The Importance of Celebrating Every Milestone

By , SparkPeople Blogger

How do you know where you are going? You have a destination. How do you know how far you’ve gone?  You have milestones.  In my weight loss journey, I have chosen to mark my milestones with different things. For losing 100 pounds, I got a ring; for halfway to goal, a porch swing; for 150 pounds, a trampoline; a bracelet for my first 5K; and now I eagerly await a sandal charm for crossing over into the 200s from the 460s.
My ring has an open heart on it to remind myself to keep my heart open.
The porch swing helped me rock off some weight, as I used it to rock fast for that purpose.  The trampoline provides a soft surface for my low-impact needs in exercise.  The bracelet reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to do.  The sandal will remind me to walk and of my dream of someday walking on a Florida beach with my husband again. 
Jewelry is a really easy mile marker, especially a charm bracelet. It allows you to customize your milestones.  There are so many charms out there from the very inexpensive to the expensive.  Each one is a character, item, animal, activity, tag, or shape to fit any achievement.
I also like fitness equipment as a mile marker.  For example, when I weighed more than 350 pounds, I could not use a trampoline according to its manual.  Much of the fitness equipment out there has a 300-pound weight limit. Fitness equipment shows off your new abilities and helps you hone more.
Many people like new clothing for their mile markers. The new sizes show progress and the old sizes remind them of where they have been.
Some people have mini milestones that help them reach major ones.  These mini milestones are very important, especially if you have a long way to go.  Breaking down a large goal into mini goals helps make it achievable.  Celebrate every win!
Celebrating every milestone is important to your weight loss and fitness efforts because it affirms you.  It keeps you looking at how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go. The trick to celebrating every milestone is finding out how you want to celebrate and remember your achievement.
What motivates you, personally, to change?  What would help you remember your new positive lifestyle?

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Such a great idea for motivation. I really should do something about it! Report
MUSICNUT 1/9/2020
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
KOALA_BEAR 10/9/2019
In the past I did reward myself but this time it's different since I have big changes happening in my life. The recent retirement means I buy what I want as part of a reward for that. I did buy some new athletic wear when I lost 25 lbs. Once I get into my next home, I'll be getting new exercise equipment to get me to goal & help keep me healthy. I need to get back into serious cardio workouts routinely.🐨 Report
I have been off of spark for a year. I put color glass stone in a jar. 130. that is how many pound I have to lose. I will then maybe decide a few more. I put them in the mug I won for being in a 2K race. I did that a month after i originally started Sparking. Next week I hope to be in a 5K. It will take me an hour and I will walk most. Occasionally breaking into a slow jog. I might no win because there are few more people in my age category. In my heart I will be a winner. Report
It’s true ...I celebrate with shoes ! Report
Thank you Report
Milestones/goals are very important for my program, along with small rewards to keep driving me forward. Report
I think I'll start a charm bracelet as well. I will say for my 50lb weight loss I got a pedicure. I'd never had one and it was great For my 100lb weight loss I got a new camera. Since I like to do outdoor photography that helps get me outside and walking. Report
Thank you for the reminder that every milestone needs to be celebrated. I have a charm bracelet with significant charms. I have ordered some in advance but won't put them on the bracelet until I accomplish the next weight goal. To celebrate my 30 pounds released, I got a yoga mat, and blocks. To celebrate my 40 pounds removed, I got some colorful workout gear and some shoes. I'm still pondering on what it will be for the 50-pound mark. Thank you for another inspiring blog. Report
Thanks for all the great ideas! Report
These are great ideas. And, tracking my accomplishments and rewarding myself is something I need to do. These rewards are as important to our personal motivation as the Non-Scale Victories can be. THANKS for this article. Report
Great ideas! Report
Congrats Indygirl for your wonderful achievements! I use clothing! It is a sure way for me to see my results! Keep up the good! Report
The charmbraclett is a really good idea. Report
You are amazing. I need to get myself into gear. Struggling to do that at the moment. LOL Report
Great job, you've inspired me to know I can do this. I liked the charm bracelet idea the most. Thanks again Report
Tracking my nutrition, cardio , and strength training are obviously a part of my success in achieving my goal weight. I simply celebrate every month of my being on SparkPeople. I also celebrate my SparkVersary, and my months of maintaining my goal weight. My reward is motivating and inspiring other SparkPeople. It also inspires me to continue living a healthy lifestyle in leading by example. I have my health to celebrate long life with my wife and granddaughter by the beach. This is all I want. Report
I love the idea of using the charm bracelet for your accomplishments. I must admit I had not thought about how I will mark mine. Since I just completed my first 5K this weekend, I am thinking about heading to the store tomorrow!!! thanks for the great ideas and keep up the good work!!! Report
Thank-you for the wonderful post. Wishing you much success in reaching all of your goals to come! Report
Thanks for this. I never thought of celebrating before. Report
Yesterday was my birthday and had two milestones to celebrate. First, of losing 19 pounds in 12 months and lowering my cholesterol by 10 points. Only 26 points away to keep it in the borderline range. Report
Ah, Beth...your words and ideas are always such a balm to me; thank you! And I love your growing jewelry collection, too - pieces so heartfully and thoughtfully chosen :) I've enjoyed marking my milestones with jewelry, perfume, clothing, and even a facial (for my 60th birthday recently :). Music, too - a little shopping on iTunes - makes for wonderful presents for one's achievements. So does yarn, for making new scarves to match my coats, jackets, and sweaters :) I'm at goal now, but the presents keep a-comin'; I make sure of that! Report
great blog. you are amazing. i am motivated by the way i look. i haven't done any sort real 'reward program.' i do have more "goals" for 2012, so i might start then. Report
Yes I do agree that we should celebrate out victories. I plan on doing that. I have an 8 1/2 mile walk planned for this spring and my gift to myself is a new cool hair cut and color. So when I look in the mirror I can see my personal reward. Report
Thank you for the 'reminder'! And congratulations on your weight loss!
For me, too often 'food' has been the way to "celebrate milestones" -- I think I'm going to give your approach a try! Report
Yes - very important to remember and have visual reminders. Great article and great practice! Report
You're a shining star, Beth. Keep up the great work and thank you for the inspiration! Report
Very inspiring!

