When we celebrate the little wins along the way, the journey is much more enjoyable.
I use a specific worksheet that has clients fill in little happy faces for each day they’ve eaten healthy, moved their body, or approached the day with a winning mindset!
The point is to celebrate each mini win so they start feeling this snowball effect towards healthier, happier living.
We can apply the same process to your goal setting and planning. Let’s say you’re a new writer working on a book. Instead of celebrating the final publication, you might make a point to celebrate finishing each chapter.
This is about setting benchmarks and giving yourself a smiley face at various points along the way. Why is this important? Well, Charles Duhigg said it best:
“Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.”
In other words, when you reach a small goal and acknowledge the win, this helps you believe that you can really reach the ultimate goal.
Struggles and Obstacles are Part of the Process
You’re always going to come up against obstacles when trying to achieve anything in life. Even in your everyday life!
If you live in Los Angeles, you know what a struggle it is just to get through traffic in the morning. Am I going to tell you to celebrate traffic? No, of course not. But you could celebrate the fact that you have 30 minutes in your car to listen to a podcast or recite positive affirmations.
The key is finding a way to enjoy the journey and celebrate conquering each obstacle as it comes. Do that and you’ll cross the finish line with a smile on your face and a feeling of pride that’s been building up in you the whole time.
Each Little Step Is Important
If you’re sitting on the couch and you haven’t run in sixty days, you’re probably not going to sign up for a marathon next month. You’re going to take baby steps and start with a 5k (unless you’re insane like me!). After the 5k you may be so excited about your accomplishments and new skills that you decide to start training for a 10k, and then a half marathon, and then a marathon.
The reason you can’t go from couch potato to marathon finisher is because you haven’t built up either the physical or mental strength–and belief in yourself that comes with training.
That’s what all the small wins do. They continually fuel your transformation, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. You become bigger and taller and stronger and your shoulders are held back and your head is higher and your superhero cape starts coming out of your collar–letting everybody know that you’re changing!
Those little steps become the foundation upon which you build the next level of your own personal greatness.
Harvard Agrees! Well, okay, maybe they said it first. 🙂 But here’s a more in-depth article from Harvard Business Review about Small Wins and Feeling Good: (http://hbr.org/2011/05/small-wins-and-feeling-good/).