Friday, 9 February 2018

Small Achievements and Why They Matter // Self Care 101


Milestones are often seen as once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-a-month, once-in-a-decade etc. thing. Don't get me wrong, a lot of them are! However, reaching these massive milestones can take a long time and the space of time between two milestones can feel like a lifetime! Whilst we're busy focussing on the big milestones, we can often miss all those small achievements and forget to feel proud, thankful or pleased with ourselves. Small achievements are often seen as insignificant and too small and trivial to be truly proud of, but this is a pretty damaging mentality. By thinking that only the big goals that we have matter, we can overlook the journey it takes to reach these goals and forget that we are always progressing, no matter whether or not we are close to our big goals!

Why should we care about our small achievements?

How about we stop sizing up our achievements? An achievement is still an achievement, no matter how significant it may seem! Plus, all those small achievements add up! Just think about it, you don't step into a class and find yourself immediately prepared for your final exam! Learning the content for each lesson is a step towards knowing all you need to know for the final exam! Attending each lesson is a small achievement and a step in the right direction! You made it to class, which means you got out of bed, got dressed, left the house and pushed yourself to attend for the sake of your own learning! Each step towards your goal is a step in the right direction and shouldn't go unnoticed!

It's nice to feel proud of yourself! By feeling proud about the small things, you look forward to the next time you have done something to be proud of and it makes reaching a big accomplishment all the more special because you have built up to it! Feeling proud for your smaller achievements is also a great way to build your self-confidence and to gain a better overall outlook on life. I'm not going to rattle on about the importance of positivity because you have probably heard it already (but it is pretty darn important). Sometimes it can be super difficult to feel good about yourself, but building a mentality where you appreciate even the smallest achievements and positives about yourself can really help you!

How do I go about appreciating the smaller things?

Instead of saying "I didn't do..." or "I was supposed to...", maybe try to say "at least I..." or "I made a start on...".

  • So maybe, you are writing an assignment which you want to finish early and you have set yourself a deadline. You have told yourself that you will have the assignment finished by the end of the day, but it's getting late and you feel yourself getting sleepy. You know that you need to get to bed but you haven't quite finished the assignment. Instead of punishing yourself by saying something along the lines of "I am useless and I haven't finished this assignment and now i'm falling asleep and I still have a bit to do", perhaps choose to say something like "I am super tired because I have worked hard on this assignment. I am further into the assignment now than I was this morning and I have definitely taken steps towards getting it done". Even if you're just saying it at first without really meaning it, once you make it a habit that's where the magic happens and the words start to sink in!

I know, seems easy right? The thing is, I used to be an over-worker and it was super damaging! I wouldn't let myself take breaks when I would study and if I did take a break then I would punish myself for it and not allow myself to sleep. At the time, I thought it was a good idea and that it was the only way I would get good grades! You probably guessed it, I burned myself out! I was exhausted, couldn't retain any information, and my grades actually fell! My point is, it's better to celebrate your small achievements by letting yourself rest than to only keep your milestones in mind and burn yourself out because you think you're not achieving anything and you're not working hard enough! Every little step towards your overall goal helps! However, this isn't always easy! When we are stuck in these damaging thought patterns, they become habits and can be very hard to stop doing! It's almost like having to reprogram your entire system of thinking!

Writing lists has also been a habit which has helped me greatly! I have started to write down what I have accomplished in a day rather than just constant long to-do lists which are almost impossible to complete! By keeping track of my small achievements, I have made it easier to look back on them. By noticing them more, I have begun to appreciate them more and it has led me to feel better at the end of a day and it has definitely improved my sleep pattern as I allow myself to go to bed instead of falling asleep whilst working!

Another useful change I have made to my to-do lists is to set small manageable goals which I know will be easy to achieve and not time-consuming. The satisfying feeling of ticking the boxes on my to-do list makes me appreciate every small goal I have achieved that day. Plus, it motivates me to complete a to-do list which means i'm more likely to complete my larger goals on a given day.

The take-home message

You cannot reach the big milestones without thinking small first and getting through every little small task. Every time you achieve in that task, you are one step closer to a milestone! Appreciate the journey to your goals, not just the destination! If you get too wrapped up in the large goals, you fail to realise how much you have actually achieved and what you have accomplished! By realising this and appreciating these small achievements, you can really boost your self-esteem and your perception of your self-worth!

I hope that you have found this helpful! If you have anything to add or ask, just leave a comment and I will get back to you asap! Thank you for reading! x

6 comments:

  1. You are so right and this is such an important message. Small achievements are like stepping stones and God is in the details.

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    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the post! x

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  2. I totally agree. I think it's better to focus on small stuff. The achievements come easier and you get a greater sense of reward. Big goals can often feel like it's taking forever and you can lose motivation. And the little things become the big things in no time! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  3. I'm exactly the same with my lists!
    I'm a new follower, I love your writing style :)
    xx Beth

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