I Set One Small Goal Every Day For An Entire Month

The Vitamin Shoppe’s new brand campaign, Victory Is Yours, is all about celebrating the small wins that eventually add up to big gains, like parking your car in the furthest parking spot so you have to take more steps, or actually making it to yoga class after a busy day.

As a Health Enthusiast at The Vitamin Shoppe (I work in the human resources department at the corporate office in New Jersey), I wanted to be a part of Victory Is Yours by achieving one small goal (be it personal or wellness-related) each day for a month. It was a challenging—but very fulfilling!—experience, especially because I’d recently dealt with some health issues.

A few months ago, I got the flu (despite being a fairly healthy person) and was down and out for two weeks. During that time, while I was lying on the couch, a simple turn of my head led to a herniated disc in my neck, which left me immobile for months. I couldn’t drive because I wasn’t able to turn my head, I had difficulty putting on clothes and doing simple tasks, and I was constantly experiencing nerve and muscle pain.

It’s easy to take your health for granted until you no longer have it on your side. During my month of victories, I was able to be more mindful of that—while my health got better and better each day. It took time, patience, and dedication. Here is what my month of small victories looked like:

Day 1: My trainer bailed on me last minute because he was double-booked, so I had to decide to either be lazy and just not work out or sign up for an awesome class I’d been wanting to try. My choice? I hit a barre class.

Day 2: I tried to set myself up for success by meal-prepping ahead of time: I made a shake (I like Next Step’s Fit N’ Full Shake, Swiss Chocolate Flavor) for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a healthy snack. Meal-prepping definitely helped me make better choices when hunger hit!

Day 3: I added more weight to my workouts and felt great. It was my fourth workout of the week!

Day 4: I attended a wrestling match my nephew played in. It was great spending time with family, while rooting him on for doing something active.

Day 5: Instead of sitting all day at work, I stood for one hour, every other hour, during the whole work day.

Day 6: I set frequent reminders to get up and drink eight glasses of water (I usually only drink one or two glasses of water a day).

Day 7: Instead of having road rage or being annoyed while sitting in traffic, I started listening to inspiring podcasts during my commute to and from work. I was excited to start and end my days feeling empowered, informed, and motivated.

Day 8: I substituted my daily afternoon pick-me-up of Diet Pepsi or Sprite with Diet Snapple or regular tea. Game changer.

Day 9: Sometimes if I’m tired or in a mood, I can boost back with a little musical pick-me-up. So I made a playlist of songs that makes me feel like 1000 percent. Though music is sometimes too distracting to listen to when I’m doing tough tasks, I learned to take a break once in a while to reset and help me power through. On that playlist: David Bowie, Queen, and the Beatles.

Day 10: I passed my step goal for the day: 10, 892 steps!

Day 11: I sent a card to a patient in need at a local hospital. It only takes a minute to make someone’s day.

Day 12: My fiancé and I marked something off our wedding planning check list and then picked our invitations! One stressor down—3,495,873 to go.

Day 13: I went for my first run in a while. It felt good to be back on the treadmill!

Day 14: I gave my body the break it needed, while also enjoying some good food, drinks, and time with friends. Treat yourself; it’s self-care.

Day 15: I finished listening to an audio book. I’m a bookworm but I often find it hard to read at night when I’ve been reading all day long on the computer. Just like inspirational podcasts, audio books have become my saviors. No matter what, I can still fit books into my schedule!

Day 16: I took off every stitch of makeup off before I went to bed—mascara and all. While this may seem like a really small win, it was pretty big to me: I usually always fall asleep with my makeup on. I wanted to set a goal to be nicer to my skin.

Day 17: They say that a family that sweats together, stays together. Instead of simply going to a baby shower on Saturday (and eating and drinking with family), my cousins and I signed up for a 7 a.m. fitness class at Orange Theory. It was so motivating to be doing something healthy like that with my extended family—and we had so much fun!

Day 18: I washed, folded, and put away two loads of laundry, instead of letting it all hang out on the dreaded chair in the corner. For someone who hates doing laundry, this was definitely a victory.

Day 19: I decided to pick up a new hobby: photography!

Day 20: Even though I’m a daily contact wearer, I also use special screen protection glasses (since I’m staring at a computer all day). The thing is, I often forget to put them on, so I made an effort to honor my eye health and remember to use them.

Day 21: I stretched upon waking up. I definitely do not do this enough. I grew up playing soccer and have always had tight hamstrings (I need more yoga in my life), so it was nice to take those few minutes to listen to my body in the morning. I made a plan to stretch regularly throughout the day at my desk and before I go to bed. I’m not sure if I can keep this ritual up regularly, but it’s made me realize that I need to stretch way more often.

Day 22: I unplugged from all electronics an hour before bed. I have to admit that it was a bit weird, as I’m used to winding down while scrolling through my phone or watching TV. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the conversations that me and my fiancé had while lying in bed. It was nice to re-connect face to face by disconnecting from everything else.

Day 23: I parked in the farthest parking spot while hitting up the marketplace. I did this on purpose, while being hangry. Now that felt victorious.

Related: 6 Life-Changing Things I Learned When I Started Working Out Regularly

Day 24: Victory, to me, isn’t only working on the relationship I have with own body—but helping the people I care about take care of theirs. Today I went for a walk with one of my fit friends; a recent foot injury had been tough for her to come back from, but we were able to get in a few-mile walk while catching up. I got in over 15,000 steps, which is a lot for me!

Day 25: Today was Self-Care Sunday! I love the weekends, because I go makeup-free (and sometimes shower-free too). It allows my skin to breathe while also not drying out my skin and hair.

Day 26: I had a nice glass of red wine and danced around my apartment for a good half hour. There’s nothing like good tunes, good company, and a good drink. I didn’t even feel bad about not going to the gym, because dancing is my favorite form of cardio!

Day 27: I worked on decluttering. I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning lately, whether it’s the drawers in my house or piles of paper at work. It feels so good to straighten up and only hold on to the things that really matter. Clearing the clutter definitely helps clear the mind.

Day 28: I wore my Vitamin Angels (a non-profit organization that provides life-saving vitamins to mothers and children) t-shirt to the gym and someone asked me what it meant. It felt great talking about The Vitamin Shoppe’s partnership with Vitamin Angels, along with my plans to continuously help the organization.

When my month of daily victories ended, I learned to be more mindful and intentional. I also realized how focused I could become when I had a goal. I felt happier, healthier, and really accomplished, all from just doing one small thing every day. It was incredible.

As the writer Robert Brault once said, “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.” Victory is yours!

Join the conversation! Snap a picture of whatever makes you feel victorious, and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag #VictoryIsMine and @vitaminshoppe!