It's time to Celebrate the Small Wins

October 1, 2019

This week's Failsume mistake of Not Celebrating the Small Wins is associated with the Isley Brothers' Got Work to Do.  I would work so hard that I forgot to celebrate the small victories as a result of my work.  Are you celebrating the small wins? 

A Failsume is a list of all my failures and mistakes throughout my career.  The purpose of sharing this information is for you to learn what to avoid when faced with the same situations.   

This week's fail makes me cringe when I think about it. 

I often work really hard and sometimes I forget to celebrate the wins.   

big, hairy audacious goals (BHAG) 

I'm a really goal-oriented person and I like to set big, hairy audacious goals.   I reach them, but oftentimes forget to stop or if I haven't planned to stop -- I just keep going.  It's like a checklist.  I'll just go right to the next goal and keep going. That's not cool!

I used to think there was some virtue to working from one goal to another, but I realized working hard like that leads to burnout. It leads to saying "Ugh, what am I doing this for?"

You need moments to celebrate what you've accomplished and celebrate what you've done in order to move forward.


I can remember the moment I realized this fail and how I was causing this habit in the people around me. During a staff meeting, we were in the middle of something that had been really challenging. We succeeded in finishing this goal. It was awesome! I was so incredibly proud of the team! Without any fanfare or pause, the team started to just move on to the next thing on their agenda... which would have been cool except that our recent challenge was a huge deal! So I thought "these people are so amazing, but we should stop for a minute and make sure that we pause and celebrate this win."

I remember stopping the meeting and saying, "we are all going to stop. We're not going to continue this conversation. We're going to put a little pause here and we are going to have an emergency cake break." That's right: we left, we went out, we got the biggest piece of cake!


We shared the cake. We laughed and we talked about how hard the challenge was. We talked about what we had done to overcome it. We got to give other a pats on the back. An important part of our culture as a team was having cake breaks or having dance parties because if you don't celebrate those wins and those moments, they'll just pass. Achieving goals is not nearly as fun without celebrating those wins. So now, when I have a really big goal, I make sure to plan what I will do once the goal is achieved.

Celebrating wins is also a way to mark the end of a goal and the start of working on a new one.  My challenge for you is to think about your goals  and how you want to celebrate the completion of those goals. When you state the goals, make sure you also state the way you want to celebrate.


It's important to be a reminder to our friends and the people who love us. Think about who in your life who just did something amazing so that you could be the person to say, "hey, let's just stop. Let's go out to dinner. Let's go spend some time together. Let's go shopping. Let's just sit at our favorite place and talk about your win!"

If you do that for somebody, particularly leaders, would really appreciate somebody helping them take that moment of pause for reflection.

I hope by sharing how to celebrate wins can make such a big difference on your journey to a life of purpose. Can't wait to share more!

Thank you so much. I'll see you next week! 


Deanna Singh failsume v2


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