celebrate every tiny victory

I am admittedly a little bit of a goal-setting junkie. I love a good project plan and seeing a project come to life as I check each item off the to-do list. Last week, I shared how some objectives (like starting a business) are SO big that breaking them down into smaller, micro goals can allow for a more digestible path forward. I was listening to the Rise podcast with Rachel Hollis (the inspiration for this week’s post), and she had some insights on celebrating those small wins to keep the motivation going.

Harvard Business Review, in a 2011 article, talked about the “progress principle.” It is the idea that out of all the things that boost motivation, emotions and perceptions during a workday, the most important is making progress in meaningful work. On top of that, the more often a person feels that sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run. In this research, progress was most often minor, but it still evoked a sense of happiness and satisfaction. This week I’m sharing some easy ways to celebrate progress toward your ultimate goal.

  • Indulgent Treats – This was Rachel Hollis’ suggestion, and I loved the idea of putting something indulgent in the fridge with your micro goal on it (so you can see it multiple times per day). Once you hit your goal, celebrate with that treat!
  • Create a Daily Habit that Celebrates Progress – In this TED talk by Mehrnaz Bassiri, she suggests keeping a daily diary of progress towards the goal. “This helps us to reflect on our days and keep track of all those little achievements that normally go unnoticed.”
  • Your Inner Circle – pick one or two people with whom you can share micro wins. Be careful to not share with too many people as that can trick your brain into thinking you’ve achieved the ultimate goal according to Bassiri. My dad gets a daily call from me, and that usually involves me telling him about some small progress. That small proclamation of victory documents the progress, and he always indulges me (thanks, dad!).

I hope you’re able to stop and celebrate this week – even if it’s the most minor progress! I’d love to hear any other suggestions on ways you celebrate.

Take care & be well,