Why Celebrating Your Progress is a Prerequisite for Long-Term Success
March 08, 2018
"Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead." - Nelson Mandela
When was the last time you stopped to acknowledge your progress?
Your personal growth?
When was the last time you criticised yourself?
Maybe things didn’t go to plan and you went all Mean Girls on yourself?
Thanks to the human negativity bias, we are hardwired to prioritise negative emotions, experiences and events. It explains why we tend to fixate on our mistakes and flaws, regardless of how minuscule they may be, and why we are notoriously slow to applaud our efforts and celebrate our progress.
Forever focusing on “what’s next?” and obsessing about the finish line is another trait many of us are guilty of. How are we supposed to enjoy the journey, let alone appreciate it if we’re always fast forwarding to the end? It’s like choosing to watch the last ten minutes of a movie with no prior knowledge of how it all started. How can we genuinely appreciate the story?
What we need to realise is that celebrating our victories along the way is an integral part of success. Without these conscious observations of growth and progress, achievement and success have no meaning.
"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." - Benjamin Franklin
We also don’t want you to miss out on the happy feels, confidence boost and motivational fuel combo that humans notably receive with every order of self-appreciation and acknowledgment of progress.
These are just three of the perks you can expect from a little positive self-reflection.
Unleash the happy feels
It’s all about shifting the spotlight away from what you haven’t yet achieved to what you have achieved.
When you give yourself permission to celebrate your wins, whether that’s with a victory dance, a solid fist pump or breaking out into song (the options are endless), you’re going to feel a natural sense of accomplishment, pride and joy (thank you, dopamine).
It may seem trivial at first, especially if this is new territory for you, but if it’s contributing to your happiness, why would you bypass it?
Restore your confidence
When it comes to sabotaging goals, self-doubt is the #1 offender and overcoming this mental roadblock calls for an overwhelming supply of self-confidence.
Fortunately, the simple task of tracking and acknowledging your small achievements can restore faith in your abilities and plant the seeds of confidence you need to pick yourself up, silence your doubts and take the next step forward.
"A little progress every day adds up to big results." - Jeff Olson
Top up your motivational fuel
Celebrating progress is a form of positive reinforcement that energises your mental state and drives you forward. These little wins validate your efforts, and bridge the gap between you and your goal.
Motivation can diminish quite easily when a specific goal or mission feels quite large and out of reach. That’s why you need to mentally break it down and make time to celebrate your mini victories.
When you can see that you’re making meaningful progress and that you’re on the right track, it strengthens your commitment to your goal and provides you with the fuel to tackle the next step.
Rewinding to the beginning: a small but important victory for Saint Belford:
Just after we launched Saint Belford, we reached out to a ton of people in the Wellness industry for collaborations and marketing purposes. I distinctly remember dancing around like a lunatic after receiving our first few enthusiastic replies. Before we had paying customers, it was the first form of public validation we received and for us, these enthusiastic emails were a win. - Alex, Co Founder
Don’t make the mistake of missing the entire show - your show. Take a moment to step back and applaud how far you’ve come.
Mindfully acknowledge your progress and celebrate the little wins because when you break it down, that’s what goals are made of - a collection of little wins that deserve your attention and gratitude.
It’s only when you start practising self-recognition that you can begin to enjoy the journey and embrace the process. That's why we've rebuilt our Mission Statement framework (goal-setting worksheets in our Curation 2019 diary) to include a progress bar and space for setting milestones. With these empowering features at your fingertips, you can visually track and celebrate how far you've come.