When we’re striving towards our goals, it’s easy to be so focused on our final aspirations that we forget to celebrate the smaller milestones along the way. Keeping your eyes on the prize is important—it’s the end goal that often motivates us to get going on our personal journeys. At the same time, if you consider that final achievement as the only one worthy of celebration, you might start feeling discouraged when it’s not quickly in reach. That’s why celebrating the little victories is so important.
When you work with a life coach, you’ll usually begin by establishing your largest goals. Where do you want to be in five years? In ten? As we all know, achieving this kind of long-term goal is an exercise in patience, discipline, and dedication, and sometimes we need that feeling of achievement and victory along the way. That’s why life coaches tend to break down your largest goals and wildest dreams into a list of smaller objectives. With each small obstacle you overcome, you can tangibly keep track of your progress and celebrate each step on the way to your final destination.
It’s clear why life coaches encourage this method of breaking up large goals into smaller pieces. The feeling of achievement is invaluable for our self-esteem, and is a powerful motivator when it comes to keeping us on track. What you might still be wondering, however, is how to adopt this attitude.
How to start celebrating your victories (even the small ones)
When I work with a client in a life coaching role, I make the celebration of victories both big and small a priority. Everyone has a different method of how they actually celebrate, from celebrating with a fancy dinner, to taking a day off to relax, to throwing a party. What remains the same across all of my clients, however, is the philosophy needed in order to allow yourself to celebrate. Here are a few of the top suggestions I make to clients:
1. Write down every victory, no matter how small
One great way to start getting better at celebrating yourself is to document your wins. Experiment with keeping a notebook exclusively dedicated to your personal victories. This can be as simple as ‘I finished the project before the deadline,’ or as complex as listing the obstacles that stood in your way, how you overcame them, and the resulting victory.
What’s most important is that you don’t exclude a victory for being too small or too insignificant. As you get in the habit of writing down your accomplishments, they’ll start to register more and more as achievements in your mind as well, which will lead to a more positive attitude towards your efforts. Whenever you’re feeling unmotivated or like you’re not up to a task, you can return to this notebook and see a complete catalogue of everything you’ve accomplished so far, which can be invaluable in getting you back in the race.
2. Treat yourself
What would a celebration be without a little treat? This looks different for everyone, whether your idea of indulging in a tasty dessert, taking a night off from your responsibilities, or going out one evening with your closest friends. Getting into the habit of actually celebrating your achievements will help form the connection that they truly are victories, and will help get you in the mindset to acknowledge them as such.
3. Acknowledge your hard work and your progress
Acknowledging your hard work may seem obvious to some. After all, it was you who put in that effort, and no one else! However, it can be easy for us to discount this or take it for granted. Rather than dismissing your hard work as par for the course or the bare minimum, realize just how much you’ve put into achieving your goals. No one else could have done it quite like you, and that fact should be celebrated. Even if you fail, it’s not a net loss as long as you learn from the experience, and that should be recognized as well.
4. Build a supportive network
No person is an island, and no one who ever achieved their goals did it entirely on their own. Whether you have friends and peers who tangibly help you achieve your goals, or who are simply happy to cheer you on as you strive towards them, it’s vital to have a strong network of supportive people around you. These are the people who pick you up when you’re down, hear you out when you’re struggling, and celebrate your achievements as if they’re their own. One vital piece of this network is often a life coach, someone who will consistently be in your corner to celebrate your success and help set your sights on the next goal.
These are just some of the ways you can learn to celebrate your wins. When I work with clients, I encourage them to develop a routine of celebration that works for them specifically, since there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to acknowledging a victory.
Giving yourself permission to celebrate
Sometimes, we’re reluctant to truly celebrate our small achievements because they feel insignificant in relation to our grander goals. Recognizing your victories can feel boastful, or a distraction from the task at hand. In reality, the more we celebrate our lives, the more in life there is to celebrate. If we allow ourselves to stay laser focused on only our most distant goals, it’ll be a long time before you’re feeling worthy of celebration.
The truth is, it’s easy to lose motivation and the will to succeed when we don’t see tangible progress. Think of everyone who starts out on a weight loss journey with all the motivation in the world, only to drop off the bandwagon in a few weeks when they’re not seeing the results they were hoping for. If you have a goal of dropping twenty pounds, and that’s the only goal you’re willing to celebrate, there’s a good chance you’ll start to feel dejected when you realize how long it’ll take. Instead of only allowing yourself to celebrate that final goal, if you set smaller milestones in increments of say, five pounds, you’ll be feeling that sense of achievement and progress far more often, and likely feel more motivated to keep on keeping on.
The same is true for personal and professional goals that you set with a life coach. One of the most important things I teach my clients is to give themselves permission to celebrate their victories, even the little ones. When you allow yourself to feel good about your accomplishments, amazing things happen to your motivation. It’s an exponential process of goal setting, to planning, to hard work, to results, to celebration, to setting another goal. The incredible thing about this process? It gets easier every time.
If you’re interested in getting better at celebrating your achievements and pushing yourself to accomplish your goals, I can help. With decades of combined experience in business and life coaching, my skills have proved invaluable for people of walks in life. If you have more questions about celebrating victories, setting goals, or embracing life’s obstacles, don’t hesitate to contact me today.