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Focus on small wins

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

In the workplace and our personal life, we all have goals, some long term (learn a software program or foreign language), some more immediate (finish creating the presentation due next week). Sometimes, reaching those more distant goals can feel like an unending quest, especially if our objectives are months or years away. So how do we stay focused for the long haul? Research reveals a technique that motivates us to continue striving for our goals: Aim for small victories along the way.

These miniwins have a big payoff, with the incremental jolts propelling us forward and increasing our positive emotions. Look for these minor milestone opportunities throughout your workday that can help toward realizing your goals.  

Some examples:

  • You are working on your communication skills, and you stopped yourself from interrupting long-winded Larry three times during today’s meeting. Bravo—you just had a small win in growing your interpersonal skills.
  • You volunteered to introduce the meeting’s speaker. Yahoo—you moved one step closer to becoming a confident presenter.
  • You chose not to inhale your lunch while working and mindfully tasted each bite. Yippee—you just lowered your stress and aided your digestion.
  • You rode the elevator with an executive and smiled, introduced yourself and paid a sincere compliment. Congrats—you just cultivated a strategic connection.
  • You chose to listen to an audio CD or mp3 on a relevant business topic during your commute. Way to go—you developed awareness and additional education to grow your career.
  • You pulled into the parking lot as the sales rep snagged the parking space. You took a breath and acknowledged your patience and forgave his lack of character. Hooray—you just increased your emotional intelligence.

Such trivial choices have a big impact on keeping us moving toward our goals. These are the small wins that help us attain our big goals. Remember, everything counts so count everything.

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