Celebrate Your Wins, Big and Small to Improve Your Life

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Celebrate every time you achieve something!

Celebrating your successes will give you the motivation to get to the next level.

The celebration is also a break that refills you for future achievements.

Find out how and what to celebrate.

celebrate small wins

I will show you how the celebration helps you get more willpower in any field where you have goals.

Make your life more colorful and motivate yourself by breaking your goals into smaller tasks that you can finish every day. Celebrate the small wins.

As the author Tim Ferriss put it when writing a book:

celebrate quote Ferriss

My quota is two crappy pages per day. I keep it really low, so I’m not so intimidated that I never get started. ~ Tim Ferriss

Celebrating your victories will give you a sense of accomplishment. Celebrating will also mark the end of something. You will get closure and can move to new things. Don’t wait too long to celebrate, chunk things down to smaller pieces and celebrate small victories.

Break things up

Most of us have had projects that go on and on and on. Mind-numbingly, every day. Find ways to create smaller milestones to break big things into manageable sizes and celebrate when you reach a milestone.

For example, when laying bricks, every brick may be a bit too small to celebrate progress. Depending on what you are building, you can celebrate every row of bricks or when you reach waist-high or eye level. You can time your celebration so it coincides with your breaks.

Breaking things up into smaller tasks is also a great way to avoid procrastination. Making the task you have to do small enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed, helps you get started and keep going.

Celebrate small wins

The celebration does not have to mean a big party with balloons and fireworks.

For example, today I ran my fastest 10K this season. It’s not a big deal. I will have many faster runs coming up, but I celebrated it by giving myself a really tasty dessert at lunchtime.

Like in AA celebrate different milestones that you pass on your way to success and achieving your goals:

  • The first time you did something
  • First day
  • First week
  • 10 days
  • Two weeks
  • A month
  • 10 percent
  • Half

All these milestones help you gauge your progress and keep up the motivation.

Pat your teammates on the back. Have a cake or just acknowledge the accomplishment and congratulate yourself and others on the job well done.

celebrate dancing Mandela

Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead. ~ Nelson Mandela

Harvard Business Review article points out that celebrating even small wins helps a lot:

The good news is that even small wins can boost inner work life tremendously. Many of the progress events our research participants reported represented only minor steps forward. Yet they often evoked outsize positive reactions.

The key point that makes small wins useful is that you break your large tasks into smaller manageable objectives that motivate you. The study “Small Wins,” University of Michigan psychologist Karl Weick:

A series of concrete, complete outcomes of moderate importance build a pattern that attracts allies and deters opponents.

The celebration may be as small as making a cross in the calendar and feeling good about it.

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celebrate calendar

Celebrate big successes

When you reach a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, celebrate in full force.

How to celebrate a goal?

Go all out.

Party hats and everything. Invite everybody to join and share the good vibes. With big celebrations, you don’t have to limit the people with the group that was involved. Invite everybody:

  • friends,
  • family members,
  • co-workers
  • business partners, etc.

The celebration creates meaning and motivation for all the people who were involved or just followed the progress.

Take time off to celebrate your big goals. Grinding all the way to your success is all good, but giving yourself a break every once in a while will get you there even faster. When taking a break to celebrate consider the following:

  1. Do something different from your everyday activities.
  2. Move around and be physically active. Dancing comes to mind.
  3. Be outside, preferably in nature.
  4. Be social, do it with people who matter in your life.
  5. Disconnect and detach yourself from the daily routine.

When you do all that, then you get tons of motivation and rest to tackle your next big challenge.

1000-day writing challenge

For example, when I completed my 1000-day writing challenge, I celebrated with a trip to the French Riviera. The M’s on the picture are part of my new challenge of meditating daily.

1000-day writing challenge celebration

Celebrate by yourself

I should hold big celebrations with the people you care about. But sometimes it’s a small thing, or there’s just nobody available.

Managed to solve this Sudoku?


Created fire on an inhabited island after the shipwreck?


Even alone, the mental state of celebration will make you ready for new challenges.

