Celebrate Small Victories

Someone once told me that they love that I celebrate all of the “little things.” And it’s true, I do. See there was a time in my life where I focused so much on the negatives. I would become frustrated very easily and I always felt anxious and stressed. It was not until I did some of my own personal work that I was able to shift my mindset and focus on the positives vs. the negatives.

Tips on how to reduce negativity and increase positivity and happiness by focusing on the small victories. How celebrating the little things can lead to BIGGER things in your personal and professional life! #goals #motivation #success
Tips on how to reduce negativity and increase positivity and happiness by focusing on the small victories. How celebrating the little things can lead to BIGGER things in your personal and professional life! #goals #motivation #success

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Here we go again. Another post all about happiness and positivity and rainbows and butterflies..blah, blah, blah…” So let me be clear in saying that this post is not meant to downplay any stress or frustrations you may have, because the reality is, we all experience negativity in our lives. It’s unavoidable and is all around us. But this is why it is so important to actively work to focus on the positives in life, too. Otherwise, negativity will consume us and we’ll become the worst versions of ourselves.

Now, the next question I hear often when I talk about this concept is, “So, how am I supposed celebrate small victories when nothing worth celebrating even happened?” Insert mindset shift HERE! There is ALWAYS something to celebrate. You just have to be actively looking for it. For example, did you wake up this morning? GREAT! Insert mini celebration!

Mindset: But why is this something to celebrate? This is something we do everyday..

Mindset shift: Waking up is a gift. You have been blessed with another day of life. You have been given an opportunity to have another day to be with loved ones, make a difference, work towards your goals. This is something to celebrate. And a simple way to do this is simply give thanks for having the opportunity to live another day.

Now I am not saying every time something good happens you bust out the champagne and stop working to celebrate. (Could you imagine, “Sorry boss, can’t answer emails right now, I’m celebrating.” {Sips champagne with feet on desk}) I mean, busting out champagne would be fun, but it’s not realistic all of the time. So, here are some examples of small things you can celebrate each day as well as how you can celebrate them!:

  • Waking up on time: The snooze button struggle is real people. So, if you’re able to not hit it 10x and get up and out of bed at a time that still allows you to function like a human, give yourself a pat on the back.
  • Getting showered: While taking a shower, let it sink in that you’re actually allowing yourself time to cleanse yourself! Feel the warmth of the shower, even if it’s brief, and enjoy the moment!
  • Getting the kids ready on time: This is arguably a big reason to celebrate but a reason to celebrate none the less! When you’re all set and ready, say out loud, “We did it! We got ready on time! Woohoo!” Depending on their ages, kids usually love to join in and celebrate with you!
  • Eating (because let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t have time and forget): When you have a meal or a snack, try to SIT down, don’t stand. Don’t have your phone or laptop in front of you, and just savor the moment, even if it’s just one bite quickly. Food is a blessing and so many go hungry. So celebrate that you not only allowed yourself time to eat but that you have the opportunity to eat at all.
  • Driving safely: Again, seemingly something we “should” be doing each day, but still something to celebrate that you made it to and from your destinations safely. A simple way to celebrate, simply give thanks for allowing you to travel safely without issues.
  • Compliments from others-When someone compliments you, no matter how small, don’t brush it off. Really allow yourself to feel good about the fact that someone said something nice to you/about you.
  • Recognize small things: For example, if someone holds a door open for you, or if a cashier is polite vs. rude, or if you hit all the green lights on your way home. Again, just take a moment to recognize, “Wow! That was nice!” or “Wow, that worked out well!”
  • Having money in the bank: Yes, this is the goal, but not everyone can always attain this goal. So if you have anything in your bank account, celebrate it. How? Give thanks for being able to have what so many others do not. And give yourself credit for getting yourself to work everyday to make that money!
  • Picking out the perfect nail polish color: Ok, I know this one seems ridiculous, but the struggle is real, am I right ladies? Words cannot describe how happy I feel when I find the perfect color. Again, it’s all about the little things.
  • Moving your body: If you are able to get up and work-out, celebrate the fact that you motivated yourself enough to go. Text a friend or tell someone as a way to celebrate this accomplishment. It’ll make it more real and also allow you to receive encouragement and positive feedback for your efforts!
  • Finding a good parking spot-Not always the case for everyone, so when it happens, allow yourself to be excited for finding a “good spot!”
  • Work or school achievements: If you get a good grade on an assignment, or if your co-worker and/or superior gives you good feedback on your performance, CELEBRATE THIS! I often hear people say, “Well, this is what I should be doing.” Fair. But just because you should doesn’t mean you will. You actively made a choice to put in this effort, regardless of the motivation. So, celebrate that by accepting the praise and sharing the news with a loved one.
  • Celebrate loved ones: I hear so many wonderful things each day from loved ones, whether it be regarding their work, personal, or family life which they share with me and I LOVE celebrating those accomplishments with them! By simply being present and being someone they can tell good news to, you are celebrating with them.

