30 Achievements to Celebrate When You Feel Like a Failure

Because simply existing is productive.

30 Achievements to Celebrate When You Feel Like a Failure
Photo by Tim Mossholder / Unsplash
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Life’s been hard lately. October is always hard for me but worries about the upcoming election and COVID have brought my stress to a whole new level this year. Not to mention the fact that I have ADHD and stress and mental illness don’t mix.

Some days are better than others but a lot of days lately have left me feeling like I haven’t been productive enough, like I haven’t accomplished anything. It’s easy to beat myself up. It’s easy to give in to the judgmental voices in my head that tell me I’m a failure. I mean, I’m a 33-year-old adult, right? Why can’t I do more than three things in a day?

In therapy, I’m learning to disrupt old thought patterns, to stop them in their tracks. It’s hard. Society tells us that Productivity™ is the most important thing and if we’re not productive every single minute of every single day, then what are we good for? What are we even doing with our lives?

Being productive is more than just working 24/7 though. It’s living. It’s surviving. It’s accomplishing the mundane, everyday tasks that we often don’t even think about. We do them on autopilot so we forget that they take energy, too. In 2020, completing even one task should be enough.

So I’ve compiled a list of 30 things to celebrate when you’re feeling unproductive. This list is for the voice in your head at the end of the day that says, “ugh, I haven’t done ANYTHING today!” To be clear, this list counts even when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic and awaiting the results of the most important election of our lifetimes. This list counts every day and if you accomplish more, that’s just a bonus. If you’re dealing with depression or any other mental illness and you achieve even one of these things, you deserve a standing ovation.

Print this list out, bookmark it, stick it to your mirror or your forehead, whatever. Whenever you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing, look at this list and realize that simply existing is productive. Life is so, so short. Please be gentle with your mind.

existing is productive

30 Achievements to Celebrate When You Feel Like a Failure

  1. Getting out of bed
  2. Brushing your teeth
  3. Getting dressed
  4. Making coffee/tea
  5. Eating breakfast
  6. Taking care of your pet.
  7. Taking your meds/vitamins
  8. Doing a load of laundry
  9. Remembering an important date
  10. Taking a shower
  11. Eating lunch
  12. Getting your flu shot
  13. Answering an email
  14. Doing the dishes
  15. Stepping outside
  16. Taking out the trash
  17. Going to the grocery store
  18. Talking to a friend
  19. Remembering your mask
  20. Reading a chapter of a book
  21. Listening to a podcast
  22. Vacuuming one room
  23. Video chatting with your therapist
  24. Taking a walk
  25. Wiping down your kitchen and/or bathroom counters
  26. Cooking dinner
  27. Making someone laugh
  28. Washing your face
  29. Being able to fall asleep
  30. Existing in 2020

You’re awesome! Keep that shit up!

As always, thank you for reading!