Small Wins for Bigger Success
How often do we set New Year Resolutions, and then struggle in not keeping up to it?? I am sure almost everyone would say that they make New Year resolutions, but are not able to follow through on it. My case has not been any different either. For years together I have been trying to get a lot about me right through New Year resolutions, and failed. But this year, I tried something new, and came up a winner on many fronts....hence sharing my thoughts with you.
Invariably most of the resolutions that are made and not kept are with regard to one's heath and daily habits, like reduce weight, quit smoking, starting an exercise regime, time management etc.
Setting preferred goals and trying to achieve it is all that we do, but when we get distracted and lose our focus, we tend to let go of it, thus missing our resolution goals by miles. Usually when we have big tasks at hand, be it some resolution that you are struggling to keep or a project that you are doing in office, many a times we are driven to abandon the resolution or project due to fear of failure or even the fear of success,because we are afraid to move out of our comfort zones.
The best way to achieve the urge to keep the resolutions is to start with what is called the “Small Wins”.
Small Wins, as the name would suggest is all about breaking down your goals into small goals and achieving them one at a time,eventually meeting your original goal. By doing so, it increases your confidence in achieving the original goal, since the target is small and achievable and the waiting period for the final result will be a very short period of time.
By having all you plan to do lined up at once is a big demotivator if it does not work well in the beginning, especially if it involves a change in behavior or habit. Better still, if you are only considering many small activities which complement each other to achieve the big result, then the chances of success is much higher. Like they say, the biggest successes start with the smallest wins.
So if you are planning to reduce your weight by 15 kilos over the year, rather than keeping that as your goal and working our various ways to reduce your weight, you could break it down into monthly, quarterly or half yearly goals or in any ways you deem fit. Then you need to work only on the immediate goal and reach your goal. Alternatively you could also break down your target of 15kgs into how you propose to reduce your weight. Lets say by stating that you will reduce your weight by 3 kilos in the first month through some light work outs /dietary changes etc.
Habits are born hard...!!!
To get to the winning ways, you need to create new habits. Some one once said that old habits die hard. I would say new habits are born hard too...That's where Small Wins will help you.
New habits can be created by putting together a habit loop which includes a cue, a routine and a reward and then developing a craving for the reward which will drive the loop.
From Fearful to Powerful
The first step to small wins is to conquer your fears. You need to embrace the fear..be it the fear of winning,or the fear or losing, or the fear of being ridiculed by your friends, it simply needs to be overcome first. Again, when you break down your large goal into small ones, you are tricking your brain and that of your critics to not see the large picture. To your brain, you are just trying to do something small, something achievable. Making that activity a part of your daily routine or habit, eventually will give you the mental push to keep working on the small set of goals which will take your to your ultimate goal.
Close off all distractions
It definitely is not as easy as it sounds. So then how do you keep working on it? Once you are started on your small goals, train your mind to close of all distractions, be it people, events or your other daily activities. Learn to focus on that one goal that you need to achieve, and work on it one at a time.
To supplement your efforts for your small wins to reach your main goal, and to get yourself to the habit of doing things in small bits and staying focused, I suggest that you follow the “daily goals” habit. Robin Sharma the famous success coach says it so beautifully “Set 5 daily goals every morning. These small wins will lead to nearly 2000 little victories by the end of the year. “
Once you close yourself to all distractions, use the spare time to train your mind on achieving more.Try doing things you have never done before, it could be something you have always wanted to do but couldn't , or it could be some thing you had to do, but did not want to do,or something that was expected of you, but you did not want. In all of the above scenarios, it gives a huge boost to your ego and confidence, that you will slowly evolve to take up bigger challenges.
Focus on the job at hand, and chalk out a plan to achieve the same. Have a clear plan on how to achieve your larger goal, and also your smaller goals. Set daily,weekly, monthly targets which need to be evaluated at regular intervals.
Being more engaged in well thought out plans of action would thus increase your concentration and improve your focus and get you better results in all you do. It also eliminates that so called fear to perform, for what ever reason that you had them.
Track your goals
Keep track of your goals, the small ones and the ultimate big one, and regularly evaluate your performance...how many of your small wins you have won,how close you are to the ultimate goal, what changes are to be made to achieve your goals etc.
Modern technology gives you many options like Google/Yahoo Calenders, Microsoft Excel, Mobile reminders and task/note applications to name a few. Use whatever is convenient to you to track your progress, and evaluate your performance...No goal would now be far to achieve, no task impossible, as long as you can see the small wins in it that can take you there.
As much as it is important to look at the small things, or small wins, it is important to celebrate your small wins with yourself. When you have a list of small wins to work against and winning starts becoming a habit, that's the best motivation you can give yourself and keep building that winning attitude.
Every “Small Win” you achieve should be a victory, that will take you closer to the larger battle that you are out to fight. So every small win, how much small or big it may be, should be celebrated so that it builds on your motivation for achieving your next win. Find a reason to do the activity and also convince yourself in what way you will get rewarded when you achieve it, and then even without your realizing it your brain will form a habit loop within you which will drive you to achieve the goal.....
So then I am leaving a couple of thoughts on small wins by a few great minds...keep winning!!!
If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.-Aristotle
Winning Breeds confidence and confidence breeds winning" - Hubert Green.