All too often, we spend the bulk of our time and efforts working towards that huge end-goal or breakthrough — that big moment when you ace the test, secure a new client or turn in that ten-page report. While these moments are extremely gratifying, they don’t happen every day. Why not recognize the importance of the little wins in your day-to-day work and personal life?
Extensive research has been conducted with regards to celebrating the little wins in our everyday lives. One of the most notable books explaining this principle is Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer’s “The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work”. The underlying message here is that, of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.
In other words, celebrating each “baby step” as you work your way to your end goal can really make all the difference in your morale and performance at the office. For all you managers and entrepreneurs out there – help your team notice their achievements, especially the small ones! The more frequently people are told that their work is appreciated, and the more that they experience that sense of progress, the more motivated and productive they will remain in the long run.
Here are a few ways to help you and your team stay in the “little win” mindset:
- Break up your end goal or project into chunks or sub-goals that are celebrated every time each “chunk” is completed.
- Keep a record or diary of the little wins you come across throughout your day. Even the smallest of achievements, (for example: someone with weight-loss goals resisting the donuts a co-worker brought in), can ignite a positive outlook for the rest of the day.
- When you achieve a little win, STOP! Instead of trucking on to the next assignment, pause to pat yourself on the back. If you can’t hold yourself to do so, let your manager or co-worker hold you accountable for letting them in on the mini-celebration. After all, you deserve it.
- Ask your team each and every morning why they are awesome. This will keep them motivated to achieve a little win at least every day. Whether their awesomeness is that they got up early and worked out that morning, or that they finally mustered up the courage to ask a client for a referral – everyone will be motivated to keep productivity and awesomeness up habitually.
With all the deadlines and disruptions in our lives, it is all too easy to have our smaller achievements go unnoticed, especially by ourselves. Take a moment now and congratulate yourself. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Recognize the little wins today – it might just unleash your potential for a big win tomorrow.