This Christmas, I received a bracelet (because – as previously mentioned – I’ve been a good girl this year!). A bracelet that has this saying engraved on it: Celebrate Small Victories.
And it occurred to me that this wasn’t a bad way to go about things.
Many of us have the big dreams, the over-the-top goals, the grand schemes sitting out there. And that’s not a bad thing — everyone needs something to shoot at. But perhaps berate ourselves for not making it to those goals, or from falling by the wayside so often that it seems like we’re headed in the wrong direction. Sometimes we’re just too hard on ourselves.
I find that I do this to myself all the time. I can’t even count how many times the “I’m going to lose 10 pounds” gets derailed because I have a bad meal … and then a bad meal turns into a bad day… and bad weeek… and bad month…. you get the picture (I know it’s gotten out of hand when the pizza people know my number and greet me by name). It’s so easy to think that the end goal is unattainable because I’ve already messed up really badly – that there’s no recovery.
Instead, maybe it’s time I celebrate the small victories rather than allowing the small failures to steamroll.
For example, my current pie-in-the-sky goal is overhauling my body — trim down, lean up, gain muscle tone. That’s still a lot of hard work away, though. But, while I’m moving towards that goal, I can revel in my small victories — training when I’m tired and unmotivated, drinking just one beer instead of five, doing those nasty core exercises even though I think they’re the handiwork of the devil. There are dozens of decisions that I can make each day that if I have the right mindset, are all small victories. Steps leading me in the right direction to what I want to achieve.
And when you think about it, once you start piling up the small victories, the larger victories start falling into place, right? One training session, a good nutrition choice instead of a bad one, an extra set of crunches… that all adds up. I mean, victory is a self-affirming kind of thing… once you get the taste of it, you just want more.
Small victories. Little steps. If I can keep the focus on “what next?” then the rest doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming. And not only that, but I have to celebrate these victories. Give a little “WHOOP!” or do a little victory dance. At least smile a little, acknowledge that I am truly “da bomb” (side note: I actually had a colleague call me that once, so that one’s totally true).
So, that’s what I’m going to try. While my mind’s eye keeps the end goal in sight, my main focus goes towards each decision. And focusing on making each decision a small victory. And celebrating each one and using it as a building block to my next small victory.
Just promise you won’t laugh too much if you catch me victory break-dancing.