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Last Updated on May 16, 2021

How to Celebrate Small Wins to Achieve Big Goals

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How to Celebrate Small Wins to Achieve Big Goals

We all want to be successful in our goals and celebrate small wins along the way. Goals give our lives meaning and help us become better versions of ourselves. But have you ever tried to reach a big goal only to eventually give up? Have you started working towards your goal but over time felt that it’s just too high a mountain to climb?

As humans, we are built to naturally see the problems and easily punish ourselves for bad behavior. Poor performances are quickly condemned in our minds, and guilt can rise to the surface. Our mindset can bring us down when we feel we’ve failed, and this usually results in giving up on dreams and goals.

So what is the secret to achieving these goals (see our article on how to achieve goals)? Successful people make huge achievements all the time, so how do they do it? Most of it comes down to the way you view the goals and challenges put in front of you.

Perspective and Mindset

Many people may put the success of others down to luck or a natural talent that allows them to excel at what they want to achieve. Yes, this can be the case, but most of the time it is down to a particular mindset and way of looking at their goals as a whole.

Take Thomas Edison, the American businessman who invented the lightbulb. It took Edison almost 10,000 attempts to create a lightbulb—that’s a huge amount of “failures” before finally finding success. But in response to his repeated failures he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

In other words, he took his failures and turned them into successes because his perspective was focused on achieving rather than failing. It’s quite clear he had a mindset and positive perspective that allowed him to celebrate those small steps and see them as achievements.

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As I mentioned earlier, it’s very easy for us to put ourselves down for small mistakes and failures. What about our small wins successes? Well the irony of this is that, although we easily feel negative about failing, we almost never celebrate our successes, and this is where the magic lies.

Celebrate Small Wins

The key to success is realizing that our big goals aren’t going to happen overnight, in the next week or maybe even the next year, but this is okay. We tend to focus on the end goals rather than the small and significant steps we take to get us there.

This is why it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate small wins. The problem with not doing this is we end up diminishing our motivation, and motivation is what keeps us on the right path and gives us the strength to soldier on to the top of the mountain.

A lack of motivation usually arises when we are unsure of how far away from our goals we are. We sometimes blindly believe that the goal is still so far away when it could actually be just around the corner, something we will never know if we give up.

It’s, therefore, important to make sure you celebrate your small goals along the way. Acknowledging small wins sparks the reward circuits of our brains and releases chemicals that give us a feeling of pride and a happiness factor, making us want to go further towards our next achievement.

Appreciation Is Key

Appreciation can sometimes be played down in life, and we often forget to appreciate what we’ve done and what we have. Appreciating our small wins and the small steps we take can be the difference between failing and succeeding.

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Lack of appreciation and gratitude can lead us down the slippery slope of not being able to see the importance of our small wins. Celebrating the small stuff is us acknowledging that we are well on our way to achievement. In fact, we are achieving all the time, and it’s a myth that we are only successful once we’ve reached that elusive goal.

Creating Successful Habits

Successful habits equal success. We all know creating and changing habits can be hard as our minds find it difficult to adapt to new routines, but acknowledging and celebrating the small wins are how you help yourself establish the habits you need and to keep you going.

Our brains need positive feedback, so allowing yourself to be rewarded will develop an “addiction to progress” that will cause your brain to want to carry on to the next steps.

Acknowledge the Importance of the Present Moment

So what is the secret to a successful habit? It’s all about understanding the importance of the present moment and taking the time to celebrate small wins as they come. We tend to take the present moment for granted – it seems insignificant, and we believe the little things we do in the moment aren’t changing us.

You must invest in the small things over a long period of time and understand that you only have the moment you are in. It is the combination of moments over time that achieve the big things.

For example, say you want to learn a whole new subject. Reading 10 pages of a book today on this new subject will not significantly raise your knowledge, and maybe not even 10 pages tomorrow and 10 pages the next day. However, it’s the combination of all these moments of reading 10 pages a day that will eventually allow you to fully learn the new subject.

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In other words, reading those 10 pages a day may seem insignificant in the moment, but they are all important in the steps towards achieving your goal and learning how to focus.

How to Celebrate Small Wins

With all this in mind, it is the small wins we achieve that need to be acknowledged and appreciated for what they are. Motivation is a huge factor of whether or not we succeed, and being able to reward ourselves and celebrate small wins is the key. Here’s how to harness the power of small wins.

1. Break Large Goals Down Into Smaller Goals

You don’t want to focus on the bigger picture, as tempting as that can be. Make sure you create small, achievable goals that will allow you to see your progress more clearly, as these small successes will help you feel good with each little step.

When faced with a large goal, our minds can slip into the habit of procrastination. Smaller goals can help avoid this. You can also check out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination to tackle this problem before it plagues your future goals.

2. Reward Yourself

Think about what you enjoy the most, and do this each time you complete a step. This could be anything from treating yourself to your favorite coffee or even taking a trip somewhere. Having something to look forward to trains the brain into creating motivation.

