Startup tip 57: Celebrate your achievements

Do you celebrate your achievements? Not only the big ones, but the little steps you take consistently day by day? In a startup, our to-do list never ends and it’s important to lift our nose from the grindstone and acknowledge that we are making progress.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling really frustrated. I felt like I was unfocused and not getting anything done. I had goals set, I knew what my action tasks were, I was spending all day working – yet I felt like I was just fluffing around and not making any progress.

And I couldn’t work it out. Why was I feeling like this? Was I getting sick? Was I unorganised? Was I trying to juggle too many things at once?

And then it hit me. I was getting stuff done, but I wasn’t celebrating my achievements. I was completing  a task and instead of pausing  and feeling good about it, I was looking at all the things on my to-do list that I hadn’t done yet and criticising myself for not doing enough.

So I sat down and wrote down everything I had achieved that day – both for work and personally. I had

celebrate your achievements

  • Written & published a blog post
  • Invoiced a client for a consultation
  • Done some financial modelling to work out the margins for my new startup
  • Read a chapter of a relevant book I am studying
  • Organised and delivered some important documentation to my daughter’s teacher
  • Taken my son for a blood test
  • Made breakfast & lunch for the family
  • Washed, hung out & brought in two loads of washing
  • Tried out a new type of exercise

Not bad for one day!

I looked at my list and felt good because actually I had achieved a lot even though I had spent all day feeling like I had done nothing. And I felt free to leave my computer and enjoy some relaxation time in the evening because I had acknowledged that I had already done a good day’s work.

I learnt that for me, writing down what I have done everyday is an important way to reflect and acknowledge the hard work and small steps I am taking consistently. (It also has the benefit of immediately alerting me if I haven’t used my time well.) And it’s an effective way of focusing on the positive progress made instead of only seeing the long road to go.

That makes me feel good. It gives me energy and creates motivation to get up the next day and do it all over again!

Action: Celebrate your Achievements

Are you keeping a good balance between acknowledging what you have accomplished already and what you still need to accomplish?

How can you celebrate the positive steps you are taking each day to move towards your goals? Whichever way you choose, recording your accomplishments will encourage you and also keep you focused. Here’s some ideas:

  • Create a special place to record your daily achievements. I’m currently using my diary, and recording work and personal achievements or the day. In the past I used a special notebook and also recorded any Magic Moments I had during the day that I was grateful for. You know, things like the moment your daughter snuggles in your lap and says, “I love you Mummy,” or the special walk you had with your partner. I’m intending to go back to that soon.
  • Meet regularly with others and talk about what you have achieved in the last fortnight and what you are planning to do in the next.
  • If you work with a team, plan celebrations for hitting milestones in your startup. Embed celebration as part of your startup culture. It could be anything from a high five when you make a sale to a party when you receive funding.
What are your favourite ways to celebrate your achievements? Share with us in the comments…

Further Reading:

Remember to Celebrate your Achievements by Michael Nobb from is a great post with some practical ideas you can implement

Richard Branson’s take on the importance of celebrating your achievements

Join the conversation:

If you agree, disagree or have something to add please share with us in the comments. That way we all learn – and I can see that there are real people out there reading this! 🙂

And I would love you to join me on Twitter or Facebook.

 Image used courtesy of Louise Docker under Creative Commons license.


  1. Good advice! The task list is, like you say, never ending. For most of us just getting through the first 6 months without losing our shirts or our sanity is something that calls for a big celebration. Also at this time of year I think it is good for all of us to pause and celebrate with our families and loved ones just how fortunate we are to have the opportunities we have and to celebrate the people who make our lives special. I know I plan to pause a bit this month to let others know how much I appreciate them.

    All the best,
    The Old Dog

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