Making a fresh start can bring on big-time excitement. You’re setting a new goal or refreshing an old one. You’re envisioning a grand future, and your motivation is at an all-time high.
Turning over a new leaf can be a thrill-ride, fo ‘sho. But just like everything else, it has a flip side…
Sometimes you look at where you are right now and compare it to where you wish you were. And the distance between the two becomes an insurmountable space.
It can feel as though “success” only means crossing the finish line. You start to believe that you don’t deserve any praise until you’ve hit your goal. And not a moment before.
But the only way to the promised land is one step at a time. And if you hold off on celebrating until you arrive, you might eventually stop taking those steps.
You’ll get stuck. You’ll feel the sting of discouragement. Before you know it, you’ll wonder if you just need to quit altogether. And make another fresh start.
How do you avoid this potential pitfall when you’re starting over or starting new?
All you have to do is get on your path, take it one step at a time, and celebrate every victory along the way. That means acknowledging all your wins along your pathway. And it’s the step that so many of us miss when we’re chasing a goal.
Think of how quickly you call yourself out when you make a mistake. Most of us never miss a chance to criticize ourselves when we mess up, do we?
So if it’s so easy to berate yourself for doing something wrong, why not give yourself an equal amount of love when we you something right?
Dale Carnegie put it this way: “Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise,” he states. That means praising every improvement, even the slightest ones.
So today, we’re talking about celebration. Acknowledging every win, no matter how big or how small. Giving yourself props for showing up and getting it done, one step at a time.
Let’s say you’re focusing on eating a healthier and more supportive diet. Do you give yourself a high five every time you eat a carrot stick instead of a cupcake? And are you the first to congratulate yourself every time you hit the gym or get out for a walk around your block?
The truth is that you deserve that praise. Every little step in the right direction should be noted and celebrated. And more than likely, you’ve probably missed out on a few chances to give yourself the high-fives that you have coming!
How does giving yourself credit for every win propel you to even more success? I’ve identified 3 significant reasons why celebrating all of your positive steps will only bring you more success.
Let’s talk about that right here!
Reason #1: Celebration Gets You Into The Dopamine Zone. You’ve probably heard me talk about dopamine before, there’s a reason for that. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that your brain releases when you get moving, take action, and get things done.
In other words, we’re talking about the natural high that keeps you going!
When you acknowledge that you’ve taken a step in the right direction, even a baby one, you get a hit of that feel-good chemical. And it works wonders for your mood, your motivation, and your progress.
So acknowledge yourself for every win, let your brain kick out the dopamine, and let that feel-good neurotransmitter put you in the mood to keep moving forward.
Reason #2: Celebration keeps you in the present moment. By definition, “goals” represent the future. A goal is something that you’re working toward, but it’s still off in the distance. Fair enough.
But at the same time, you can’t live in the future. The only place that you can ever be is in this moment. So how can you incorporate a future goal into your present life?
Be mindful, slow down, and acknowledge where you are right NOW. And if you’ve done anything at all to move toward your big, crazy, future-based goal, then celebrate it!
You can make a future goal relatable in the present moment by acknowledging every step that you take to get there.
This is where that old saying, “the joy is in the journey” comes in!
Be mindful of the future, but stay in the moment–because the NOW is the moment in which you can take action toward your future.
Don’t wait until you achieve your ultimate result to show yourself appreciation. Acknowledge every incremental step in the right direction, and do it one moment at a time.
Reason #3: Celebration helps you build the strength to take on the inevitable challenges. No matter how committed you are to a goal, you’ll have moments where you fall off the wagon.
I’ve had those struggles a lot since I started focusing on my health this past August. Most of the time I make healthy food choices and get adequate exercise, but I’m not gonna lie–things happen. Sometimes I straight-up blow off the diet and skip the gym.
Now, we all make mistakes. But wallowing in them doesn’t make things any better. In fact, if you choose to go down a shame spiral every time you fall off the horse, eventually, you won’t get back on the horse at all.
But if you own up to your mistakes while also giving yourself credit for a win, it serves two purposes.
First, you learn from your mess-ups without beating yourself up. Second, it strengthens your resolve to keep going even in the face of failure. It helps you stay in the game without insisting upon perfection.
And trust me, that makes ALL the difference in whether or not you stay on the path!
For example, I’ve had days where I didn’t make healthy food choices, but I did manage to get to the gym. I might not have been perfect on the one hand, but I also did something right on the other. And I gave full acknowledgement to both sides.
What did this strategy do for me?
It allowed me to recover from a setback, forgive myself for not being perfect, and at the same time acknowledge a win. The result? I stayed on my path and came back even stronger.
Now you know why giving yourself credit for your good moves is such a big deal. But that begs the next question: how do you celebrate every win? Does every little step deserve a ticker-tape parade or a spa day?
Here’s the thing: celebrations don’t necessarily have to be reward-driven. You don’t have to go on a big splurge in money, food, or other tangible rewards to make a celebration “count.”
In fact, sometimes something as small as a heartfelt compliment to yourself will do!
Here’s a simple celebratory trick I use for my everyday wins. I call it the “jar of awesomeness,” and it goes like this…
Every time you do something amazing, write yourself a little love note and drop it in a jar. Collect those notes in your jar and save them for a rainy day.
Then, when those bad days hit, you’ve got an entire jar of pick-me-ups! It can build you back up when the day goes south, and it will give you the momentum to get back on track.
That’s just one suggestion! There are countless ways to celebrate your wins, and I invite you to find the ones that work best for you.
Give yourself a high five. Maybe genuine and heartfelt smile. Break into a happy dance or sing your favorite song.
But no matter how you acknowledge your wins, don’t blow off the celebration. Because let’s be real–if you beat yourself up for every little thing you do wrong, you can give yourself a little love for everything you do right!
Be a little less hard on yourself. Acknowledge your awesomeness no matter what. That mindset will keep up your momentum, carry you forward, and help you get past the hurdles in your path.
It doesn’t matter how you celebrate every victory. Just remember that on the pathway to your personal greatness, every little step deserves recognition. So give yourself that with every step on your journey!
Looking for a space to celebrate your wins and help others do the same for themselves? Then the Groove Seekers community is the place for you! Here you’ll find a place to toot your own horn, get support and encouragement, and help others celebrate their little victories, too!
Stop by and check out the Groove Seekers community on Facebook right HERE!