Working with International Bestselling Author Robin Sharma was one of the most exciting times in my life.
I got to do some REALLY BIG THINGS and helped to impact the world in profound ways.
But with great power comes great responsibility.
It took A LOT of work to make a dent in the universe.
And sometimes a project would take months to complete.
So what can you do to stay motivated during the hard times, focused during the chaos, and feel good about what you’re doing when the end results seem to be light years away?
One of the things that Robin taught me to really make it all happen was the power of small wins.
He called it the Micro-Wins Advantage. Others have called it the Progress Principle.
But really what it comes down to is harnessing the power of small wins.
So often we set lofty goals for ourselves. Where the final rewards seem to be miles (and even years) away. And because that mountaintop looks like it’s way beyond our reach we become discouraged, depressed and even end up bailing on those projects that would help us in discovering our deepest joys.
Tapping into the power of small wins will help you combat and beat back the darkness. They’ll boost your energy and help you feel good about the work you’re doing. Even if you’ve just barely pushing the needle forward.
This idea has even been backed up by some real life research…
How Small Wins Boost Your Energy, Give You Motivation and Make You Feel Happy
Researchers poured over diaries kept by knowledge workers hoping to glean some sort of constant variable that could be teased out of the data to find an elusive clue to maintaining motivation and boosting happiness in the workplace.
What they discovered was that making progress (however small) and documenting that progress had a profound impact on people’s mental states.
Teresa Amabile, one of the key researchers in the study and author of the Progress Principle said that, “Through exhaustive analysis of diaries kept by knowledge workers, we discovered the progress principle: Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work. And the more frequently people experience that sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run. Whether they are trying to solve a major scientific mystery or simply produce a high-quality product or service, everyday progress—even a small win—can make all the difference in how they feel and perform.”
How to Harness the Power of Small Wins In Your Own Life
So how can you harness the power of small wins in your own life? It’s a super easy process. All you need is about five minutes of your time, a pen and some paper. You’re going to be making a “I Got It Done List”.
How to Make A “I Got It Done List”
1) At the end of your day write down the things you got done (however small).
2) Look over your list. Reflect on those accomplishments. Really feel into those moments. Savoring your victories.
3) Review your “I Got It Done List” regularly. Not only is it a good idea to work this little ritual into your every day life. But another tactic to is use it as a motivation tool. Any time you’re feeling down or overwhelmed you can whip out your list and be reminded of everything that you accomplished before.
Taking This Practice to the Next Level…
Making progress in life and unleashing your awesome potential comes down to awareness and action. So another great thing that your list can and will do for you is give you insight into what’s happening to hinder you from pushing the needle forward.
If there are days where you didn’t seem to get anything done then it’ll be good to ask yourself the following questions:
1) What stopped me from making progress on my goals?
2) What did I learn from those things?
3) What can I do to minimize their impact on my progress next time?
Count Your Small Wins
Don’t wait until that big project is finished to celebrate your accomplishments. Pat yourself on the back for the work that you’ve already finished. It takes herculean strength to block out all the distractions and get good work done. Don’t minimize your efforts – celebrate them.
If you really look you’ll see that you made some sort of progress toward your goals. Record those small wins and take some time to really appreciate what you’ve accomplished.
Keep Being Buddhaful
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