Small Wins Are Important Too
Do you ever get so caught up in the huge milestones that you forget to celebrate the small wins?
In second grade, my class had a large sticker chart with all our names written down the left side and tiny golden stars aligned neatly next to each name. Each star represented an entire school day of “good choices.” Although I was a good student and received mostly gold stars, my young mind only noticed the few blank spaces that seemed to glare and mock me for the times I just couldn’t get things right. This mentality followed me into adulthood.
In college, I planned to wake up every morning for a workout routine and short meditation to help me prep my mind and body for the day ahead. Although I had good intentions, one late night would quickly lead into another, and before I knew it, 2-3 mornings would go by without ever rolling out the yoga mat.
After having a baby, I wanted my body to feel like my own again. Accepting the extra bulk and loose skin would come at a later time, but initially, it felt uncomfortable. So I started a program to support healthier choices and stuck with it for awhile to help me fight through cravings and work toward proper discipline. Though it was very effective, instead of noticing the successful weight loss I achieved and lovingly embracing my new curves, I scolded myself on the days I went back to my same habits.
For every goal and new habit, I live as though I am shackled to another sticker chart. If I miss a day doing something that’s important, I view the entire endeavor as insignificant. All my well-intentioned attempts at success began to feel like pointless efforts rather than moments of growth.
But recently, as I was folding laundry during the quiet, late hours of the night, I was alone with uninterrupted thoughts. I was thinking about how I had taken three walks with my family that week when I had wanted it to be apart of our daily routine. Then I chastised myself for forgetting to put on the quality eye cream the night before. I quickly convinced myself the purchase was a waste of money because I’m not disciplined enough to stick to anything. I might as well stop taking family walks and buying eye cream because what’s the point if I’m just going to fail? (Yes, I’m dramatic when I fold laundry).
Thankfully, the Lord interrupted my thoughts with truth. “Just because you don’t follow through on your goals every single day, doesn’t make the days you DID any less significant!”
Then, I felt peace.
Flashbacks of all my “good-choices”, “ate-healthy”, “put-on-eye-cream”, “took-that-walk”, “read-my-devotional”, “called-a-friend”, kind of days flooded my mind. There was a purpose! There was significance! Those gold stars mattered!
This may seem like a simple message, but for me, it was powerful. Don’t miss out on the small wins because you are too busy noticing those gaps.
Embrace those stars and celebrate your successes! You deserve it.