For a healthy mind, body and business

Why you need to celebrate every small success

Let’s talk celebration.

But before that, let’s just take a moment to talk golf. Trust me, this is not a subject you’ll hear me talk about often (if ever again) despite growing up with a golf-obsessed father.

In recent days one man, Tiger Woods, has dominated the headlines and sports pages after winning the 2019 Golf Masters and cementing his comeback to the sport.

I remember working in the newsroom when Woods was in the headlines for a very different reason. His reputation and career tarnished by a humiliating sex scandal, followed by an arrest for driving under the influence, and injury, and back operations.

Yet, the sheer joy and emotion displayed in Augusta as he claimed his 15th major moved even me (the hardened journalist type you know).

For those moments, he was jubilant. He was cheering, hugging his family, punching the air, a grin spread from ear to ear, past misdemeanours, forgotten, at least briefly.

Woods had just achieved something pretty incredible. Following injuries and operations, many believed his career was written-off but there he was, celebrating winning one of the most prestigious tournaments in golf.

We’re not all celebrity sportsmen but Woods’ celebration made me suddenly consider how important it is to mark your accomplishments, unashamedly and with real compassion.

Your efforts are deserving of celebration

Each and every day we show up and achieve our own incredible wins. We’re not winning the Masters but we are working towards our own goals and what’s important to us.

You might have had a rough and bumpy ride, you might have had failures, you might have made mistakes, but when you accomplish something, anything, it’s a big win and it’s worth celebrating.

When you’re working from home and often alone, it’s easy to dismiss the wins, big and small. Yet without acknowledging or marking them in some way, you’re on a relentless wheel of doing and achieving without any reward. Tiredness, exhaustion, eventually burnout set in, you begin to wonder if there is any point to all the hours of frustration and effort.

Punctuate the work treadmill with times to acknowledge success and stop work from becoming an uphill slog.

To put off celebrating until you feel you’ve done something “deserving” is telling yourself that your efforts aren’t worthy. It can reinforce any negative or self-sabotaging beliefs.

Self-congratulation is not self-indulgent

Any big success is a cumulative result of all the smaller wins along the way: those words written, those phone calls made, those clients won, those projects completed.

Self-congratulation need not be expensive or grand. You can celebrate reaching the end of an assignment with a cup of tea! You can mark the end of a hard day with a bubble bath, or finishing those 1000 words you set yourself with going to catch up with your friend.

One of the many productivity tips inside The Homeworker magazine is to take time to celebrate your efforts. Founder of the productivity and goal-setting journal, Mynd Map, Rosemary Ikpeme, shares all her tips as well as her own journey inside the second issue – it’s full of strategies if you want to improve your focus, motivation and time management.

Celebration propels you forward

To wait is to never celebrate and it could even mean never finishing.

Celebration releases dopamine and endorphins and each minor celebration can give us that extra motivation and incentive to persevere and work towards the next milestone.

Psychology also tells us that to mark success boosts our productivity and our mood. Social pyschologist, Fred Bryant has said:

“People who outwardly express their good feelings tend to feel extra good, because it provides the mind with evidence that something positive has occurred. “

When I launched the first issue of The Homeworker I remember well that feeling of being slightly underwhelmed because there I was, alone, product launched, issue put out there and just me to pat myself on the back.

The second issue came out and those feelings resurfaced so learning to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments is hugely important. I’d not won a big golf tournament but I’d completed the writing, editing and compiling of an entire magazine on my own.

Sometimes, it is just you. You have to do the patting on the back because there isn’t anyone to do it for you. It’s not indulgent, it’s not boastful. It’s showing yourself the same respect and compassion that you would for any friend or colleague who had done similar.

Remember to mark those little wins because they become the big wins. You want to get used to celebrating because one day, it might just be that Masters-level success, and you don’t want it to just fade into the background.

Like what you read? Then you’ll love The Homeworker magazine. With even more in-depth advice and strategies, each issue is packed with insights and inspiration from experts. It’s the only magazine designed to reassure, support and inspire you when you work alone at home.

About the author

Louise is an award-winning journalist and speaker who focuses on working from home, remote work and wellbeing. She is the founder of  The Homeworker, which is dedicated to helping you thrive when you work from home. The Homeworker publishes articles that are designed to keep you healthy, happy, fulfilled, and more productive in work and life.


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