I show up that made me proud?
- What difficult thing did I handle with ease and grace?
- How did I help someone else today?
- What good things happened that I didn’t even anticipate?
Celebrating small wins is one of the most important parts of the confidence that I’ve gained in my own life, because I wasn’t a super confident kid. I accepted any kind of recognition with a shrug and told myself it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. At some point we’ve got to integrate our accomplishments and achievements into our identity if we’re going to feel stronger.
So tally up those wins, friend. At the end of the week, look at all your wins! Holy cow! Doesn’t that feel good.
My weekly win roundup is every Sunday night. I look back at the previous week and I ask myself a few questions. Even if it was just a little tiny thing, like sending an email or making a call. What small steps did I make this week that are going to make me better next week? What small steps did I take this week that will help me keep going on my goals? What small thing did I do that made me feel good about myself? What small steps did I take that I can celebrate?
If I don’t ask these questions every Sunday, it just doesn’t happen. So, when is your weekly reflection time?
#2. Feel the win. Allow yourself to actually feel the win. A lot of people will journal and they’ll write down a list, and the reflection becomes a to-do list. You have to relive it, and feel it, and integrate it. That is how wins generate confidence for you.
So when you’re doing your weekly win round-up, think about something great you did, a small step you took, and then just allow that heart-felt, deep connection to satisfaction that comes with recognizing yourself.
#3. Share them. You’re gonna grow stronger when you celebrate your wins by sharing them with others. I cannot believe how many people, like you, who are amazing and don’t take time to celebrate their wins. They don’t think it’s a big deal.
I want you to learn to share what you’re doing in your life with real enthusiasm.
That’s how you feel the wins. That’s how you celebrate the wins. Share it with enthusiasm.
You’re allowed to celebrate those successes with other people and not look like you’re bragging or overly proud. Sometimes, in sharing what we’re doing with enthusiasm, we feel better about life. We feel more engaged with others.
If you can’t celebrate your wins with people closest to you, or have to minimize yourself around them all the time, that’s not a real relationship. That’s lying.
If you’re not telling other people what you’re proud of in your life, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’ve achieved, not so that you can brag, but to share your real life, then you’re not playing the game of life really well.
You’re so scared of other peoples’ judgments. You’re never going to get far in life by minimizing yourself. Take pride and joy in what you’ve accomplished, share with enthusiasm.
Be more enthusiastic about your life. Share what you’re doing. Share those to-do lists you’re checking off. Share those accomplishments and the achievements and you’ll feel so much more connected with your life, which you deserve to be.
Yes, it’s that time. Time to celebrate the small wins. Capture your wins daily and reflect at the end of the week and celebrate. Remember to feel it and then share it.
Now, suddenly, celebrating those small wins becomes part of your practice. You feel your life turn back on and you’ll notice every single day that you’re more likely to try the harder things because you celebrated the smaller things.