It can be easy to put ourselves down for not doing big things. We might see others on social media sharing about their big promotions or vacations, or see friends training for marathons. We may be excited for those individuals but at the same time might look down on ourselves for not doing the same. When we do this, not only does it hurt, but it also causes us to neglect to see all the things we are doing that keep our lives in order, to keep our balance and maintain our momentum.

The first thing is to recognize the victories. These could be simple things that you do every week, such as getting the laundry done, making a healthy meal or taking a walk.

These are things that may already be part of your weekly or daily routine, but when you recognize them as a win and celebrate that win, you are reinforcing the positive nature of the accomplishment.

Let’s face it, some days “keeping it together” is harder than others. Some days it takes real hard work and determination to keep a clean home, to eat well, to drink enough water, to exercise, to keep our kids happy and healthy or to tend to our relationships.

Celebrate the work on the easy days, but especially on the hard days.

After you have recognized these wins, it is necessary to celebrate. This doesn’t mean throw a party (although it could if you are looking for a reason to eat cake). You can celebrate in small ways.

Tell yourself “good job,” buy yourself something, create an intentional and quiet place to be alone, call someone and tell them about your victory, pick up some ice cream on the way home, be grateful for your ability complete these tasks.

Celebrating positively reinforces you to continue to recognize these everyday tasks as wins.

Recognizing and celebrating the small wins can be the fuel to keep you going.

When you recognize these, you grow in your appreciation for yourself and your capabilities.

This can motivate you to continue to recognize these victories and be proud of yourself for your accomplishments. This is also a great model for those around you.

Show your friends, your family or your children how important it is to see the positive accomplishments every day.

Moving forward, be aware and mindful of the victories in your life.

Victories are different for everyone.

So, what’s your win for today? How will you celebrate it?

Nicole Ball is a social work professor at Ferris State University, a clinical mental health therapist and owner of Mental Wellness Counseling, a holistic mental health center in Traverse City. Learn more at

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