Recently, I asked a client to come up with non-food celebrations she could enjoy whenever she completed small victories. When she came up blank, I realized the topic might make a great post. Rather than finishing something and diving right into whatever is next, pause and recognize what you’ve accomplished. Get off that hamster wheel! By acknowledging and celebrating each small victory, you will make it easier, more fun, and more rewarding to strive for the next thing.
Shifting Focus: Previous Blog Posts
I have written before about shifting our focus (with a key takeaway from each) in the following blog posts:
Gap and the Gain: A Powerful Shift for the Brain (5/9/22) in which I point out the importance of tracking progress to see where you started and how far you’ve come. If we can’t recognize the small victories as we go, we can easily get discouraged. Click for more on Dan Sullivan’s book, The Gap and The Gain.
How to Reframe Self-Talk for Greater Gain (5/28/22) By changing the words we use to describe a situation, we change our attitude toward it. Even – perhaps especially – obstacles can be seen as opportunities if we embrace them that way.
Rising Strong Lesson: The Story I’m Telling Myself (7/12/22) A powerful tool for reframing the half-truths or blatant lies we’ve been telling ourselves for too long. If you tell yourself you’ll never reach X goal, you’re right. If you convince yourself this is just another test, and you keep going, nothing will stop you. Click for more on Brene Brown‘s awesome resources.
Accomplishing Your Goal, Handling Anticipointment (7/21/22) Tips for moving on after you accomplish a major goal. Celebrate, sure, but also pause and recognize how far you’ve come.
Embrace Small Wins
What is new, however, is the focus on embracing each small win. Especially whenever we’re feeling stuck or unmotivated. I was recently reminded that what we look for, we find. If we look for problems, we’ll see them everywhere.
But we can develop, cultivate, and practice a more capable mindset and different skills. In particular, the skill of looking for moments to celebrate. We can train our brains to find them. Below are some ways to start your practice.
Non-Food Celebrations: Ideas 1-5
I compiled a list of non-food celebrations to commemorate small wins. Each of the next ten items can be completed in as little as five minutes. All are completely free and available to anyone. Try generating your own list of ideas springing from the suggestions below. Have fun with it!
- Mini Meditation Session: Hold a brief walking or seated meditation focused on gratitude for and acknowledgment of the achievement. Embrace the feeling of accomplishment. Mark it deep within.
- Short Gratitude Journal Entry: Write a quick note in a notebook or journal about what you feel grateful for in this moment, as you focus on your recent victory. Embrace the effort that went into it.
- Celebratory Dance: Put on a favorite song and hold a little dance party. It’s a joyful, energizing way to mark a milestone. Put your hands in the air, jump around, and smile big. You did it! Really feel it.
- Nature Connection: Spend a few minutes outside, taking in fresh air, and appreciating the natural surroundings, whether it’s in your backyard, a nearby park, or just a view of the sky.
- Mindful Breathing Exercise: Do a focused breathing exercise, taking deep, intentional breaths to sink that great feeling deep in your body and soul.
Non-Food Celebrations: Ideas 6-10
Remember that everyone’s list of non-food celebrations will look different. What feels like a great idea to me may not resonate with you, and that’s totally okay. What you’re after are ways you can celebrate that will hold deeper meaning than just a simple check on a to-do list.
- Personal Affirmation: Create and recite a positive, personal affirmation that celebrates your current success and supports you toward future progress.
- Virtual High-Five: Send a quick message or email to a friend, family member, or coach sharing your success. Give yourself a virtual pat on the back. A sticker on a calendar, or in a journal, can also be fun.
- Quick Stretching Routine: Perform a brief stretching routine, focusing on releasing tension and infusing the moment with a sense of accomplishment.
- Reflective Walk: Take a short, mindful walk, even if it’s just around the block or office, and reflect on what you’ve achieved.
- Visualization Exercise: Spend a few minutes visualizing the next step toward your goal, reinforcing your commitment while celebrating how far you’ve come.
And if you want to splurge a bit, try browsing at a bookstore, seeing a movie, attending a concert, or investing in essential oils, candles, plush towels, or blankets – whatever feels decadent TO YOU. If you have more time, take yourself somewhere you love. A trip to the mountains is always one of my best rewards.
Reward that inner child who might feel nervous and scared. Let them know they are totally safe and you haven’t forgotten them. If you have a favorite non-food celebration to mark your baby steps, please share them with our readers below.