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Breaking Down Barriers by Celebrating Small Successes

When we celebrate the small successes along the way to reaching our health and weight loss goals, the journey is much more enjoyable and rewarding, as well as more sustainable. We break down the barriers created by having big end goals, by formulating smaller, mini goals, as well as rewarding ourselves for consistency of new, small habits. These all help to build us up to achieving our ultimate goals, whatever they may be.

The building blocks of reaching our health and weight loss goals. Celebrate small successes.

I always explore with clients the benefits of keeping a visual note (e.g. a big tick, a smiley face on the calendar, a happy sticker, etc) for each day they’ve eaten healthy, or moved their body, or journaled or had a positive mindset (the list goes on, but it just needs to be based on their habit / goals).

The point is to celebrate each mini win so they start feeling this snowball effect towards healthier, happier living. They are preparing themselves for success.

We can apply the same process to your goal setting and planning. Let’s say you’re a new writer working on a book. Instead of celebrating the final publication, you might make a point to celebrate finishing each chapter.

Celebrate small successes. You could use smiley faces.

This is about setting benchmarks and giving yourself a smiley face at various points along the way. Why is this important? Well, Charles Duhigg said it best:

"Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach."

In other words, when you reach a small goal and acknowledge the success, this helps you believe that you can really reach the ultimate goal.

Struggles and Obstacles are Part of the Process

You’re always going to come up against obstacles when trying to achieve anything in life. Even in your everyday life!

If you live in a city (take London or Bristol in the UK for example) you know what a struggle it is just to get through traffic in the morning. Now, am I going to tell you to celebrate traffic? No, I think that would be a little bit unrealistic. Even the best of us can't feel enthusiastic about traffic jams! However, you could celebrate the fact that you have 30 minutes in your car to listen to a podcast / audiobook uninterrupted, or your favourite music, or even recite positive affirmations.

The key is finding a way to enjoy the journey and celebrate conquering each obstacle or barrier as it comes. Do that and you'll reach your goals with a smile on your face and a feeling of pride that’s been building up in you the whole time.

Steps to success. Celebrate small successes and wins and make mini goals.

Each Little Step Is Important

If you’re sitting on the couch and you haven’t run in sixty days, you’re probably not going to sign up for a marathon next month. You’re going to take small steps and start with a 5K, using something like a couch to 5k programme (I hope!). After the 5K you may be so excited about your accomplishments and new skills that you decide to start training for a 10K and then a half marathon and then a marathon (ok, let's not get ahead of ourselves, ha ha). Remember, this is just an example to explain what I'm getting at...I am not suggesting everyone take up running!

The reason you can’t go from couch potato to marathon completer is because you haven’t built up either the physical strength or the mental toughness and belief in yourself that comes with training.

Celebrate small wins to reach ultimate goals. Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.

That’s what all the small successes do. They continually fuel your transformation, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. You become bigger and taller and stronger, and your shoulders are held back and your head is higher.

Those little steps become the foundation upon which you build the next level of your own personal greatness.

Here's a more in-depth article from Harvard Business Review about Small Wins and Feeling Good (

Please note: This article is intended to be for educational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice or replace professional assessment or personalised advice.

I do not hold responsibility for the information on any links to external websites within this article and information within these links/websites may change at any time or no longer be accessible. Any website pages/links added are also for education purposes only.

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