Congratulations on deciding to work toward a healthier lifestyle! Every positive change you make is a victory that deserves celebration. We call these “wins.”
Think about it: Long-term change takes time to achieve. Focusing only on the big picture can cause you to lose sight of the small, daily victories. And that can be discouraging.
Instead, celebrate those everyday wins. Taking a walk after dinner instead of watching TV. Choosing a salad instead of fries. Reading articles that give you helpful wellness tips. All of these are small victories that can help you feel proud. And when enough of those little wins build up, it can motivate you to keep up the good work. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to reaching those big goals!
First, remember why you are taking this journey:
- To develop healthy habits
- To lose weight
- To make lasting changes
- To feel better
- To improve your overall health
- To stick around for your loved ones
- To have the freedom to keep doing the activities you love
None of these changes will happen overnight. It takes time to make lasting change! There are, however, plenty of other benefits you’ll experience along the way as you get closer to your goals. And those are wins, too!
Then, remind yourself that it’s important to celebrate your wins:
- Recognizing wins leads you in a more positive direction.
- Celebrating wins can help you focus on what you did well in a situation. This encourages you to repeat good behavior.
- Ignoring wins because you feel you “should have” already been doing these things is a negative way of thinking. You deserve credit for all changes!
- “All-or-nothing” thinking can derail your efforts. Focus on progress, not perfection.
- Small, gradual changes are ones you can stick with. Big changes are harder to maintain. Practice acknowledging your small wins so you’ll feel even more fulfilled when you reach your big goals.
Finally, celebrate those wins:
- Document your wins every week or even every day. This can be done privately, like in a journal. You can also share them with a loved one, with an Expert Coach, or even publicly on social media.
- Acknowledge your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Praise feels good! It also helps motivate you to stick with it.
- Reward yourself for the small changes. Choose something that helps you take care of yourself, like attending a yoga class or taking a relaxing walk with a friend. Food is not a helpful reward, but healthy treats like bubble baths or new workout gear can help you stay on track.
- Reread your list of previous wins when you are struggling.
With these steps, you can keep the wind in your sails even when the going gets tough. Be kind to yourself and take pride in all the things you’ve achieved ― big and small!