Remember to celebrate the small wins.
I’d been so caught up in the bigger picture of building my photography business, I’d forgotten about the smaller goals – also known as micro-goals. I sat there in silence, replaying the words over and over in my head.
Why did I need somebody to tell me this?
I spent seven years running my own photography/videography business and invested in many courses to help me learn the skills I needed to make it a success. Some practical, some business-oriented – all relevant. On this particular day I was on a Lightroom editing course when the photographer leading it casually dropped the bombshell.
Remember to celebrate the small wins.
At the time, I was building my portfolio. I’d worked on several creative photoshoots with models and make-up artists, and had several paid jobs second shooting on weddings. I even had a list of big goals broken down into smaller, bite-sized chunks that I ticked off each day. But I was so focused on the end result it had never occurred to me to acknowledge any of them.
That night, I went home and shared my newfound knowledge with my husband. We promptly ordered a takeaway and toasted that I’d started working towards my (then) dream. From then on, I regularly started celebrating the micro-goals that made up my more significant milestones. And as a result, I became more aware of the synchronicities that started happening: a portfolio shoot, a collaboration, a second shooting job, and finally – my first paid wedding as the main photographer!
Celebrate the Small Wins
It’s easy to forget that the big goals are made up of small wins.
Working towards our dreams can sometimes leave us feeling exhausted – like we’re pushing a boulder uphill, desperately wondering if we’re nearly there yet. Every dream that feels out of reach consists of smaller, more realistic steps. But when we’re stuck on the treadmill of life, becoming too focused on the end result, it’s easy to forget.
Whether your goal is to build a business or run your first marathon, you can’t do either without some planning. The micro-goals along the way get you to the end result, whether that’s getting your first client or doing an eight-mile training run.
Taking small steps each day eventually gets us to the bigger picture, and no matter what the end goal is, we need to remember to celebrate the small wins along the way. Order a takeaway, go on a day out, or buy that necklace you’ve had your eye on. But don’t let it pass by without acknowledging it. Celebrating doesn’t have to be expensive just make sure it’s meaningful.
Reasons to Celebrate the Small Wins
It’s too easy to forget how hard we work to reach the end goal. That’s why we need to remind ourselves of the reasons to celebrate along the way.
Celebrating the small wins gives you a lift: It helps you feel motivated to keep moving forward. It gives you a boost of confidence that you’ve achieved something towards your dreams. And each micro-goal that you complete leaves you feeling more confident that you can reach the next step.
It gives you a sense of accomplishment: Think of where you started, perhaps with no experience. If you’re learning to play a musical instrument but have been struggling with coordination or timing, mastering a simple tune deserves recognition. It shows growth, resilience, and patience; you kept going when all you wanted to do was give up.
It gives you a sense of pride: What you’re working towards doesn’t matter. You might be learning to play an instrument, trying to lose some weight, or training for a sporting event. But with every step, you’re moving closer to the person you want to be or towards the goal you want to achieve. You’re engaging with your life and working towards your dreams – whatever that might be.
Talk to Yourself Like You Would a Friend
It’s a cliché I know, but in the world of self-help and mental health, a common phrase is would you talk to a friend the way you speak to yourself?
We talk to ourselves in a way we wouldn’t talk to other people. Just like we’re happy to celebrate the accomplishments of our friends and loved ones but struggle to celebrate our own. It’s time to talk to yourself like you would your best friend. Be your own cheerleader; give yourself a pat on the back, acknowledge how far you’ve come, celebrate the new job, celebrate running two miles or ten miles, and high five yourself for following your dream.
Just like Chandler getting married in Friends, take everything one step at a time. Each of those steps is you growing as a person and getting closer to your dreams – and that, my friend, is worth celebrating.