I took the advice from an SP article, and broke up my ultimate weight loss goal into smaller increments, with a small reward once I'd accomplished each mini-milestone. And something really cool happened - when I first made the list, the rewards were a certain CD, DVD, or book. Then as I was progressing in my focus on increased fitness and exercise consistency, I started altering my goals list - I replaced the desired DVDs, CDs and books with fitness equipment and workout clothes that I needed! And then these rewards helped me get further in reaching my goals - it was a great system!

I know that increased health and fitness are the ultimate rewards, but I agree with this post, that rewarding yourself for the milestones really helps motivate! Report
I like the rewards at milestone. I have to think of a few for me. Report
I have not used rewards for reaching any goals, but have read so many positive comments about doing just that. I think I may try it for this next year.
barb Report
My motivation was my health and happiness. Now I just love Spark. I never think about rewards health and happiness are sufficient rewards for me.
Congratulations on you accomplishments and enjoy your journey no matter where your destination lies. Hugs Pat in Maine. Report
Keep going. I know you will get to your goal. Report
I have a mixture of rewards going for myself. Basically I chose things I want but don't absolutely need to give me incentive to work for them. Now if I see one of those things I want, I can't buy it until I reach "x" weight. So even though I want to buy the SP cookbook, I can't buy it until I reach the weight that I said I could buy a cookbook. Or for weeks I saw earrings that I desperately wanted to buy, but I couldn't until I reached the goal weight that I designated for a pair of earrings. Report
Great idea. You're working for something you can actually see, and you know what it is in advance. Something you want. Awesome. Report
Great job on your weight loss, and great article! Report
What excellent rewards you've chosen for yourself. Sounds like you're doing a great job!! Keep it up! Report
Awesome work Beth!! Great idea with the charms also :) Report
AWESOME Beth!!! For my 4 years of maintaining I took up swimming and bought a family membership to the YMCA and a Speedo. Report
You're amazing. To have lost that much weight is unthinkable to me. I have 85 pounds to lose and you've given me so much motivation to keep going. I'm going to sit down and figure out where to set my smaller goals and rewards for reaching them. Thanks. Report
Beth - you are amazing and I love reading your blogs!

I agree completely....celebrate the milestones, document them so you never forget! Report
My husband is getting me a new pair of walking shoes when I complete my first 10 KM: (I just barely did my first 5 KM.) The trampoline is an excellent idea, as is the charm bracelet. Mind if I steal the idea? Report
Well done, Beth. I wish I had room for a mini-trampoline - it sounds like SO much fun! I usually reward myself with a new workout DVD or music, sometimes by making time for a much-needed spa pedicure. Report
Self-recognition is a great way to remind yourself why you are working your program! For my 1/4 to goal loss I got a pair of pink hiking boots! For my half way point loss I have a heart rate monitor watch. Good stuff! :-) Report
Awesome article loved it. Report
I have clung to that philosophy in order to prevent myself from becoming too overwhelmed.. It is so easy for my "perfectionist" self to overlook how far I have actually come. The changes in seen and unseen health.
Symbolism works well for me. Charms are an interesting idea. Report
So inspirational! And I love your charm bracelet idea what a great way to reward and remind yourself at the same time :)
That is so great! You are an inspiration. Keep up the great work :) Report
I have forgotten to give myself those little "treats" I had planned out so long ago. Time to look them up again, I know I wrote them down somewhere, and fulfill some of them. Report
Great article! Keep up the good work Beth! Report
You can "celebrate" any milestone, in numerous ways! I honestly enjoy "renewing my SENIOR membership" to the pool that I use twice a week. My DH and my "adorable grandkids" (all grandparents, have the right to brag a little) bought me my last renewal for my birthday, which also marked my SPARKVERSARY (within days). So whatever works for you, is the key! Report