Celebrate the Small Wins

I’ve had bronchitis recently. I don’t know if you have ever gotten to dance with this lovely respiratory ailment, but it completely zaps you. Between the coughing and the fatigue, getting off the couch and back into my normal routine has been a major ask. Before the bronchitis, I had been working on getting more exercise, using a simple tracker to count my steps and active minutes. I was getting better at adding daily activity. I was hitting my targets more consistently.

And then I got sick. And I didn’t move for four days. When I did start to move again, my stamina was shot.

But even with the low stamina, there came a day when I managed to go from getting one blinky light on my my tracker to two. And I was thrilled. Before the bronchitis, a two-light day was a very low activity day, and I would have counted it as a loss. After the bronchitis, two lights was major progress.

I’m not telling you this because I think you really care about my activity levels. I’m telling you because it was a great reminder for me to celebrate the small wins.

It would have been easy to knock myself for that two-light day. I had been getting five lights and more, when I was healthy. Two lights was less than 40% of my total goal. There were plenty of chances to turn that moment into self-blame or self-shaming. But I made a different choice. I knew that even 40% of my total goal was way more than I had been able to achieve when I was really sick. And instead of focusing on the distance between that number and my healthy goal, I focused on the fact that I was improving, that I was headed in the right direction.

Celebrating the small wins is one of the ways that I help myself stay clear, hopeful and focused on the present moment. We don’t always get to have big wins. Those are few and far between. But we can create the chances for small wins every single day. We can shift from a habit of self-blame to a habit of celebration.

That’s my invitation to you today. Do you have a big goal that you have been struggling to reach? Has that struggle left you paralyzed and procrastinating? Then I’m inviting you to carve out one small bit of that big goal. Do that small thing. Then celebrate your win. Want to share it with us! Please do! You can find me here in the comments, on my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

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