• Michael McEntee

Small victories



What Are Small Victories?


First, let’s establish what a “small victory” is. Small victories are anything you accomplish that aligns with your intentions. They can be related to work, personal or professional relationships, habit changes, and or finances. Small wins can be easy to gloss over, especially if you’ve been raised on a diet of self-criticism and perfectionism. The reasons for celebrating small can be broken down into the following categories.


1. Energy

When energy is low, it can be challenging to accomplish anything. Try as you might to set goals, without energy, it’s understandable why the couch would have so much more magnetic pull than the treadmill. When you celebrate your small victories, you will give yourself little hits of energy that will add up over time. Over time, you’ll notice that the little celebrations inject you with boosts of energy that will accumulate.


Once you start experiencing more energy, you might notice feeling more motivated to accomplish all those items—large and small—on your “to do” list. This becomes a positive feedback loop. You accomplish something, celebrate, increase your energy to accomplish more, and repeat. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that celebrating the small victories leads you to accomplish even bigger ones. The opposite is also true. When you don’t accomplish the little things, imagine how much more challenging it will be to chip away at the big ones.


2. Personal and Professional Growth

Acknowledging small victories helps you keep track of how far you’ve come. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to instil a new habit or make a lifestyle change.

Behavioural changes can be some of the biggest challenges we undertake. They can also be the most beneficial when you’re on the path to personal or professional growth and development. It can be easy to fall into the “all or nothing” trap. For instance, a lot of people feel that if they can’t achieve a behavioural change—like cutting down on the sugary foods—the first time they try, then they might as well give up.


Positive reinforcement through celebrating small wins helps you get back on track after taking a temporary detour. “I only had three biscuits today” might be the small victory that would lead you to only having two tomorrow. Growth in any area of life is a process, and this process requires the use of tools. Celebrating the little things is an intentional tool you’ll want to use when you’re in the process of becoming the person you have been saying you want to be.


3. Self-Love

Self-love is the greatest investment you will ever make. You are the only person you will know for the entirety of your life. When you love yourself unconditionally, you will be able to navigate any life obstacle or storm. Celebrating your small victories is just one of so many ways to take care of yourself. Celebrating your small victories is a powerful way to demonstrate that you notice how amazing you are. It helps you rely more on your own positive feedback rather than looking to the outside world to tell you what it thinks of you. Stop waiting for other people to tell you how incredibly valuable you are and start acknowledging all your little successes!


As a side benefit, self-love has also been known to lead to better relationships with others. It turns out that when you love yourself, you will show others how you want to be treated.


4. Happiness

When we are fully engaged in our lives, our confidence runs higher, our actions match our intentions, our love for ourselves grows, and we experience a life filled with meaning. So, if you want to experience happiness, you must find ways to incorporate meaning into your life. Celebrating your little wins can be a catalyst for finding this meaning.


In summary, consider keeping a daily log of your little victories. At the end of the week, you can read everything you celebrated, which will help you experience the accumulation of all the little wins. And if you want to experience an even bigger win, re-read your celebration journal at the end of the year!


Extracts taken from Tess Miller, from https://www.lifehack.org/

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