Want to find more success and feel more successful? Celebrate your wins!

Remember when you were a child?  Remember when you accomplished something?  A new level in a game, a new skill, a win at baseball, your driving test…..you felt on top of the world.

How long has it been since you’ve felt this way?

Do this exercise with me: Think of a recent success you’ve had… a time when you felt truly triumphant, like your hard work had really paid off! What was the win? How did it affect you and those around you? What was the look on your face as you realized your hoped-for success was finally coming true? Take a moment to let that success sink in; celebrate it!

Now, how do you feel?

If you’re like most people who celebrate their successes, probably pretty happy! You’re experiencing the beneficial brain chemical cocktail of celebrating success: the “feel good” neurotransmitter serotonin, the “let’s do it again!” neurohormone of dopamine, and (if this success includes someone else), the bonding hormone of oxytocin.

And do you know what this cocktail of chemicals does for you? It makes you more likely to succeed again. Why? Because psychologically strong and healthy people find more success in life. People who believe they are winners live with a “winner’s mindset” that begets more wins. And people who celebrate their successes are more attuned to what went right… which makes replicating that success much more simple.

And it’s easy to do! Reflecting on and celebrating your success doesn’t need to be a time-consuming or stressful venture. All you need is a moment, some celebratory energy, and enough focus to remember your latest win. As you train your brain to focus on your wins, it will come more naturally. In the meantime, here are three tangible tips for getting started with celebrating success:


Three Ways to Celebrate Success:

  1. Attach celebrations to goal creation.

    The next time you set a goal for yourself, go ahead and decide on the reward, too. Will you take yourself out to dinner? Have a party with your colleagues? Journal about what went right? Build in the time for celebration right after your success, and you will be sure to soak in all of the benefits of this practice.

  2. Look back on your week.

    How do you like to reflect? Do you enjoy journaling, painting, discussing with a loved one, writing poetry? However you like to reflect, institute a “week-end review” to look back on your wins of the week. The bonus of recording these weekly wins is that you get to look back for patterns: What type of wins stuck with you from week to week? What are your strengths?

  3. Celebrate with a friend!

    Sharing your success with another has the added benefit of boosting oxytocin, the bonding chemical, in your brain. So the next time you want to set a goal, see if you can’t find a friend to share it with. They’ll help keep you accountable, AND they will be there to celebrate with you as the successes roll in. Best of all, you’ll get to help celebrate their successes, too. What a win!


Be your own biggest fan.

Only you know how hard you’ve worked for these wins, so you are the only person knowledgeable enough to be your own cheerleader! Reflecting on and celebrating your successes will make you more successful.

How will you build a habit of focusing your attention on these wins?