The Power Of Small Successes

In my last post, which is repeated on my Sparkpage Blog, I promised to reveal specific ways that have been successful for me and that have made me confident in my ability to achieve more than ever! Here Goes:

Shaun Hays - youth speaker, author, artist

In 2003 I wrote a small book called “The Power Of Small Successes” which I plan to edit and re-release sometime this year. The principles of that book have helped to guide me through many setbacks and shortcomings on my way to health and financial freedom. It all starts with setting small, achievable goals and then celebrating those achievements.

The power of small successes is extraordinary in it’s ability to motivate! It is the main way I motivate myself on a day to day level. It keeps my “thrill level” high. It is also why I make daily, weekly, monthly and yearly lists. The lists are a set of achievable goals that are flexible when the need arises, but help keep my mind focused on what is important for me to achieve that day, month, etc. The lists are there to focus my mind on what I can and do achieve. I look at them with only a positive perspective. I do not allow them to weigh me down. The smaller the goals at first, the more success you will have in the long haul, and the more you will be able to achieve!

Now I know that most people are intimidated by lists of to-do’s and goals, but that is because of their real or imagined failures in the past. The majority of my readers can point to their New Year’s Resolutions which by this point (Jan. 13th) are already failed attempts to achieve wild goals with out real passion. Setting high goals and striving to obtain them, is much like trying to swallow an elephant. No matter how sincere you are when you start out, you are never going to achieve your goal (and your “thrill level” will crash!). If you break it down to very achievable goals, however, you can certainly take on huge undertakings. Imagine your goal really was to eat an elephant (I know that’s not right but bear with my illustration). How would you do it? Not all at once but bite-by-bite. Likewise, if you take your goals and break them down smaller and smaller until it’s easier to swallow, you will be able to achieve bigger things and keep that illusive “thrill level” high! Who knows? Maybe you can get your village to help you!

Sometimes I make my goals ridiculously achievable! I have lost quite a bit of weight,reclaimed my life and achieved amazing dreams by simplifying my goals and making them achievable.  For example: How many of you put this on your daily list of achievements:

Wake up

Make Coffee

Take a shower

Let the dog(s) out

Read Email

Etc?

Probably not. This is exactly how the beginning of my list looks. Why? Because I want to celebrate all that I have achieved at the end of my day. Seriously, when was the last time you celebrated getting out of bed and showering? You may think it’s silly or weird, but if you’ve ever suffered from depression, you know that getting out of bed and showering are tough tasks sometimes. So, celebrate that you did it! Celebrate what you achieve throughout the day. Do it by keeping a list. Write down every little detail that you want to include. I  write down when I take a break and when I play a video game for an hour! Why? Because I’d rather look at my accomplishments than my defeats. I am accomplishing a much deserved break after working for so many hours. I edited my blog and contacted speaker bureaus etc. and now I reward or celebrate by giving myself some fun time!

It’s not going to waste your time. It’s not oversimplified. I have a form in my word processor that is called “Git Er Dun!” On this form I simply write what I want to do and what I did. I file them away and may or may not ever look at them again. They are a great reference if I need to look up when I talked to someone or anything else, but they are for that day mostly, that’s all. Of course, as I said earlier in this article, I do have weekly, monthly and yearly lists. I suggest this pattern, but remember the point is to stay encouraged by this, not to be discouraged by the task.

You have an amazing amount of time wasted in every day… and it doesn’t have to be that way. You CAN be truly productive and goal motivated. Start by setting your goal to set some small achievable goals. Things you know you will do. Things you already do! Track your day and celebrate anything you achieved. Slowly add in things you want to achieve. When you are ready, begin to challenge yourself to new heights. This is where big dreams come in to play. Monitor your “thrill level”. Eventually you will see when it’s too much for one day or week. I’m not asking you to celebrate mediocrity. I’m asking you to be realistic and to bring your dreams into reality. You will know this better when you keep lists and celebrate your accomplishments.

*If this works for you please comment here or send me an email! It’s worked for me!

For more on Shaun please visit his official website.

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