9 Ways to Celebrate Success

Sometimes we freelancers get so caught up in trying to achieve our long term goals, we forget to recognize our own successes.

One of my early posts for this blog was Let’s Party! Why Celebrating Success Can Be The Key To Your Business’s Future. In it, I list five great ways for freelancers to celebrate their achievements.

Over two years later, I’m still convinced that celebrating the business successes along the way to our long term goals is critical to protect freelancers from freelancing burnout. Remember, as a freelancer you’re self employed. No boss is going to come along and recognize you for your extra hard work or your exceptional achievements. It’s up to you to take care of this aspect of business.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to list nine more ways that freelancers can celebrate their successes. At the end, why don’t you share how you celebrate your successes?

9 Success Celebrations

Freelancing is stressful. To tell you the truth, sometimes I get stressed even reading posts about freelancing. There’s always something I’m not doing or something that I could be doing better.

It doesn’t help that many freelancing “gurus” seem to be proud of working extra long hours for days on end. The implication seems to be that freelancing is “tough,” so long hours are unavoidable if you want to be successful. In fact, according to this school of thought, the longer the hours, the more successful the freelancer. (Personally, I’m not of the “tough” success school. Freelancing isn’t free money and there’s definitely work involved. Sometimes that work is hard, but it’s possible to succeed at freelancing without giving up the rest of your life.)

That’s all the more reason why, when we freelancers do something right or accomplish something we’re proud of we should take the time to celebrate. A finished project could be celebration worthy. Taking your business a new direction might also merit a celebration. It doesn’t have to be a big lavish celebration (unless, of course, you want it to be). Often, a mini celebration is enough.

Here are nine of my favorite ways to celebrate my freelancing successes:

  1. Sleep in. As a freelancer, you would think that I could sleep in every day if I wanted to. But, the truth is that, between freelance responsibilities and personal responsibilities, I rarely get the chance. When I do sleep in, it’s a real treat.
  2. Read a good book. I love to read, so reading is a great reward for me. It’s especially relaxing to get caught up in a novel that has absolutely nothing to do with work. (If you can’t afford to buy a book, remember the library.)
  3. Visit with friends. Time spent with family or friends can be a great way of relaxing. And, even though networking is a great business practice, give yourself a break and allow yourself some network free time with those you care about.
  4. Travel. If you can get away, even for a few days, the change of scenery and surroundings can renew you. You don’t have to go far. Often, spending some time just a few hours away is enough. Don’t bring work.
  5. Spa day. Indulge yourself and spend a day relaxing and pampering yourself at the spa. (If a spa day doesn’t quite fit your budget, you may be able to simulate a spa experience at home with a warm tub and some candles.)
  6. Gym day. Spend a fitness day at your local gym. Sign up for the aerobics class you’ve always wanted to take. Swim laps in the pool. Use the sauna or steam room. Challenge a friend to a lively game of racquetball.
  7. Treat yourself to dinner and a movie. Make reservations at that new restaurant in town that you’ve been wanting to try. Follow the meal with a stop at the local movie theater to see that new film starring your favorite actor.
  8. Go to the park. One of my favorite things to do is snapping photographs of flowers and plants in a local park. Regardless of whether you enjoy photography, getting outdoors and getting fresh air is bound to be a treat.
  9. Go shopping. I almost hesitate to add this one, because not everyone finds shopping to be a treat. For some it is stressful. However, if you are one of those who can relax through shopping set yourself a budget and just go.

How Do You Relax?

I’ve shared nine ways that I’ve used to celebrate those little successes that make up your freelancing journey.

How do you celebrate your freelancing successes?

Image by Muffet


  1. Flow TnT says

    I live in the Caribbean, so I make time to head out to the beaches, but I also love food and movies.

    I set aside time for gaming; either delve into a new one, or go back through one of my favourites.
    It’s cheap, it’s fun, and it’s close to everything else online (email, articles, feeds, etc.).

    Generally, I make time for my hobbies, and they include creative things (non-digital art). This helps with creativity on the next project as well. I sometimes just futz around with web coding, graphic design, and Flash stuff. I am also trying to get into more multimedia stuff, including audio editing and movie/film/television related fields (writing, directing, special effects, etc.).

  2. says

    I celebrate mini-successes with chocolate. My favorites are Snickers and Nuggle. I also treat myself to Burger King’s Double Whopper meal…big success + big rewards = big appetite, right. :D

  3. says

    First, let me state the obvious: Flow TnT, I am jealous — the Caribbean is one fine place to live & celebrate!

    Laura, you’re absolutely right. It’s a lesson I learned from my dad, who would always bring home a bottle of cheap champagne (Cold Duck, actually) whenever he would make a big sale. For me and my wife, the big celebration is usually a little bar-hopping and dinner at our favorite sushi place. Exercise is my more common reward for wrapping up a deadline.

  4. says

    Flow TnT,

    Wow! It sounds like you’ve got a very balanced life.


    You gotta love chocolate. :) There’s even a rumor that it might be good for us.

    Dr. Freelance,

    When you’re in freelancing for the long haul, I think these little celebrations can help keep things going. Your father sounds like a wise man.

  5. says

    It’s important to recognize the big clients you’ve gained or the project you’ve just finished. Otherwise it feels like you’re just on a client assembly line – one client in, one client out.

  6. says

    Great post Laura! I try to celebrate after landing a big project or wrapping one up. I also try to enjoy a bottle of champagne when I hit a financial goal with my business. These little things can help keep you sane :P

  7. says

    Awesome post Laura! :) I usually treat myself to a delicious banana split or munch on my favorite chocolate bar after completing a project successfully. Watching a good movie at home or writing on my personal blog also makes me feel proud of myself.

  8. TLC says

    I usually celebrate with my son. This month am installing a new whirlpool tub and tile after working soooooo hard the past few months. I think we should all go to Flow TnT’s place and have a BIG party!

  9. says

    I think just being able to relax and “do nothing” for a few hours is a great way to celebrate. I’m sure with most freelancers it is hard just to “do nothing”, I definitely have this problem. I’m always thinking or doing something dealing with my own projects or my clients’ projects. Sometimes it is hard to turn all that off and just relax.

  10. says

    Great topic. First time posting… I’m with Chris all the way. After completing a huge job, I want all but a day to lounge around and ‘do nothing’! Being a mom to a 4 yr old and working full time (at home) while trying to multi-task is a tough job. A day full of nothingness and maybe a glass of bubblies with that is the best way I celebrate.

  11. Flow TnT says

    I am currently working on two projects and I am hoping to finish by next week, get paid, then I am off to our sister island of Tobago.

    Then the “last minute” Christmas clients’ work starts. I got two potentials: one is a local jewelry and souvenir shop (e-commerce to be part of it), and the other is a local hand-made chocolate truffle shop.

    The plan is to finish a couple weeks before Christmas…then relaxation – food, video gaming, liming (friends and family get-together).

    Anyone want to come down this way, when they finish their projects, that’ll be cool. It’ll be hot ‘n’ sunny, though we are in the rainy season (6 months of the year).

  12. says

    I like to treat myself to an extra special meal or quitting the day early if I’ve met my goals. I also treat the weekends like a treat as I do everything in my power to avoid working on the weekend so if I’ve done well during the week I can really appreciate my time off.


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