How to Celebrate Your Own Success

January 3, 2022
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Untitled design

How often do you take time to praise and celebrate small wins and accomplishments? Not very often, right?

We all have different definitions of what a win, an accomplishment, and success look like. One thing that these all have in common is that they all deserve to be recognized and celebrated.

The fast-paced and result-driven society we live in makes it easy for us to complete one task or goal and quickly move on to the next one without taking time to reflect on our efforts.

Not to mention that many of us don’t realize that we can be too hard on ourselves and beat ourselves up when tasks are not met the way we want them to. These practices can actually hinder our motivation levels and encourage negative inner dialogue and thought patterns.

Instead of focusing on shortcomings, “taking pride in your accomplishments by celebrating them—even the small ones—can also boost your self-confidence and motivate you to achieve more.” Celebrating success can lead to a type of motivation called Intrinsic Motivation. Intrinsic Motivation occurs when you engage in a goal, task, or project because it is personally rewarding or satisfying to you. The more intrinsic motivation you find in your endeavors, the more likely you are to succeed!

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of celebrating success, here are some tips to get you started: 

1. Reflect
Reflecting is a great first step to start assessing all your effort that went into completing or achieving a task or goal, no matter how big or small. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I enjoy most about this experience?
  • What were some obstacles I faced and how did I overcome them?
  • What did I do well?
  • What strengths of mine did I use?
  • What skills or lessons did I gain from this experience?
  • What do I feel most confident about?
  • What would I change for next time?

2. Journal
Journaling or writing down your answers to the reflection questions above can help you internalize your efforts and keep track of your accomplishments over time. Another journaling prompt that can help you celebrate your success is “In completing and achieving [insert task, goal, or accomplishment here] I am most proud of…” and list out your efforts and strengths from this experience. Taking just 5 minutes to reflect and journal will help prepare you for future goals, tasks, and endeavors.

3. Tell Someone
You deserve to share your accomplishments and wins no matter how big or small! Call or text a friend, family member, or your Coach to share your success. If you had someone help you along the way of your accomplishment, be sure to share the news and thank them. Your CoFo Coach loves to celebrate you, your hard work, and success!

4. Reward yourself *
Another idea for celebrating your success is treating yourself! Treating and rewarding yourself comes in many forms. After pulling an all-nighter to meet a deadline, your body deserves rest. You may want to celebrate a job promotion by planning a game night with friends. You might want to treat yourself to your favorite meal. You may want to replenish yourself by disconnecting from your phone or computer and spending time outdoors. Whatever it may be, rewarding yourself is a valid form of celebration!

* It’s important for us to reward ourselves based on our efforts, and not for the purpose of getting a reward. When we begin to feel motivated to complete a task because we want to earn an external reward, that is called Extrinsic Motivation. Knowing the difference between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation will allow you to celebrate your successes in a healthy way.

Have questions or a success you’d like to share? Reach out to your Coach! Or email programs@collegeforward.org to get connected with your Coach.

Works Cited
Jessica Shields, “Motivation Tip: Celebrate Small Successes.” College Study Smarts, 3 Apr. 2021,
Jodi Clarke, MA. “Boost Confidence and Connections by Celebrating Success the Right Way.” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 7 Oct. 2021,