What Tiny Great Things Have You Done Recently?
Do you ever find yourself saying, “I have so much to do. I never get anything done?” What if you thought about the things, even tiny ones, that you have done?
We tend to focus on what we haven’t done — the things not crossed off the to do list, the project we keep meaning to start but don’t, the thing we got sidetracked from that stalled out … When we are moving toward our goals, we tend to look at what we have left to do (the gap), instead of what we’ve completed (the gain)*.
Let’s celebrate what you’ve done!
Why Focus On Our Wins
When you focus on your wins, or the gain, you are more likely to feel like you’ve accomplished something. You have a sense of progress and moving forward. This can help build momentum and keep motivation high.
It helps to be specific about what you’ve done, but they don’t have to be big wins. If you’re used to celebrating only when you’ve hit big goals or milestones (or if you skip celebrating even then), try identifying and celebrating your tiny great things.
Change rarely comes in one big leap. It’s happens when you make little changes again and again — setting new habits or making incremental changes until you like how things are.
List Your Tiny Great Things
So let’s start with some wins, accomplishments, steps forward. Remember, you don’t have to be “done” with something to celebrate what you have done. We’re talking about tiny great things.
We’re talking about steps toward a goal or ways you have integrated a value into your life. It could be as small as sending an email asking a question, making a decision, signing up for a class, getting through exams. You may have had some bigger wins, like finishing a draft of your book, getting a certification, getting a new client. List those too, just know that all the steps you take getting there count as wins too!
In a journal or the notes section on your phone (or anywhere else you want to track this), make a list of your tiny great things.
Here are some prompts to get you started:
- Think about a goal you set. What specific steps have you taken toward that goal?
- What values have you identified? List specific examples of making these part of your life.
- Think about what you’re proud of. Write it down. How does that feel?
- Look back at where you started? Where are you now? What did you do to get here?
You can do a big check-in to see your gains instead of just your gaps, but you can also work that into daily practice. Make it a habit to write down your wins daily along with the gains you want to be able to celebrate the next day.
*I didn’t invent the idea of the gap and the gain. I learned about this concept in a class I took this past term at Stanford where we read the book The Gap and The Gain. But focusing on how far I have progressed (the GAIN) has been a positive step in feeling momentum and happiness.
3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love
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Hi, I’m Melanie!
I’m a Journaling and Joy Coach and I believe your story is the key to the life you want.
I guide my clients through intentional processes to find the answers waiting for you in your stories, bringing compassion, deep listening — and fun — to the process.
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