3. Don’t Pressure Yourself

Putting strict deadlines on your goals can lead to potential feelings of failure, even when there are small victories along the way. Be flexible with your time limits, and this will increase your happiness and motivation as you celebrate small wins.

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4. Track Your Progress

Writing down or tracking your progress will remind you of how far you’ve come in achieving your goal. Sometimes, we can give up because we are unaware of how close we are to success and forget how much we’ve done. Write down all the small wins, as seeing them written down can be a reward in itself.

5. Change Your Perspective

When we focus too much on the end goal, it can seem too far away to get to. Try thinking of it not as climbing a huge mountain, but descending one with perhaps a few nice restaurants (rewards) to stop off at and relax on the way down. Enjoying your incremental progress in this way will make long-term goals feel easier to achieve in the long run.

The Bottom Line

Learning how to celebrate small wins is key if you want to keep up your motivation while pursuing your goals. Each time you mark off a milestone, find a way to celebrate, whether it’s adding a star to that day on your calendar, treating yourself to a special meal, or going out with a friend. Goals are hard work, and you deserve a treat as you work toward them.

More Tips on Achieving Your Goals

Featured photo credit: Mert Guller via unsplash.com

More by this author

Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2022

7 Best Goal Planners To Get in 2022

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7 Best Goal Planners To Get in 2022

A few of the many obstacles to setting goals is that you either forget your goals entirely or you put them off for so long. One of the most effective tools in handling this problem is through having goal planners.

Goal planners are a way to put your goals to paper and allow you to focus on that goal. These are great tools to be implementing new habits and boosting your overall productivity.

With so many of these goal planners available, our editors picked out a small sample of some of the best goal planners that you can get to achieve what you want in 2022!

Best Goal Planners Criteria

Through our research, all the best goal planners that we picked out meet the following criteria:

  • Undated – A big issue with some planners is that they have days and years written in them. This is problematic especially when starting out goal setting. Undated versions allow you to start, stop, and take breaks without feeling like you’re wasting paper.
  • Science based – Either in their methods or in the activities these planners get you to do, these goal planners are smartly structured to help you get the most out of your day.
  • Simple, clean and organized – All of these planners are clean and organized to the point that these planners can serve as an extension of your brain. They’re able to easily organize jumbled thoughts and help you plot out your goals.

1. Full Life Planner

full-life-planner

    Lifehack’s Full Life Planner is a planner system built around the Full Life Framework. It’s a planner that helps you to organize every aspect of your life. The Framework has been going strong for 15 years and provides some of Lifehack’s best practices and proven success formulas.

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    Get your Full Life Planner here, or try the digital version here.

    2. Panda Planner

      The Panda Planner has been highly reviewed as another one of the best goal planners to get. On top of it providing sections for monthly, weekly, and daily planning, it offers free videos as well as e-books to show you all kinds of strategies to help in all kinds of aspects of your life.

      You can get the Panda Planner here.

      3. Law of Attraction Planner

        This is the planner for people that want to manifest something new or exciting in their lives. It helps you to set goals through prompts, to-do lists, and goal-setting tools to establish habits. On the manifestation front, it provides sections for you to show gratitude, allowing you to be thankful for what you do have and are working towards. The planner also comes with a video to help establish a 10-minute morning routine and various stickers to make your planner more unique.

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        Purchase the Law of Attraction Planner here.

        4. Little More Daily Organizer

          While it only has 328 undated pages, it offers a great focus on monthly and daily goal setting. It’s ideal if your goals and habits that you’re invested in and really want them to be sticking. How it’s able to do that is through its flexible design and also providing space for you to outline actions steps, reflect on processes, and prioritize multiple goals.

          Grab your Little More Daily Organizer here.

          5. Erin Condren Petite Planner

            Only 80 pages long, it’s efficient with its space as its packed with all kinds of features for setting goals and stick to your plans. You’re able to describe your goal, outline a “why”, and put together an action plan. The other page is a way for you to chunk large goals and put them into more manageable tasks. All around it’s a fantastic planner.

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            Try the Erin Condren Petite Planner here.

            6. The 100-Day Goal Journal

              If setting goals for a year seems daunting, another one of the best goal planners that’s short is the 100-day goal journal. It has monthly spreads, daily reflection pages where you’re able to practice gratitude and check overarching goals. It even has space for you to reflect on current challenges and offer solutions to your problems.

              Take a look at the 100-Day Goal Journal here.

              7. SELF Journal

              best-self

                The final of the best goal planners we have to offer is SELF journal. It offers daily gratitude acknowledgement, sections to track goals on a weekly basis and also has inspirational quotes to provide that extra push of motivation. It’s only got enough pages for 13 weeks, but it’s ideal if you set a lot of shorter-term goals and want those small habits to stick.

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                Check out the SELF Journal here.

                Final Thoughts

                All of our goals are achievable with the proper mindset and a system to support it. Planners have been able to precisely assist those who struggle with getting started and need help in organizing their thoughts and putting it to paper.

                For those who want to stick to habits, try out one of these planners to help you with that process.

                Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

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