The Power of Celebrating Small Wins

The power of celebrating small wins

From a young age, we are introduced to something referred to as a reward system. I bet you remember those days in class when you received a reward for your good behaviour. Regardless of the fact that it was expected of you, there was something unique about being celebrated for it.

Unfortunately, as we grow older this concept seems to die down. Because why should you be celebrated or rewarded for something that’s simply expected of you? You’re expected to do great at your job, have a successful business, and have a perfectly balanced personal life, all at the same time.

We seem to find it easier to punish ourselves for little mistakes, but never celebrate ourselves when we achieve little success. Especially, if we haven’t reached our own definition of success yet. And besides, why should you celebrate if you haven’t reached the ultimate goal yet?

Unfortunately, having such a mindset rather kills your own progress… If you can’t seem to appreciate the little, how will you appreciate or even recognise the ‘big’ things that happen?

What happens when you celebrate small wins?

According to research done by Teresa Amabile, from the Harvard Business School, tracking down your small achievements actually, enhances your motivation. The practice of recording your own progress helps you appreciate your small wins which also boosts your sense of confidence.

The single most important thing that will fuel your motivation and perceptions during a workday is ‘making progress in meaningful work’.

Having progress is fundamental to the human nature. Scientists describe this as the progress principle. The single most important thing that will fuel your motivation and perceptions during a workday is ‘making progress in meaningful work’.  A simple thing as a ‘small win’ can make all the difference in how you feel and how your perform.

The little milestones

So if you’re lacking motivation at your job, celebrate yourself for the little progress you’re making. Don’t leave work frustrated about what went wrong, rather choose to celebrate the little thing that went right. Same goes for when you have your own business. Don’t hesitate to celebrate your new subscribers, customers or mini financial milestones. Those little achievements contribute to your sense of doing ‘meaningful work’. Inevitably, that sense of achievement and power eventually leads to success in your:

  • business
  • career/ at work
  • personal life.

So again, as I reflect on the good old days in primary school, I realise that there was something special about seeing a golden star (reward) behind my name at the end of each week. Even though I always had to display good behaviour, being rewarded for it gave me the ‘extra’ sense of motivation. An indescribable sense of appreciation.

So what’s the moral behind this? As an adult, you might not have someone place a golden star behind your name. However, why not choose to give yourself that sense of appreciation? Celebrate your small wins, because besides you working hard for it, you actually owe it to yourself to do so!

Sarah Johnson

Sarah is Founder and Editor of IAMICareer. She currently holds a BA of Commerce and has a strong background in Marketing. Sarah is passionate about seeing millennials thrive in career and the workplace and is dedicated to helping millennial women bridge the gap between university and the corporate world.