Are these the only things to celebrate? Absolutely not. But you get the picture. Now it’s your turn to try. Each day, I challenge you to find one small thing to celebrate. Just one. A bonus tip is to keep a gratitude journal, and each day write down whatever it was you celebrated. That way you can go back and reflect on all of your mini-victories. Also, let’s not forget to celebrate the BIG things too! Such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, reaching goals or major milestones personally or professionally, etc.

So why celebrate the small things? Well aside from increasing positivity and happiness, you are also increasing self-esteem and self-confidence. You are taking time to be proud of yourself. You are giving yourself credit where credit is due in a world where we are so largely compared and criticized. You are modeling for your children, family, or friends the importance of focusing on the positives vs. the negatives. If your children, spouse, or friends consistently hear you complaining, that is what they are going to either grow up learning or begin to associate you with. Change it. You don’t want to be the “negative Nancy” of the group. And you are taking time, if only for a second, out of your day, for YOU. Really think about how often the day ends, we sit in bed, and we think to ourselves, “Well shit, where did the freaking day go?” A mini celebration is going to force you to stop for a second to focus on the most important person, yourself.

Now I know there will be people who feel as though this concept is silly.  I know there are people who are reading this who may feel they are unable to emotionally get to a space where they can shift their mindset right now and maybe that is because they’re experiencing anxiety or depression or another mental health concern. And I know there will be people who feel celebrating “everything” means the “big things” lose their value. Or there will be people who feel celebrating the “small things” will encourage people to celebrate mediocrity and not strive to achieve more.

If you are someone who truly is not in an emotional space right now to do this, then I would encourage you to meet with a trained mental health professional to start working towards some of the barriers you may be experiencing. If you are someone who feels celebrating the little things, or the expected things, will lose their value then I challenge you to try this and see if you’re right. In my own personal experience, I have never not been able to celebrate a major achievement because I was tapped out from celebrating the small ones. I have never stopped pushing myself or stopped working hard to reach my goals because I felt my smaller achievements were enough. In fact, celebrating the small victories has allowed me to open myself up to more happiness, positivity, and abundance which has then created a path for me to be able to continue to achieve more because I have been open to receiving more.

And just as I said someone told me they love that I celebrate all of the little things, I have also had people tell me they think it’s annoying and they don’t understand it. To each their own. It is not my job to change someone’s opinion and *usually* (not always) the ones who express those opinions to me are going through a difficult time in their life or are not in a healthy mindset of their own, as I once was. I am hopeful for those who ARE actively ready for a change in mindset and ready to create more space for happiness and abundance will be able to implement small steps which will allow for some big changes!

I would LOVE to know what spoke to you today and encourage you to comment below and share with me!

If you are interested in learning more about my therapy services, check out my website HERE. Seeking mental health services can be daunting and if you are finding my posts resonate with you, it is likely you are feeling ready to take that next step to work on leading a happier, healthier life! I would LOVE to support you in starting this journey and welcome you to send me an email at counselingservices@smsteeves.com.

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Be Well,

Sarah

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