Assuming that you have been able to think of at least one accomplishment, ask yourself this question; how many times do you stop along the way and celebrate the small, incremental accomplishments? How many times have you set out to accomplish something and you fell short of accomplishing what you set out to do? If you are honest, you, like me, and most others, have failed at accomplishing something that you were going to do. Why is this? Often times it is our failure to celebrate incremental successes- small successes. American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.”
Unfortunately, many think that a lofty goal is the way to go. Set the bar high and shoot for the stars! This is admirable, and I encourage this as it is a way to stretch ourselves, but we must not lose sight of our need for positive affirmation. The human body is attracted to positive affirmation. Your inner-being- you know the one when you say, “I just feel good inside,” loves affirmation. Feeling good is a great feeling. When we accomplish something and sigh, we have a sense of peace. We may smile or become joyful. Even a simple sense of relief upon completing something is a good feeling. Whether the relief comes after taking a stroll to the end of the driveway, for someone who is mostly immobilized, or the completion of a marathon for a physically fit person, relief from accomplishment feels good. The problem is that we often aren’t paying attention to incremental progress as we lose sight by focusing on the larger goal. For example, if I was to make a goal of losing 20, 50, or 100 pounds and didn’t celebrate the incremental successes-let’s say every 5 pounds, the bigger goal is so much farther away and my affirmation is delayed!
We need incremental celebrations to boost our confidence. We need the “positivity factor” gained through the “mini” celebration because affirmation gives us the encouragement needed that we CAN accomplish our goal. Affirmation boosts help drive us toward accomplishing our goals. So how can we ensure that we continually maintain a level of affirmation to keep us motivated so that we can reach that big accomplishment? Shift your perspective.
Your perspective is your vantage point. If you are looking at a pile of debt and have tried every which way to tackle the debt, but it seems like an impossible feat, change seats. The world is only as it looks from where you are sitting at that time. You may need to set mini goals that include seeking help from a professional that offers free advice.
How about wanting to maintain a tidy house? If your house is in shambles to begin with, just getting the house to a tidy state may be a major accomplishment and may require setting small goals. Perhaps this means one room or cupboard at a time. Whatever way you go about breaking down your big goal into little chunks, remember to truly appreciate each smaller chunk. In the case of cleaning the filthy house, when you decide to start with the bathroom, clean that bathroom until it sparkles and then be proud! Pride is not a bad thing- unless it is unnecessarily boastful. The state of appreciation fed by pride will bring your inner-being a strong sense of affirmation. When you share your little successes with others (only if they will reinforce good feelings) this gives you even greater affirmation. The reason why I added, “only if they will reinforce good feelings”, is because sometimes, toxicity in our environment from negative attitudes of others is what contributes to our current state to begin with. If you need to have your own private “celebration” in your mind and in your heart, then do so, but do it! Don’t let others rob you of your celebration. Keep it private if you have a toxic environment. How you feel is what is most important to your success. Who knows? Your detox may contribute to miraculous positive changes in your life as well as the lives of others!
In small successes we have big wins. “Be mindful of small things for it is in them that your strength lies” ~Mother Teresa. Now, go feel good and celebrate all the little things you do. You deserve to be celebrated!
Jolene’s book, Thinking 101: Fundamentals of a Successful Mindset is available now for pre-order. Learn how to unlock the power of your thinking and your true potential with Thinking 101.