When I was feeling really low one summer, a friend suggested I keep a journal of tiny accomplishments. “And by ‘tiny’,” she said, “I mean minuscule. Like, ‘I changed out of my pajamas.’ Or ‘I remembered to brush my teeth.’”
It sounded stupid. (Pretty much everything sounds stupid when I’m depressed.) But I tried it anyway. What did I have to lose? To my surprise, the simple act of recording something I accomplished that day, no matter how ridiculously insignificant, helped lift my mood.
And when I had several days’ worth of tiny accomplishments to look back on, I began to see a pattern–of courage, and showing up, even when it was hard. When that annoying voice in my head told me I was a failure, I waved my tiny accomplishments journal in its face and yelled “See this?? Ha!”
Give it a try. Start acknowledging your achievements. I know you’ve accomplished something today, even if it’s simply “I got out of bed” or “I fed the dog” or “I continued to breathe.” It counts. Write it down.
What are your tiny accomplishments today?
I started a load of laundry.
Mary Ellen, Seatac
I made Jim a grilled cheese sandwich while he was sleeping.Jeanne, West Seattle
I wrote another tiny piece of my next book. My daily mantra that keeps me going is: “The book won’t write itself!”Steve, Seattle
I did ten pushups this morning. Dropped and did em. Ten more than zero!.Troy, Denver, CO
I sent what I have written so far to my very dear friend to read. I am, and was, scared to death, but I did it!Judy, Seattle
I took my medicine and ate my breakfast.
I listened to my body and rested instead of taking a walk.
E, Northeast, USA
I baked bacon and toast for Jeanne and I washed a leaf of lettuce.Jim, Kitchen, West Seattle
I finished my exercises this morning, even though I didn’t want to.Judy, Seattle
I did my prayers and meditation. I haven’t done them in awhile and the feeling of peace returned if only for 30 minutes.Babs, Overland Park, KS
My tiny accomplishment is that I have continued to do my exercises 3X/week – I don’t always want to, but I always do.
Today I worked without any news, music, audiobooks, or TV entertainment programs, replacing them with continuous peaceful ocean sounds. What a difference! Creativity expanded exponentially!Colleen, Federal Way, WA
I rode my bike AND cleaned the messy kitchen before heading to work at 6:30am.
I filled both bird feeders today. This way I can enjoy watching the birds. I can also see which one empties first.Julie, MT
I swept up a lot of cat hair.Sherry, Barcelona
I took time just for me and walked around green lake, calmer and ready to take in another day.Morley, Seattle
Instead of writing a defensive response to an angry email, I’m pausing to read your blog.
Today, I sat down with my hot water with lemon, my probiotic supplements and Things in My Pocket and I read a few posts. It was so nice to slow down for a moment.
Leslie, Portland OR
I sat at the kitchen table and ate my lunch instead of plowing it down over the sink.
Ashima, Grand Rapids
Today I am working on my laptop from the dining room table, instead of from my bed like most of the time.D, Bothell
I helped put up an electric bear fence (that is, to keep bears out of the fruit trees)
I am still doing my exercises (dips) from the challenge I did last month. I haven’t missed a day – yea!!!
I actually ate the chicken feet from the bone broth.Jeanne, West Seattle
In a rut, it has been surrounding me for a long time. Took the leap and volunteered at Vaccine clinic. I can talk to people ask them if they are OK. remind them of vaccination and to still be good at washing hands, not rubbing eyes etc. everyone is so appreciative. I talk, work at cleaning items as they are used and walk over 5000 steps in 5 hrs. Tired, rewarded and grateful at the end of the day. The Corona virus may leave now or sooner! Breathing in gratitude and smiling.Anne, Bremerton
I’m working on it but it is too big to narrow down to tiny. Great thought, intention is to perservere. Sigh.Anne, Bremerton, WA
I was able to sort through a pile of the never ending mail.Seema, New York
Yesterday I took my three kids (1,5y; 3,5y; 5;5y) with me for a walk in the village on the island. I got as an ice cream, play in the park, we went for a lemonade and I bought myself a braclet. Dad stayed at home with no interest to make as a company. We went alone and made it! Am so happy.Katarina, Silba, Croatia
I remembered to take my meds today.D, Bothell
I have several for today and the day’s just starting 🙂 1) started a load of wash and 2) got pre-Christmas decorations out (Santa Lucia and hug up the wreath (after first spraying it with Deer-Off). I have also cleaned the entry way.Julie, Libby
I called my grandma just to hear about her day.Fiamma, Seattle
It felt big, though–I picked about 5 gallons of plums.Julie, MT
I was tired so I took a nap!Ashima, Grand Rapids, MI
I slowed down, thought about why the class I was teaching was not going well … and made a couple of changes (including reading to them about neuroplasticity).Julie, MT
Today I started my laundry.
Today I meditated for 10 min.
I exercised self-compassion by scaling back my preponderance of meetings, even though I enjoy them.Jon, NY
I fed the kitties at 4:30 this morning when they woke me, instead of ignoring them and going back to sleep.Rhonda, Florida
My son played Pokemon Go with me this weekend.
Today I managed to get out of bed, get dressed, and have a cup of coffee before the kids got up. Time to myself …. ahhhhhh.
I cuddled my puppy so she could nap while I held her, without thinking I should “multitask.”Colleen, Federal Way
I learned to tie a slipknot. I am usually very uncoordinated when it comes to things like that.