When you think of success, what comes to mind? Most people would agree that movie stars, billionaires, and CEOs of international companies are pretty successful. They've put time and effort into their craft and come up on top. However, what if we told you that's not all that success is? In order to progress and succeed in your field, you shouldn't just focus on the big goals. Instead, you first need to realize the importance of celebrating small wins. Doing things step by step is the best way to motivate yourself and progress toward your goals.
What Are Small Wins?
Small wins are those wins you make on an everyday basis. You won't come up with a new, groundbreaking invention every single day. In your work, you won't close a million-dollar sale every single day or score a leading role. But what you need to understand is that's actually totally fine. You don't have to do that in order to be successful. So, to feel motivated, you need to start celebrating small wins that help you work towards your goal.
For some people, especially those struggling with depression, a win is getting out of bed in the morning or brushing their teeth. Another goal can be eating healthy, making your meals, hitting the gym, or even taking the time out of your day to journal. To those extremely busy people, a win can be spending time with their kids after a long day at the office instead of continuing to work from home.
Why Should You Be Celebrating Small Wins?
Simply put: celebrating small wins is important as it helps you move closer to your bigger goals and objectives and keep track of your process. There are a few main benefits of celebrating these minor victories, such as:
#1: Small Wins Indicate Progress
Most people are motivated by progress. When they don't see results nor feel like they aren't progressing to where they need to be, they may feel inclined to stop what they're doing altogether. On the other hand, when they break down their big goal into a few minor goals, they can gain a sense of accomplishment when they achieve each of those smaller goals. However, a crucial component of motivation here is the part where you celebrate small wins. Without celebrating your success, no matter how small, you won't feel as motivated and energized to keep pushing forward.
For example, when you have an employee struggling with mental health and feeling overwhelmed, a good way to motivate them is to help them take pride even in their smaller achievements.
#2: They Keep You Focused
When you set small goals, you usually come up with a strategy or a plan of action. You know each step you have to take in order to complete that goal and the ones after that until you eventually reach the end goal. This can help you feel more focused and keep your eye on the ball.
Small victories like this also give you something to anticipate. You'll be much more likely to succeed if you know you'll score a minor victory today than if you didn't believe you would do anything.
#3: Small Wins Increase Your Confidence
When you celebrate a small win, hormones are released into your body, making you feel great about yourself. Having this feeling often can make you feel more confident in your abilities.
This is true even when it comes to non-work related wins, like setting clear boundaries, saying "no" without feeling bad or making new friends.
Moreover, celebrating victories reinforces the behavior you want to use when you encounter new chances or obstacles in your life. It also feels great physiologically. Each time you progress, you remind yourself of your success and leave no room for doubt.
Track Your Progress
You'll be reminded of how far you've come in achieving your objective by keeping notes or writing down your accomplishments. Sometimes you might feel like giving up because you don't realize how close you are to achieving your goals and lose sight of everything you've accomplished. Just seeing all your accomplishments on paper can be satisfying, so make sure you keep track of all of them.
Be a Little Flexible
When setting up and keeping track of your goals, try not to set impossible standards for yourself. Set up a timeline that makes sense and leaves plenty of room for mistakes and mishaps. Be flexible with your end goal, and don't get too discouraged if you don't finish in your projected timeline. Speed should never be prioritized over quality or your mental health.
How to Celebrate Small Wins
While the importance of celebrating small wins might seem obvious at this point, some people might still struggle with this concept because they don't know how to reward themselves. The best way to celebrate a small win is to think about something you'd enjoy and reward yourself.
For example, treat yourself to a coffee from your favorite coffee shop, or buy a little treat like a candy bar or a snack you enjoy. If you're doing things like that daily and want to make this extra special, consider rewarding yourself with a hot bubble bath or curling up on a sofa with a really good book. Take a walk, or spend time with the people you love that you might not see so often.
The importance of celebrating small wins is undeniable. Breaking off your end goal into chunks of more reasonable goals is the best way to track your progress over time and keep yourself motivated. Focusing on minor accomplishments can also help you be more confident in yourself over time. Of course, in the end, it's not enough to check off something from the to-do list and keep on going. Instead, don't forget to celebrate each accomplishment and treat yourself to something you enjoy.
Isabelle Collins is a professional content writer and a mental health advocate. She’s a writer at Rockstar Pro Movers, but she also runs a self-help column on her blog. Isabelle lives in San Francisco with her roommates and a pet lizard.