Celebrate the Small Victories
There is a navy-blue mug in my kitchen cabinet with pretty, white cursive that reads, “Celebrate the small victories.” I purchased this mug for $5.00 at Target on an afternoon when my husband (then fiancé) was sick and needed me to pickup some Theraflu. I like to collect mugs because I believe each one can tell a story. As I like to call my morning coffee my “hug in a cup,” despite how silly it may sound, I believe that what I pour my coffee into helps shape my morning routine.
My mug with Aragorn from Lord of the Rings sends my mind to thoughts of bravery and loyalty.
My mug that says “Pumpkin Spice Everything” puts a smile on my face and makes me want to put on the coziest sweater and jump in a pile of leaves.
My mug that says, “This girl loves sleep” (which I typically reserve for my evening tea) encourages a yawn.
I could go on and on with the overflow of mugs in our kitchen, but the point is, the messages we see, read, and accept, have an influence on our thoughts, minds, and actions.
When I drink from my “Celebrate the small victories” mug, I recount in my mind the small things I have accomplished. Small things add up. Small things matter just as much as the big things, because often times you can’t have one without another, and often times, it is the small victories such as saying “no” to the snooze button on your alarm or finishing a book that you were committed to reading, that can make a difference.
It’s easy to feel like the “big victories” are what matter. You know, those things that will get other people noticing your success. Those things that turn heads and make ripples. It’s natural to desire major victories- who wouldn’t want that? Big victories are made up of a dozen small victories though. People who are have been delivered from the enslavement of drugs and alcohol celebrate the big victories such as year anniversaries. When I personally got sober though, I had to start out by celebrating one day at a time. One day sober may seem miniscule in the grand scheme of things, but recently I acknowledged 3.5 years sober, and I had to stop and think about all of those small, daily victories that added up to the 3.5 years I now have.
So, what else can small victories look like? Perhaps it looks like asking for help when you don’t know the answer, or maybe it is having a healthy conversation with your co-worker when you don’t see eye to eye. What if victory for you looked like sticking to your schedule that day because you struggle with consistency? On the other hand, what if practicing flexibility with your schedule was a victory you needed?
When we begin to acknowledge and then celebrate the small victories we accomplish every single day, we start realizing that every moment matters. Time becomes more precious and actions are marked with intention. You better believe that the mornings I get up at my first alarm, I start celebrating. It’s a victory for me.
Your victories might not seem like victories to other people, and that’s one reason you should never assess your success by the approval and celebration you receive from others. Other people’s approval does not determine victory or defeat. All too often though, that becomes the norm. Success is ruled by another person’s opinion.
I don’t believe one can lead well if they walk in a mindset of defeat. When it starts becoming habitual to celebrate the small things, recognizing that sma