Have you ever noticed how easy it is for us to feel down on ourselves? We generally don’t have a problem feeling guilty about what we perceive as poor performance. Whether the misstep is big or small, punishing oneself seems to come naturally for many. But when it comes to feeling proud about accomplishing something, it is easy to let the moment slip through our fingertips.
This discrepancy is a problem, as it decreases our motivation and makes it that much harder to achieve long-term successes.
Why is it important to celebrate these small wins?
- Celebrating small wins is an important way to track incremental achievements and work toward much larger goals. Plus, it makes you feel good more often.
- To boost motivation. When you reward yourself for each small victory that you achieve, the motivation to continue achieving is much higher. You will feel that your hard work is leading somewhere, which makes you want to continue to work harder and put in more time on each project.
- To emphasize goal-setting. Not only that, but celebrating each win serves to emphasize how important it is to set goals, and how this makes it so much easier to track your progress. This will encourage you to set goals within your own daily tasks and work towards them. The end result will be a more motivated and productive version of you.
- To remember your overall goal. For an individual that is working hard on a particular project, it can be a long and hard slog to the finish line. It’s easy to lose motivation and to lose sight of the final goal. By celebrating a small victory, you remind yourself of what that overall goal is – and how much closer you now are to completing it. This helps to keep the you going for longer.
- Small wins lower the bar. They scale down the effort required and minimize the excuses we come up with to start a task. Breaking tasks down into smaller, more manageable goals can help with a sense of overwhelm that often leads to procrastination.
- Small wins give you a little hit of dopamine – a feel-good brain chemical linked to motivation. This may be news for people out there who hold on to self-criticism because they think it’s intended to motivate them to do better next time.
Each time you set a small goal, take the time to pause and celebrate when you actually achieve one. You may want to consider some light bragging to mark the achievement, to help reflect on how far you’ve come from the start of a project.
Even if they take just 5 to 10 minutes, small wins can stack up over time and become significant markers of progress and happiness.
“Win small, win early, win often.” ~ Gary Hamel