4 Ways to Use Small Wins to Achieve Big Goals as an Entrepreneur

Achieve Your Big Goals By Celebrating Small Wins

6 Ways to Celebrate Small Wins and Achieve Big Goals

When you're just getting started as an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to envision how you'll get to your first big success.

That major goal of launching your product, hitting the best-seller list with your first book, landing a six-figure consulting client or otherwise can feel pretty far out there when you're sitting at the starting line. 

It's all too easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of tasks and to-do's standing between where you are today and where your lofty goals are sitting far up at the top of the mountain.

Starting a business all of a sudden becomes this massive endeavor that seems less attainable the more you think about it.

Then, if you don't have a wealth of experience already operating in the industry your new business will be in, it's even more daunting when you begin accounting for the learning curve of starting from scratch.

It's in this moment right here that the vast majority of aspiring entrepreneur throw in the towel. Give up. Shift gears back to researching and looking for other ideas that'll be easier.

Perfectly good business ideas and opportunities go to waste simply because so many people want instant success—an escalator to the top of the mountain—and can't see the reality that your big goals need to be broken down into small wins first. 

By setting more attainable milestones and objectives that eventually lead to your larger goals, you're much more likely to continue making incremental progress, and reach the top of your mountain over time.

Here are four effective strategies for using small wins to achieve your big life goals:

1. Change Your Perspective

The right mindset will enable you to set more attainable milestones and appreciate the small increments of progress that lead towards your more meaningful goals. While seeing the big picture is important, it's equally critical to perceive and acknowledge the small steps needed to reach those targets in the first place.

Begin to see your journey to success as an entrepreneur as a series of small wins to be relished, as you get closer to your ultimate destination.

2. Identify Upcoming Small Wins Before Starting a Project

Frame a project or business goal into consecutive milestones: a series of small, reasonable and clearly defined steps. It's better to define success by breaking it down into realistic components, rather than to continue staring at your seemingly insignificant progress towards big lofty goals that can easily overwhelm you. After all, smaller goals are more tractable and achievable, making it easier to sustain your motivation.

3. Find an Accountability Partner

I like to call this an accountability hack—looping in an accountability partner whom you can share your business goals (and small wins) so that you feel responsible to report weekly updates to someone. Explain the steps necessary for you to achieve your weekly and monthly targets so that there's no ambiguity. Then, incentivize yourself for achieving that small monthly win by promising yourself a little reward if you get there. It can be as simple as a weekend afternoon to yourself hiking through the forest, buying yourself and a friend tickets to a baseball game or otherwise.

What's important is that you connect a positive reward to achieving your desired result.

4. Share Success Stories With Your Friends

When you hit a milestone with your business, share that with the people who mean the most to you. Having positive encouragement and support along the journey is essential, and can help keep you energized & motivated to continue pushing forward. However, you need to be authentic in sharing your results and avoid being overly self-promotional or boastful, at the risk of damaging some of your relationships. Show pride in the fruits of your hard work, but don't rub your wins in the faces of others.

Centuries of evolution have wired the human brain to thrive on a pain-pleasure dichotomy.

The notion of receiving a reward and the actual experience of celebrating a win releases dopamine, the chemical that helps us regulate emotional responses.

Creating a culture that rewards small wins (yes, even when the business is just you) compels you to look forward—in positive anticipation—to the next milestone.

Embrace our psychology and use it to your advantage as an entrepreneur.