Stay motivated: Celebrate your Small Wins


When you’re learning a new language, it can be easy to get discouraged. You might feel like you aren’t making enough progress and think that the time you put in isn’t worth it. This is especially true if your goal is something big or difficult to achieve, like using English in professional contexts or reaching a C1/C2 level. The solution? Celebrate your small wins along the way!

People tend to focus on their big goals.

People tend to focus on their big goals. They want to get the job, climb the ladder and be successful. But it can be easy to get discouraged when you don’t see results. If you haven’t noticed a change, it can seem that your efforts are useless and all your time has been wasted.

Focusing on small wins helps us stay motivated when we feel like giving up on our big goals because they give us something to celebrate along the way. They also help us keep our eye on the prize by reminding ourselves how close we are getting (even if it doesn’t feel like it).

Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they are!

Make sure you celebrate every success, no matter how small. You don’t have to wait until you get that C1 certificate to start feeling proud of yourself. Small wins are the foundation for bigger accomplishments, so even if they don’t seem very impressive at first glance, they’ll help you build toward more significant achievements down the line—and that’s something worth celebrating!

So, it’s important to make note of all of your achievements like learning a new word or phrase, using a grammar structure accurately, understanding a conversation or video, speaking slightly more fluently. It’s also helpful to feel proud of the efforts you’ve put in. The sense of satisfaction that comes after hard work can motivate you to continue working hard.

If you have a great day where everything goes right and you have a lot of wins, then make sure to give yourself permission to feel happy and proud of yourself. If things don’t go so well but they could have gone worse, give yourself permission to feel relieved that things didn’t turn out worse than they did and maybe even feel proud of what you learned from the experience.

How to notice your small accomplishments

High achievers often have difficulty noticing the small incremental accomplishments they make on the way toward their goals, but it’s easy to do. I recommend adding a weekly review to your routine so these small wins become more obvious to you. Here’s how you do it:

Set a timer for 2-5 minutes and write the answers to one or several of these questions:

  • What progress are you proud of?
  • What can you do now in English you couldn’t do recently?
  • When have you worked on your English when you didn’t feel like it?
  • What new words, phrases and structures have you learned recently?  

Be sure to write the answers in a journal, notebook or a document you can easily access. That way you can look back on your progress and celebrate how far you’ve come.


We’re all human and it’s okay to struggle. But the best way to stay motivated is by focusing on small wins and celebrating our successes no matter how big or small they are. If you do this, then you will find yourself reaching your goals faster than ever before!

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