Small Wins, Big Results

Posted January 16, 2013 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

One of my favorite quotes from the incredible life coach extraordinaire Martha Beck is this one: “You could hit a hole in one and still lose a golf tournament, and you could win without ever hitting a hole in one. A great golfer is someone who usually gets the ball somewhat closer to the hole than most other people.

Somehow, though, I (and a lot of other women) tend to avoid getting the ball on the green at all costs because we’re so busy trying to get a hole in one. We focus so strongly on the CAPITAL W.I.N. win, we forget that winning is winning is winning, right? Isn’t every win equal? Sure, the record books list the scores, but when it comes down to it, we remember who won the Super Bowl, not by how much.
What might happen in your life if you started focusing on the small wins just as much as you focus on the big ones? Try these “small wins” on for size:

  • Small Wins in Health And Fitness

    • Try my trusty “10 minute rule.” You have to get to the gym, but you only have to go for 10 minutes. If at the end of that 10 minutes, you’re still truly not feeling it, you give yourself full permission to go home, no judgment. But usually, that 10 minutes will turn into more. Take the small win of 10 minutes, and eventually it will become the big win of meeting your goals.
    • Take things one meal at a time. So many times, you grab a chocolate bar or a bag of chips and you think,”Oh well, the day is shot. I’ll start again….” tomorrow or next week or next month. Instead, start seeing every meal as an opportunity for a small win. If you don’t win at that meal, don’t throw away the next one with it. See that as the next win on the list.
  • Small Wins in Finances

    • Instead of putting yourself on a “no buy” month or long period of time, set a small win goal like “leave credit cards at home tomorrow.” That single day might turn into two, then three, but if you start with the goal of weeks or months in mind, you’re looking at a big win when it might work better to consider a small one.
    • If you’re the kind of person who does morning coffee, lunch out, and an afternoon coffee every day, of course you want to cut down to save some money. But going cold turkey might be harder than you think. Try this “small win” strategy: instead of cutting the coffee entirely, try to cut both coffees to smalls instead of mediums or larges, and consider cutting back at lunch by not purchasing a drink with your lunch and going with water instead. Those small cuts will help the bank account slightly and put you on the right track.
What small wins can you begin to incorporate into your life? The key here is to keep hitting that proverbial ball one step closer to the pin, but stop focusing on getting it perfectly right the first time around.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."