5 Unique and Easy Ways to Celebrate Small Wins
Anniversaries, graduations, birthdays and weddings aren’t the only events worth celebrating. Finally cleaning out the garage after putting it off all month long, or making plans to start your own small business? Those are small wins worth celebrating, but the sad truth is not many of us do.
People typically have no problem punishing themselves for making bad choices or for poor performance. We are quick to criticize and deny ourselves happiness when our own expectations aren’t met: even for the littlest offenses. Conversely, it seems we have a tremendously difficult time rewarding ourselves for a job well done. This behavior sets you up for failure for one major reason: you are essentially telling yourself that you are not worthy of being rewarded. This can decrease motivation and can make small wins feel meaningless.
Celebrating small wins activates the human reward circuity in our brains. This helps to keep us motivated, energized and triggers feelings of pride and accomplishment. All things that help propel you forward. The great thing about celebrating a small win is that they don’t have to be grand, fanciful affairs. That is, unless you want them to be!
If you think celebrating trivial things like an aced exam or nailing your grandmother’s recipe feels silly, congratulations. You are just like the rest of us. Now, go get yourself some cake and celebrate the journey rather than the outcome. You’re celebrating because you are becoming who you want to be. So go ahead. Feel silly and treat yo’self!
Here are some fun ways to celebrate small wins.
The Small Win Jar
Keep track of your little victories by making a keepsake small win jar. Write down your little victories on a small sheet of paper or a sticky note and place them in the jar. It’s rewarding when you add a new note but it also serves as a pick-me-up when you need some encouragement. It’s a fun way to see how far you’ve come and helps you plan your next moves.
Set Up a Benchmark Reward System
A fun way to reward yourself after achieving a goal is to hold something you desire ransom until you achieve it. Maybe you’ve been ogling those new designer shoes or have been wanting to have some guilt-free you time. Use these desires to motivate you to accomplish your goal. You can even tier your rewards.
Let’s say you’re studying for final exams and you goal is to get at least a B+ in all of your classes. You also want to take a fab vacation for a week with some friends when it’s all over. With every win, treat yourself with an element that will go towards your ultimate vacation. Got an A in psychology? Gift yourself a new suitcase. An A+ in your communications class? Time to shop for a new swimsuit. Make the very last gift to yourself booking that vacation package you’ve been drooling over! There are tons of creative ways to tier your reward system. Make sure to follow through and treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. You deserve it!
Create a Pamper Box
You finally managed to clean out the ENTIRE garage. It took you a whole week, but you did it! That’s something worth celebrating. Designate a box filled with your favorite little luxuries to treat yourself with when things get done. You can create a box with a candle and luxurious skincare products you usually save for special occasions. You can even make it a petty cash box so you can treat yourself to something special. Perhaps treating yourself to a fancy venti Frappuccino. Yes, VENTI!
You can make a gourmet tea and coffee box, a fancy cosmetics box, a baking box, a movie marathon box or anything you can think of that gets you excited. Be sure to pick items or activities that make you happy and fill your spirit.
Give Yourself Some Time
For many of us, time is precious and we can’t afford to waste it. We have our jobs, the kids’ activities, a household to keep up with, dinner to cook and a myriad of other obligations to attend to. Take a moment to stop and breathe. You DO have time. You just need to do a little scheduling. Just like you would schedule a doctor’s appointment for one of your family members, try making an appointment with yourself. Leave the kids with dad, grandma or a trusted friend for a few hours. Forget the housework and indulge in the little things that you wish you had more time for. Maybe it’s getting in a much needed haircut at your favorite salon or simply spending time taking a walk by yourself.
You CAN make time for yourself if you make it a priority. Reward yourself with the gift of being able to hear your own thoughts and stepping away from the grind. You’ll be amazed by how detoxifying it can be! If daytime hours aren’t possible, make your evenings count. Even an hour to yourself can be refreshing if you plan out your desired activities well in advance. When everyone is asleep, take an hour to do some yoga or give yourself a fabulous pedicure. You’ll be glad you did.
Get Together with Friends and Family
Here’s a fun idea. If you’re starting a small business and had a breakthrough, why not have a themed Netflix movie night and watch some fierce boss lady movies! Legally Blonde anyone? Or if you had a successful mommy moment why not get some people together for a fun mama game night? Sharing your experience with others is super rewarding and having a support system really helps you to stay on track. It’s a fun and easy way to celebrate small wins of all kinds!