Why you should Celebrate your Small wins

My son and I recently played a game of pool. It was actually the third time my son had played the game and with every miss, I could see his frustration and impatience. At the end of another defeat, he said he had had enough and didn't want to play again. I was disappointed that what was meant to be a fun sport had turned into something he wasn't enjoying. I pointed out that even though he hadn't won this time that he had managed to hit 10 balls in (including the white ball 3 times!). And how he had gotten better each time. His demeanour changed and he racked the balls up again to try again.

One of the toughest lessons to learn in business is that our big goals aren’t going to happen overnight. In fact, most can take years. You might not feel like celebrating the small wins, but when you are able to view your goals and challenges as stepping stones rather than obstacles celebrating those small wins becomes not only a learning curve but a great way to motivate you onto success.

Thomas Edison, the American businessman who invented the lightbulb, took almost 10,000 attempts to create a lightbulb—to some they might equate that to a lot of “failures”. But Edison would say, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

When asked to name the keys to motivating workers, managers ranked recognition for good work as the most important, while others said incentives. Other answers included focusing on the value of interpersonal support as well as setting clear goals. Very few ranked progress. Yet, the power of progress is fundamental to human nature. In a Harvard Business Review study of how everyday life inside organizations can influence a person’s performance, researchers analyzed nearly 12,000 diary entries from 238 employees across seven companies. They found that when small wins are captured every day would affect positively an employee's motivation. Simply recording your progress helps boost your self-confidence and motivate you toward future successes.

There is science behind this thought process too. When you accomplish something, it activates the reward centre of our brains. This allows us to feel a sense of pride and helps us experience the feeling of being rewarded. These small changes in behaviour can set off a positive chain reaction which in turn can motivate you to want to achieve bigger goals.

Another reason to celebrate the small wins is that every small win will stack up over time and become significant markers of your business progress. You'll remember the time your social media post got 10 followers, or how your blog post was read 22 times, or how someone commented and gave your service a great review.

  1. You’ll start to view yourself as an accomplished business owner.

The more you achieve, the more you’ll feel valued in what you do. When you express your own accomplishments, the more you’ll notice your own worth.

2. You become aware of all the great things you’ve done.

When you stop to look back at everything you’ve done, you’ll realise you’re much further along than you think.

3. You’ll feel relief without feeling burnout.

There will be days when you feel like you’re getting nowhere. You have a long list of things to do.

Take a breather and celebrate the ones you have checked off.

4. You’ll feel more confident and motivated

Realising what you can actually achieve will build your confidence. It will also make you feel motivated to work even harder towards your next goal.

Stop for a moment and recognise and celebrate every time you hit a goal. Don’t keep your successes a secret. Put them out there for the world to see and spread the word.