Celebrate your small wins by giving yourself a break or a treat. The promise of the desired award at the end of the task makes you more motivated, and you will finish faster. Celebration makes you happier and happier people are 12 percent more creative.

hardest sudoku

The Everest of numerical games was devised by Arto Inkala, a Finnish mathematician, and is specifically designed to be unsolvable to all but the sharpest minds.

Celebrate with friends

Ask friends to share your moments of success. Create an event that will give credit to the people involved and be fun to attend to everybody else. Include your family (if appropriate), go ahead make your parents proud. Connect with others and share your moment of happiness.

Sam Walton celebrate

Celebrate your successes. Find some humor in your failures. ~ Sam Walton

How to celebrate your small wins?

When you complete a blog post or see the lowest value on the scale in a month, celebrate. Celebrating personal success gives meaning to what you do for yourself.

But how?

The first thing is to notice your small wins. We often accomplish incredible things but do not remember to give ourselves credit for them.

The absolutely simplest thing you can do is to pat yourself on the shoulder and tell yourself, “Mary, you did good!” I use the third person as research shows it works better.

When it’s a task you just accomplished, then you could take a quick break. Stand up, stretch, go for a short walk. Or it could just be that you note the win and get up for a cup of coffee.

Buy yourself ice cream. OK, maybe you don’t like ice cream. Give yourself a treat. The treat doesn’t have to be food. You can give yourself a small present. One thing to remember is to never use food as a reward for fitness and weight-loss goals.

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You could do something you really love doing. Play a video game, watch a Youtube video, or something else that you want to indulge in. Podcast, books, TV-shows.

Share your small win with a friend or family. Give a treat to them when you have a small win. Soon they’ll start to ask how your day went and if you reached any milestones lately.

You could create a success journal where you write down your small wins. Every time you feel demotivated you can flip through the journal and see how far you have come.

You know kids get stars for completing tasks? You can do the same for yourself. However, don’t set a goal for getting a lot of stars or it will become a source of stress.

It doesn’t have to be big. Notice! Feel good and get on with it.

celebrate quote eduardo

What life expects of us is that we celebrate. ~ José Eduardo

How to make sure you celebrate small wins

First, the celebration does not mean marching band and fireworks. For small victories, you could limit yourself to a piece of cake or even candy. Maybe watch that funny cat video on YouTube.

  1. Break a large goal into manageable chunks. Depending on a goal, the small tasks could range from a few hours to several days.
  2. Select a concrete thing that you will do when celebrating.
  3. Complete your task.
  4. Celebrate!
  5. Move to the next item.

As we can see from the research, breaks are important.

The best breaks comprise these key elements:

  • Something is better than nothing. Do something completely different, not related to your work activities.
  • Moving is better than sitting. Walking or exercise will make your break more restorative that just sitting around.
  • Outside is better than inside, in the park is better than on the street, in nature is the best option.
  • Social is better than alone. Take a break with friends or co-workers, and you get more out of it.
  • Fully detached is better than not. Close the laptop, put away your phone, and don’t read a business book. Detach, take a real break.

Make them a part of your day and celebrating small wins. When you finish something important, go for a short walk outside and reward yourself with a coffee or something else that you love.

After the break and a small celebration, you are ready to take on new goals. After you finish those repeat the process.

One important note is that you shouldn’t get carried away with your celebration. If you work for an hour, then 10 to 20 minutes of break and celebration are in order.

Remember that you are awesome. Don’t forget to give yourself credit for all your accomplishments and celebrate whenever you can. Always make sure you treat yourself well and use positive self-talk.

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. – Anonymous

Now, what did you accomplish lately? Celebrate!

Image Walmart

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Priit Kallas

Founder of FixWillpower.com. I created FixWillpower to help you reach your goals. I have struggled my entire life to be consistent and avoid procrastination. The goal is to have a good life, do the things you love and get your results with minimum effort. FixWillpower website is about how I create motivation and productivity in my life. I write about the tools and techniques, best books, scientific research, and everything else that helps you move faster and stay on track. Minimum effort doesn’t mean slacking off. Minimum effort is about effectiveness and productivity. If there is a way to reach a goal in a shorter time or with less exertion, then you should use that. I will help you be smarter and reach goals faster. About FixWillpower