Tips for Celebrating the Small Victories Along the Way

| February 13, 2018 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

Tips for Celebrating the Small Victories Along the Way

By Rachel Hershenberg, PhD

When something good happens to you, are you quick to pick up your phone or computer or lovingly holler for your partner to come into the room so you can tell them all about it?  Are you in the habit of celebrating your positive moments with the people you hold dear to your heart?

If yes, I have great news – consistent research shows that doing so can be a powerful strategy to cultivate well-being.

You get the most out of your good news moments when:

  1. You are able to recognize that something good has happened to you. The “good thing” can be big or small, it doesn’t matter. Maybe you made it to that long neglected exercise class, you Face Timed your grandchild who was excited to hear from you, or you got your blood results back and your A1C is getting under control. The key is that an event took place in your life that was consistent with your values and uplifted you in some way.
  2. You tell someone about the positive event. The trick is picking someone who is likely to get why this event uplifted you and is able to respond with enthusiasm and interest.
  3. They show you that they care with both their words and nonverbal behavior that this is great. They may ask you to elaborate on what happened, encourage you to reflect on why this event stood out to you, and ask you what, if anything, this positive moment might mean for your future.

When you have these conversations

you may notice that you are in a good mood – talking about positive things in your life helps you continue to experience positive feelings. You may also notice that you are much more likely to remember that the good thing happened in the first place when you have a conversation about it, especially those small moments that you could easily dismiss as too mundane to talk about. Last but not least, you may feel close with the person you told as you reflected on meaningful events in your life.

A hot topic in January and February is “New Year’s Resolutions.” On December 31 you want to look back on the past year with a sense of accomplishment. Perhaps even more importantly, you want to feel confident for the year to come, confidence fueled by the positive steps you took over the last 12 months to nurture your health, relationships, and other meaningful aspects of your life.

To help you be more successful nurturing your health, relationships, and general well-being, re-read steps 1-3 again. As you read, picture who you might turn to when you inch toward your Resolutions or generally engage in a behavior that is consistent with your core values. Every momentary victory is a moment that can be celebrated and keep you on a path of generating positive events in your life.  

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