Small Steps, Big Picture

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Sometimes we get so caught up in the big picture or the BHAG—Big Hairy Audacious Goal—that we lose sight of the smaller steps that actually get us there.

When you are in the process of making a career change, it is so important that you consider each momentous step along the way – even the smaller ones.

“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal.”
— Elbert Hubbard

There are 3 reasons why you need to celebrate the small wins.

  1. Allows you to see your progress.

Back in the days when I was managing a team of recruiters, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop of Verne Harnish. If you’re not familiar with Verne, he is the founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and Gazelles, a global coaching company. Better known as “The Growth Guy”, Verne coaches Entrepreneurs how to succeed and take their businesses to the next step.

The workshop that I attended focused on one of his well-known books in the business world, Mastering The Rockefeller Habits. One of the key concepts behind the Rockefeller Habits is the importance behind breaking up your big goals into smaller goals.

For example, if your goal is to land a job as a professional Photographer, then just having that goal can seem a bit overwhelming by itself. In order to make that goal achievable, you need to focus on what you will need to do each month, week, and day in order to reach that goal.

In actuality, you set not only that BHAG, but also monthly, weekly, and daily goals that will help you reach the BHAG. By doing this, you have essentially taken that larger goal and broken it down into smaller and smaller chunks until you have a clear plan of what you need to do each day in order to make it happen.

Now, what does this do for you? It allows you to see your actual progress towards your BHAG. If you know that you need to update certifications, acquire additional skills, or have a professional portfolio to showcase your talent, then you can form a plan to tackle each of those items within a certain period of time. As you complete each of these smaller goals, you will always know if you are on track to hit your larger goal—or if something isn’t working.

What does this have to do with celebrating the small wins? By breaking your big goal into smaller goals, you will actually KNOW when you’ve achieved one of those small wins! You will know when to celebrate!

2. Keeps you motivated and gives you something to look forward to.

Once you’ve figured out what your smaller goals are going to be, you need to establish how you are going to celebrate when you reach those goals. It doesn’t have to be anything major—think of simple things that you don’t always do.

Perhaps if you meet your monthly goal, you will treat yourself to your favorite bottle of wine or a night out to your favorite restaurant. Maybe you will buy that book you’ve been dying to read. Whatever gets you excited and motivated works!

The point here is that by celebrating your small wins, you are staying motivated and always have something to look forward to, rather than if your only reward and motivation was to land that dream Photography job with no real plan or milestones in place.

3. Focuses on the positive.

How do you feel when you accomplish or win something? You feel great right? You’re not focused on what you did wrong along the way—you’re focused on what you did right to attain that goal.

When you take time to focus on each smaller goal that you’re reaching, you are going to notice a huge improvement in your positive mental attitude. After all, it’s much easier to look on the bright side of things when you have an attainable goal to reach for each day!

By increasing the positivity, you will be even more energized and motivated to continue on in pursuing your goals and doing what you need to do in order to achieve your BHAG.

How will you celebrate your small wins?