Celebrating the Partial Successes

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This was originally posted on The Pastry Box.


"I had two today."

My roommate had decided to quit smoking. Down from a pack a day, she had had only two cigarettes, and seemed to be down on herself.

"That's 18 you didn't have! That's great!"

"I guess."


"Down four pounds."

My coworker was losing weight. Having been trying for only a week, he was down four pounds, and seemed disappointed in himself for not having lost the five he had set as his goal.

"Four pounds! That's great! That's four pounds closer to your goal weight!"

"I suppose."


"We launched today. We only had two sales."

My friend had launched the site he had been building for a couple months. He had gone lean and gone all in, working on his site obsessively. He wasn't very excited.

"Whoo! You launched! You had sales! Let's celebrate!"

"I'm not sure."


"Life is a journey, not a destination," We've all heard that quote from Emerson. I'm usually guilty of thinking, "Yes, yes, of course, that's right, I know that. Journey," and keep moving on with what I'm doing at the time.

Yet, how many times do we pause on that journey and look around, see how far we have come along that path? How many times do we celebrate the small successes along the way to accomplishing the big goal?

How many times do we see that while we may not have managed the goal, the journey was still worth taking? Worse, how many times do we move that goal farther away from us?

Small victories are worth celebrating.

Rising out of bed and starting a day is worthy of celebrating with a stretch, a smile, and an acknowledgement that, hey, I woke up!

Going for a run, a ride, a class, feeling the movement and learning what your body can do is worthy of celebrating.

That small exercise of will-power, not buying something you don't need, is worthy of celebrating.

Practicing a new skill, even if the result is not what you'd like, is worthy of celebrating. I'd argue especially if the result isn't what you'd like, it's worth celebrating.

Failure is a part of all of this. Maybe celebrating the partial successes can also be.