Trying to decide what processes will bring you the most success in your business can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost when you’re focusing on the big picture and frustrated when you are confronted with so many choices. Here we show you why breaking your idea down into small, achievable wins and celebrating your successes along the way is the best thing you can do to achieve your goals.
The research: why focusing on the little wins works
A Harvard University study that analysed 12,000 diary entries from 238 employees across seven companies shows that taking on the simple habit really does work.
Business owners who celebrate the daily wins of their employees find their teams are highly motivated and more willing to take on difficult tasks requiring creative thinking. The study proves that recording progress and celebrating small successes every day is one of the most powerful ways to boost self-confidence. This is also key for future productivity.
The study’s author, Professor Teresa Amabile, stressed the importance of using what she calls ‘catalyst’ and ‘nourisher’ behaviours in the workplace that can shift people’s perception of their jobs for the better. According to Amabile, catalysts are actions that support work, such as setting clear goals and learning from failures and successes. Nourishers can best be described as acts of interpersonal support like words of encouragement that make you feel good about your work.
4 easy ways to get started
- Keep your business plan simple
While your great idea may have spawned many more ideas, it’s important to start out with a simple plan that will enable you to focus on achievable daily goals. One way to do this is to consider the problem that your product or service aims to solve and keep your mind firmly fixated on this.
- Keep a progress journal
Your progress journal should list and evaluate your daily activities, creative breakthroughs and successes so that you can learn about how best to optimise your business processes over time. Make a note of reading your journal at the end of each workday. Include at least one daily success; this will be your daily win that needs to be recognised above any other.
- Work backwards from a big goal by focusing on multiple small ones
Consider your big yearly goals and work backwards breaking these goals down into smaller units that encompass monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals. Review your progress at the end of each month and recognise the processes that are working to make your idea become reality.
- Use a habit tracker
We need to develop habitual behaviours to chip away at our biggest goals. Doing something small every day can have a big result long term. But the reality is habits can take time to form. In one study, participants took between 18 to 254 days to form a habit. But by using a habit tracker in the form of a notebook or app that keeps track of what you are doing and when, you can ensure that you are developing the habits that will ensure your ultimate success.
The Officeworks Mini Masterclass for Small Business is designed to empower you to achieve your goals. This free online course features eight video lessons and is hosted by leading Australian small business owners. Combining expert insights with practical little wins to apply across all facets of your business and life. Click here to get started.
This article was brought to you by Officeworks who know it is all about the little wins when it comes to kicking big goals.