I have big goals. I want to help us get to gender parity in both the private and public sectors. I want to help working moms give up on perfectionism so they can be who they truly are and live meaningful lives. I want to run a successful business where I’m constantly learning and growing AND also making the money to create the kind of life I want to live. I want my kids to feel loved, supported and seen for who they are, while learning to work hard, take risks and have empathy for their fellow imperfect humans.
Sometimes (actually most of the time) looking at that list is overwhelming—and I do this motivating stuff for a living. This is often the way my clients feel as well. They are hungry for a career change, a promotion, to start a new business—or some other huge transition, that all seem out there in the unreachable distance.
In addition to breaking down the path to a big goal into small actions, we do something that I find to be one of the biggest motivators and predictors of success.
We celebrate each and every small win.
Celebrating the small wins:
- Cultivates presence and gratitude. We must stand exactly where we are right now and know that we are exactly where we need to be instead of wishing ourselves into some future destination.
- Propels our momentum. We gain confidence in what we can accomplish and it jumpstarts our next actions.
- Chips away at our fear. Fear can come on with a vengeance when we’re doing something we haven’t done before. When moving through fear becomes part of our muscle memory with small wins, we become skilled at recognizing it and sidelining it in the moment.
A few ways I recommend clients celebrate their small wins are:
- Recruit an accountability buddy or group for you to report wins (with as many emojis as you like) on a regular basis. I have a group text with my Mastermind Group and we’re quite a supportive crew!
- Keep a brag list! Whether it’s in a designated section of your notebook, a note on your phone, or in Evernote, keep a running list of all of the small wins that spark pride. Remember, a small thing can make a big impact!
- Talk about your wins with your close-in circle and beyond. If you’re one of those people who cringe at the idea of self-promotion, get some practice with it by talking about your wins with people who support you. Notice the reactions you get and experiment with going beyond your comfortable circle. Self-promotion is a skill that’s worth nurturing if you want to progress in your career.
Once you’re in the habit of celebrating and your wins are well documented, they can be used as the structure for company status meetings or performance reviews, or simply for your own confidence and validation. And if you want to blow your mind—take a look at a few of what you’re calling small wins and compare where you are now on progress to where you were a year ago. That’s one way to explode a small win into fanfare that tops your list!