I’m the first to admit that nothing I do is ever good enough for myself.
I constantly have goals, meet them, and immediately move on to the next thing without taking even a moment to acknowledge my success.
For example, for a long time while practicing double unders, I could only do 15 in a row. There was something about that number that no matter how hard I tried, I just could never get past it. This went on for a couple of years.
So when one day I finally got 28 double unders in a row, I should have been ecstatic. Instead, the first thought that went through my head wasn’t one of happiness—it was of disappointment.
I didn’t congratulate myself. I didn’t even take a second to allow myself to break into a smile. Instead, I told myself I wouldn’t really be good at double unders until I could do 50 in a row—an arbitrary number mentioned once to me by my boxing coach a couple of years ago.
So despite making a major achievement that day, rather than ending my workout feeling happy, I felt depressed.
28 wasn’t good enough. I had to get to 50.
Was this mindset helpful? No. But it’s one that I’ve dealt with my entire life, that feeling of being a failure not because I am one, but because I never take a moment to celebrate all that I’ve accomplished.
But it’s time for both of us to change that.
Take a moment to celebrate
If you never take a moment to celebrate what you’ve accomplished, you will never, ever feel good enough. Instead, you’ll feel like a failure—for life.
And if you’re a driven, motivated person (as I assume most of you are), taking a second to celebrate may be especially difficult for you, since you constantly want to be moving forward, to keep achieving, to keep accomplishing your goals. By stalling, even just for a second, you may feel like you’re settling, giving up on reaching your potential (I’ve been there).
Yet this mindset can lead to you feeling like you’re on a never-ending hamster wheel where you think that the next goal you accomplish will finally be the one to make you happy—but this is never the case.
By celebrating what you’ve accomplished, whether it’s finally doing a pull up for the first time or graduating from a 16 pound kettlebell to a 35 pound one, you won’t be settling—you’ll be acknowledging progress.
And feeling like you’re making progress, no matter how small it is, is what can motivate you to keep pushing, to keep challenging yourself, day after day.
Acknowledge your progress
On those days when you want to do anything but work out, knowing you’ve made progress might just be what keeps you going.
When you’re struggling through a pistol, burpee, or dip, knowing you’ve made progress might just get you through that last rep.
When you’re feeling discouraged because you’re nowhere near the fitness level you want to be, but can look back and see all the progress you’ve made—that progress can keep you going, day after day.
By celebrating each and every achievement you make, you’ll be acknowledging that you are, indeed, a success.
You’re a success—start acting like it
Every time you reach a new milestone, no matter how small, take a moment to acknowledge it.
Call a friend you haven’t talked to for a while. Take the afternoon off and go somewhere that makes you happy. Schedule a dinner date at your favorite restaurant.
And don’t tell me you don’t deserve it. Don’t tell me you’re not a success.
If you’ve struggled through your workouts, yet you’re still doing them, that’s success.
If you’ve worked out even on days when you want to do anything but, that’s success.
If you can do 10 burpees in a row now when before you could only do 5, that’s success.
If you’ve gotten stronger or faster during your workouts, even if it’s just a tiny amount, that’s success.
If you keep going, day after day, no matter how much you struggle, that’s success.
So be proud of all that you’ve accomplished. Celebrate your achievements. You’ve put in the hard work, and you deserve to feel happy.
I’ll try and do the same.
5 thoughts on “Why You Should Celebrate Your Achievements”
I surprised both myself and my Pilates teacher when yesterday in class I was able to perform a side plank reach through successfully. For the past 7 months, I’ve been training my shoulder muscles with push ups, 60-second planks, burpees, bear crawls, planks using sliders and pull ups. It has not been easy, but it’s been worth it.
That is so awesome Maryanne! You should feel very proud of your progress 🙂
We’re our own worst critic. Everyone else sees our progress as a success but we don’t.
Thank you for this!!! 🙂
It is really important to celebrate your success in achieving your fitness goal after all your hard work. After setting your personal physical activity goals, the next thing you should do is choosing the appropriate reward for your hard work. Choose a reward that will not sabotage some of the healthy habits you have worked so hard to create!