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Feel Successful By Celebrating Your Daily Wins

Written by: Andrea Spyros, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Daily deeds are what make up the wins that lead to your success. Micro decision-making is a huge part of our day. These small decisions take up space in your brain and can end up leaving you feeling overwhelmed. At the end of the day, you might feel like nothing got done when in reality, you got many things done that all felt uneventful or unimportant. Yet these daily deeds are what make up the wins that lead to a successful mindset.

As a high achiever, you might take small everyday tasks for granted. I get it, you have bigger fish to fry, but by not acknowledging your efforts, you miss daily opportunities to celebrate success. Life is more than hitting milestones. Sometimes the effort to put together a dinner party or make a scary phone call is the important task of the moment. (Trust me on the scary phone call part!)

After years of scratch paper and online “to-do” lists and calendars, I invested in a planner. Yes, an old-school paper planner. I grow fonder of it by the day. I used to have a gratitude journal where I’d write down my wins, but then they would never get seen and I would forget just how far I’ve come. Now I write down my wins for the day in my planner and it is super helpful. Even the little things are big wins. I doodle and color them in, it's fun to see them every day as I review the day planned ahead.

I used my skills in Behavior Design to come up with this solution. Seeing these small yet mighty feats reminds me I can get all the things done and that I am a person who gets things done. Seeing them on paper gets them out of my head and makes them feel more tangible to me.

Last week I made some huge strides in areas that I had previously taken for granted:

  • I ordered the BBQ grill I had been researching for a year

  • I fixed the sprinklers

  • I ordered the nightstand from online

  • I set up my new phone

  • I made a challenging phone call

  • I ordered doors for my remodel

These are all wins. Not only are they win but some of them took multiple trips to the hardware store. Others took mental gumption as I left open an hour to call and cancel a subscription service, crossing my fingers it would not take that long. Tasks like this we push off because we know it will be painful. Those types of tasks weigh us down. Making the call is a win.

What happens is, and this is typical of high achievers, we take those things for granted because we think these things should be easy and effortless, and also, we think only certain tasks are worthy of a tally in the win column. We take for granted that these things take effort. For someone, that might be easy but when small tasks seem huge, it throws us off.

How often do you put off paying a large bill because of the sting, only to feel relieved once it’s done because you no longer have to think about it?

My teen loves to research. I hate it, even for the things I like. It immediately overwhelms me and I have to stop. Like the grill, I needed one and I was anxious to get one, but every time I’d start looking, I would start to feel exhausted and then get nothing done. For my teen, this is a super fun task to get lost in. For me, it's a nightmare. For my teen, the task is an hour of fun, for me, it feels like an anxiety attack. We all have these things and whichever way you fall when the task is complete it is a win! It may not take some time, but the energy around it is hard.

We have all these stories around the task...

  • It’s going to take a long time

  • I am not going to talk to a human

  • It's a hard conversation

  • It's hard to talk to customer service

  • There are too many choices

It may not take time but the thought is it will.

My window screens are a great example. They are 40 years old and when the wind blows, they rattle due to missing clips. They’re falling out and getting damaged. These things weigh us down, but we don’t do anything because we think it’s going to be expensive or take a lot of time. We’re used to what we are doing. We start labeling ourselves as unsuccessful or lazy because we’ve left those things undone.

I tackled these screens in one afternoon after 10 plus years of putting off what I thought would be a hard, expensive, and unimportant task. I cannot tell you how good it feels.

We are all affected by undone tasks. Things like a cluttered desk feel too big to tackle in one afternoon so you put it off until it becomes unmanageable. Now it’s become a burden and you start feeling bad and build it up in your head. As a high achiever, these things weigh on you.

These tasks drain us without realizing it and then when we do the task, we don’t celebrate the 50-pound weight we just lifted, there's no payoff.

Without celebration, we continue to do the behavior of putting things off instead of recognizing and remembering how good it felt to get the task done.

Imagine a baby who walks for the first time. If we said, “yeah we all do that.” We celebrate this because it is a big deal! We need to celebrate. I do. I celebrate. I made a big deal out of it. I yell in my home things like “I just made a hard phone call!” My kids say “yay mom! Good for you.”

We need to celebrate and let others see us celebrating.

Setting up an appointment that took time and was mentally draining needs to be acknowledged and celebrated. If we didn’t recognize our success, like that of the baby walking, would they still continue to walk?

You just had a thorny conversation? Awesome! Celebrate it, it was hard and you did it. It’s a win.

Canceling the subscription you’ve been putting off because you know they will try to make you stay and try to sell you, but you did it. And now that it’s done, you’re freed up to focus on what you want to focus on. This sends a signal that you can do it, so the next time will be easier.

There are so many things that are draining us that if we would celebrate them, we would have more energy to do the things we really want to do.

You might not even know that these things are holding you back, but they are. These types of things lead to overwhelm and can stop you from doing the things you need to do. Taking anything off your plate that you don’t want to do frees up space in your head.

I went to the hardware store and researched sprinklers. This is a success. We have so many uncharacterized successes throughout our day that we mischaracterize and we have a limited view of what success looks like.

Success is more than...

  • A best-selling book.

  • A successful exit in tech.

  • A clean home.

  • Making six figures.

  • A dream job

  • Being a social media influencer

  • A perfect body

We are so limited. Success isn’t binary, it’s not a light switch. By that definition, nobody is a success. You must celebrate your way to the top.

Success can be...

  • Not saying that thing to your partner when they trigger you.

  • Holding your tongue or speaking your mind

  • Getting dinner on the table.

  • Getting to the gym

  • Calling the school

  • Doing the laundry

Success is found in our everyday life. We need to celebrate that because those are the bits that make our lives better. It will grow when it’s acknowledged.

In the worthiness room I used to moderate on Clubhouse we talked about What success looks like. A person last week wanted the impact of a successful artist. We asked, how do you know if you’ve impacted someone or not? And how do you measure if that had more or less impact than that of a famous artist? We forget that the ripple of our impact is profound. If you only think you get that from fame that’s a fallacy.

So much of our success can’t be pointed to. You can point to a NY bestseller but can’t point at 20 years of successful clients (and 20 years of the many, tiny steps that got you those clients) that lead you there. Unless you start celebrating them.

I like writing my wins. I make it fun. It makes my planner look nice. It makes me feel good. It makes it tangible. I can see it. I have a planner and it makes me feel grounded and successful.

I invite you to start writing your daily wins no matter how small. In no time you will see just how much you get done, and even for us super-efficient types this feels powerful. Calling the internet company might be mentally draining, but not having that $139 bill every month is the reward. Celebrate and the next phone call won’t seem as daunting.

Small wins lead to big success and it all begins with your daily routine.

Andrea uses the science of Behavior Design to support forward-thinking organizations to fuel innovation, foster well-being and design for lasting change. Contact Andrea. Check out her site.

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Andrea Spyros, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Andrea Spyros shows leaders, teams, and organizations how to optimize their efforts and get tangible results quickly and easily. Trained by Stanford behavior scientist and New York Times best-selling author of Tiny Habits, BJ Fogg, she combines emotional intelligence and spiritual wisdom with a proven system backed by science. Her keynotes and workshops marry innovation with practical actionable steps so organizations can easily navigate change and create products, services and systems that work for all stakeholders.



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