When you set a goal, do you focus on what you have yet to achieve, or on the progress you’ve made?
How do you keep the momentum going when you’re not at your peak?
Do you measure success against an ideal, or against what you gained?
Small wins make you more productive, creative, committed, collegial, and focused. When you track the progress you’ve made, no matter how small, you gain confidence that builds on the momentum. With an incremental approach, you take daily actions that move you in the right direction, instead of take big leaps that are more likely to steer you off course.
1) Progress comes from positive inner work life, which includes your perceptions, emotions and motivation levels.
2) Favorable perceptions about your work and colleagues, positive emotions like joy and excitement, and higher intrinsic motivation lead to better performance.
3) The most critical factor in shaping your inner work life is your sense of making progress in meaningful things. This is known as the progress principle.
4) Defining specific targets and clear goals is a catalyst for progress.
5) As you set high and expansive goals, you need to also have milestones and mini-goals along the way to track your progress and to course-correct.
6) Focusing on your gains and progress is more effective than measuring how you fall short in comparison to external reference points.
7) Making mistakes and encountering obstacles are part of the learning process. By breaking big projects into smaller chunks, you give yourself more opportunities to make errors with lower stakes and fewer consequences.
- Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer, The Progress Principle
- Dyan Williams, The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps
- Dyan Williams, The Incrementalist podcast, Ep. 36, How to Learn and Master Any Skill (part 1)
- Sebastian Brian Mehr: Album – Olemus; Song – La Nieve (hearnow.com)
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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.