Especially when you are trying to change your financial life, it’s critical that you celebrate each small step that you take towards your goal. It makes little difference, day-to-day, whether your victories are big or small. The important thing is to keep making day-to-day progress. It will add up.

I mean that mathematically. It adds up. And it compounds. It compounds in ways you won’t see, perhaps for decades. But your eighty year-old retired self is going to thank you for the wise decisions you make now!

How many big victories does anyone win anyway? You would think that winning the lottery is a big victory, but how much good does it really do? The stories of lottery winners are surprisingly uninspiring. Lots of them just go bankrupt.

When you focus on small victories it means you are focusing on what you can control. And that is going to change not merely your finances, but your self-concept. It changes your identity.

So if you’re trying to get out of debt, find the credit card that has the lowest balance. Pay it off first. When it’s paid off, celebrate. Cover the card in glitter, take your time shredding it piece by piece, put it in a little bitty casket and give it a funeral service. Whatever. Just make sure you celebrate.

Do you need to start saving? Just save 20 dollars. Get through the whole month, and you’ve still got 20 dollars in your account. Celebrate. Jump up and down. Pat yourself on the back. Then bump up your savings to 50 dollars. Celebrate again.

Do you need to stop spending on stupid stuff? Great! Every time you do something more productive than shopping therapy, every single time, celebrate it.

Do you simply need to make more money? Figure out what you need to do to advance your career, and celebrate each teeny tiny step you take to reach that goal.

You get the idea.

You can achieve financial freedom, on your own terms, but just like any recovering addict, it’s got to be one step at a time. One day at a time, and if that doesn’t work, one minute at a time.