This is the time of year that many people are either winding down, madly rushing around to finish up for a break, or methodically focusing on ending the year strong and planning for 2024. Wherever you are at the pointy end of the year, it’s a great time to reflect on all you have achieved this year. It’s also a great way to leverage your small wins and take them into the new year.
Three Reasons to Focus on Your Small Wins
1. We have a natural negativity bias. This explains why it’s so easy to focus on what we haven’t done, forgot, or failed at. Furthermore, research shows it takes around five positives to neutralise a negative thought. The key, therefore, is to focus on our successes, specifically our small wins on a daily basis.
2. Focusing on our small wins literally gives our internal GPS new instructions, new things to focus on. And when you start to focus on good things, your inner GPS, or Reticular Activating System (a part of the brain), gets into action to help you find more.
3. When you consistently record your small wins, you feel more accomplished and positive. Moreover, this helps you build more meaning in your life. Accomplishments, positive feelings and meaning are three critical ingredients for wellbeing and happiness.
Small wins help build joy
Furthermore, research clearly shows that small wins helps people cultivate a good inner environment. Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, in their book, ‘The Progress Principle’, state that small wins can “ignite joy, engagement, and creativity at work.” Even events that people thought were unimportant had powerful effects on inner work life.”
In challenging times, focusing on small wins is even more important to stay strong and focused. Small wins leave clues. Clues that helps you leverage and learn from, so you can make wiser decisions, take better actions and perform at a higher level.
It’s a bit like ascending a mountain. Just as a climber conquers a mountain by one step and one peak at a time, we create our year by building on our small wins. Each step, every ounce of effort, contributes to the ascent and end result. Moreover, as we progress, we gain momentum and build resilience and confidence to stay strong when the going gets tough. Finally, dolphin training embraces the principle of small wins and rewards,
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.’ John Wooden – Former Basketball Coach
Five Strategies to Leverage Your Small Wins
Get clear on what is really important to you. Consider what you really want to achieve or create in 2024, and who you want to become. Reverse engineer and carefully record what behaviours and commitments this means.
When you decide to focus on your path, it’s easier to let go of other things that are not 100% aligned with your path. There is always a cost and benefit to every goal, decision and choice. Commit to your plan. Furthermore, acknowledge your wins along the way, and ensure you keep a strong focus on your journey.
Create a habit of writing small wins down in your diary or a journal where you can easily revisit them. The simple act of handwriting has numerous benefits. It helps you retain and recall information more easily. Furthermore, it helps you see things from a new perspective and recognise patterns that may be serving you or sabotaging your success.
Stop berating yourself for what you didn’t do. On the contrary, champion yourself for what you did do and celebrate your small wins. Moreover, focus on getting better at prioritising work within the time and energy available. You might even like to create a not to do list? Remember, we tend to underestimate what we can do in the long term and overestimate what we can do in the short term.
Embrace a mindset of possibility thinking. Ask yourself new and better questions to help focus and train your mind towards solutions, ideas, opportunities and a compelling vision of your future.
If you are ready to make your 2024 your best year yet, then it’s important to start it the right way. I invite you to join me and a handful of other like minded people in my ‘Unshakeable Confidence Blueprint’ small group program, commencing in 2024. For further information on what a mindset coach does, check out the article here!
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting business professionals and entrepreneurs fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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