I’m totally in the mood to jump up and down and congratulate myself for a big little win! I ran for 10 minutes straight! I know…big whoop. But for me that’s huge! I’m #notarunner. At least I’m not very good at running for very long. But I do love it. I love the feeling of just zoning out and not thinking about anything. I love feeling my muscles working, pushing a bit harder, a bit further. I like to put myself in the moment sometimes and just feel my breath, feel the power in my legs, feel my arms pumping back and forth. It’s a bit meditative for me. But usually super short!
Today, I wanted to push myself more!
I’ve been working on the balance between pushing my exercise a bit more, and not creating an increase in my chronic pain that would keep me from exercising. So I work up to things like running longer, or lifting a bit more weight. I make small incremental changes, and I take the rest I need when I need it.
But when I hit a new level, however small it is, I celebrate! And I celebrate big! Not just a little pat on my own back. I put my favorite music on LOUD. I make sure to share my win with my husband, so he can celebrate with me. And sometimes I just throw a private dance party, all by myself in my room!
I definitely take the time to recognize that my efforts are paying off. Why is this important?
I’m glad you asked!!
When we celebrate the small wins, the tiny accomplishments, just as we celebrate the big ones, we train our brains to prioritize them. That means your brain will look for the wins in your days, it will highlight the positive accomplishemnts, so you get that good feeling when, and it trains your brain to want more. I like to call this hacking or rewiring your brain!
Your brain is naturally wired to pay more attention to negative experiences. It’s how man survived in the face of dangers and threats from our hunter/gatherer days. But you aren’t doomed to just pay attention to the negative. You don’t need to be on high alert from lions, tigers and bears. You can break that negative feedback loop and rewire your brain to pay attention to the positives instead of the negatives. You do this by making it a habit every day. Whenever you do a task over and over, it takes up less energy in your brain. It starts to become automatic.
This is where the major behavior changes occur!
This is when the brain literally takes over the task of finding the positives in your day. You’ve trained it to see them, recognize them and prioritize them. A super easy way to start training your brain to find the positives, is to look for the small wins every day. There’s something good in every single day. Find it, celebrate it, be grateful for it. You can even write it down to further train your brain to see it as important. I like to write down 3 things I’m grateful for each day and I have a dedicated notebook for it.
This seemingly simple task has had a really positive impact in my life. I know it makes me look at the world around me differently. I’m generally more even and happy emotionally. I look at my family members with happiness and gratitude rather than impatience. I listen better and give my attention more fully. I’m less grumpy when I’m tired. All because I’m looking for the wins, the big and little ones, every day!
Now it’s your turn!
Make it a priority to find your wins!
I’d love to hear about some of them. Comment below and share them with me.