What are small wins? The concept of small wins was first coined by Organizational theorist Karl Weick. He made the point that many social problems seem so big e. They are confronted with massive and accelerating change. No wonder they feel intimidated.

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By changing our perspective and appreciating human-size, human-scale achievements, we can move towards our goals, says educator Mehrnaz Bassiri. To see all the posts, click here.

But is there truth in this stale nut? And if so, how can we translate it into real life? Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion to favor another small win and another small win until the combination of these small wins lead to larger and greater accomplishments. Find a better scale. This approach can apply to your professional or personal lives. So you start your campaign full of enthusiasm and aggressively trim extra costs from your life.

You bring your lunch to work; you stop buying coffee drinks, juices and pricey snacks; and you invite friends and family over for dinner instead of going out to eat. For example, try measuring your saving in days rather than dollars. Applaud every day that you extend your no-coffee drink streak. This is a far kinder way of tracking your progress than fixating on the balance in your bank account. Take note. Diaries are much more than the domain of angst-ridden teens — in fact, you can reclaim them to serve your growth by using them to chronicle your wins.

Not only that, it also helps us to work through difficulties and find weak areas that we need to work on.

Many of us have to come to believe that we should tell as many people as possible about our efforts, so that their attention might hold us accountable and their encouragement can motivate us. However, our announcements can actually backfire.


Karl E. Weick

Do vs. To move the needle. Perhaps your processes are increasing stress or anxiety known disruptors to problem-solving and clouding your creative thought. How do we train ourselves, over time, to notice progress? We already keep a to-do list. Why not add a done list? Keeping a done list has the power to fortify your motivation, and heighten positive emotions like joy and pride.


What are small wins?

Social problems as enormous as, say, unemployment , can be so overwhelming that solutions seem unattainable; therefore, people often avoid tackling them or come up with single, grand programs that fail. Breaking such problems down into a series of more modest steps, all on the path to the ultimate goal, reduces fear, clarifies direction, and increases the probability of early successful outcomes — boosting support for further action. The power of small wins applies just as well to problems in business. Our recent research discovered how critical it is for teams and individuals working on complex problems to achieve small wins regularly. This strategy propels long-term goal achievement. Similarly, author Peter Sims emphasizes the importance of incremental goal-setting in Little Bets.

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