Try This Simple Reflection Exercise to Celebrate Your Wins

As humans, we have a horrible habit of dwelling on the negative and not taking enough time to celebrate the positive. We often drag our negative emotions for days, sometimes even months, but fail to stop and celebrate the wins in our daily lives.

I am tremendously guilty of this. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always overlooked my accomplishments, yet dwelled on the challenges of my days. I have to admit, this horrible habit has not served me one bit, and it’s time to make some necessary changes.

As I deal with some changes in my career, I’ve had to overcome some heavy emotions as well. Fortunately, I had a scheduled meeting with my boss, mentor, and Founder of SmartFem, Lea Haben where I had the opportunity to catch up on my recent challenges.

After a nearly two-hour conversation, I walked away feeling a great sense of peace. Although all my problems hadn’t necessarily vanished, I did have a second set of eyes to look at my situation and give me feedback. One of those takeaways was Lea’s suggestion to celebrate my wins more.

She calls this a ‘Victory Journal’.

Like a gratitude journal where you take the time to write down everything you’re grateful for, a victory journal is meant to keep track of your accomplishments. This is an opportunity to look back on the last month, year, or decade and celebrate all you’ve accomplished.

Unfortunately, we fail to pat ourselves in the back more, but just like with any other bad habit, enough work and determination can change it.

As the year comes to an end and we embark in a new decade, it’s a perfect time to reflect, not just in the last year, but on the last 10. Nothing is off-limits. Celebrate everything from paying off a loan to graduating college.

As you write down your accomplishments in your victory journal, make sure to take some time to reflect on how each item got you to where you are today.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” – Steve Jobs

That quote from Steve Jobs Commencement Address at Standford University graduation has resonated more than ever this last year. As I look back at my victories, shortcomings, and incredible progress, I can’t help but be grateful for everything I’ve endured in life.

I hope this exercise helps you see the same in your life.