celebrating the small wins

Too often, we focus on the big wins in life. The job offers, the PBs, the graduations… and we forget to celebrate the small wins. So in this week’s blog post, I wanted to give them the spotlight for a change as well as highlight why it’s important to do so. Hope you enjoy 🙂

What are “small wins”?

First things first, I thought I’d give a few examples of small wins just so that we’re all on the same page. Some of you might think that all wins are big wins – and I guess in an ideal world, they should be seen that way. But little wins, like learning a new song on your instrument or journalling for a week straight, are often overlooked.

A small win is different for everyone depending on their current situation in life, but they could include:

  • Eating a “fear food”
  • Letting go of things that no longer serve you (clothes, a friend, emotional baggage)
  • Trying a new sport, recipe or skill
  • Reading a challenging book
  • Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone (socially, physically, aesthetically, intellectually etc)
  • Completing an essay draft

+ so many more!

Why celebrate them?

So often in life, we are all working towards a big goal. And sometimes, several big goals at once. We get so caught up in the final destination – achieving the goal – that we forget to be present in the journey. This hyper-fixation upon the end goal leads to an attachment of happiness with it and an assumption that when it’s reached, you’ll be happy. A common narrative we all tell ourselves is “when I get XYZ, I will be happy”. But the reality is that there is always another, bigger goal to be worked for and achieved.

Focusing on the small wins allows you to engage with the process of getting there – and also acknowledges that, in a way, there is no “final destination”, but a series of checkpoints, some of which are bigger than others. Remember that it’s the cumulation of small steps that enables you to reach the bigger wins.

Hype yourself up

Because of this obsession with the endpoint, the “big win” so to speak, we often put ourselves down along the way for not being there yet. I’ve heard my friends criticising themselves for not getting a certain time in a race, for not getting a 2:1 or first in an essay, for not being completely free of their demons… And in being so self-critical, they forget to reflect on and appreciate how far they’ve already come. A year ago, you would be grateful and proud to be where you are today. So hype yourself up and recognise the progress you’ve made, even if it doesn’t feel like much. Every step forwards is a win, because it’s one step further than yesterday.

my friend’s disposables came through from last year :))

get journaling

I know I’ve spoken about journaling quite a lot already, but I cannot reiterate enough how helpful it is. It’s literally your safe space to dump all your thoughts, feelings and observations – as well as all your wins. Every month, I write down some wins – most of which are really small – so I can appreciate them and reflect on my progress. You’re not going to be able to get a new job, a first, a PB (etc) every day, so you’ve got to be able to ascribe importance to the little wins and enjoy the journey. Otherwise, life will just be a constant waiting game. A cycle of goal-setting, achieving, and then aiming higher because you realise it wasn’t “enough” in the first place. So get journaling and appreciate how amazing you are day in, day out.

Bit of a shorter post from me today, but I thought it was an important topic to touch on. Where you are today is so much further than where you were a year ago. I bet you hadn’t even thought to look back on that progress, but are all too ready to criticise yourself for not being where you think you should be by now. Be kind to yourself and give credit where credit is due.

Emma ♥♥