Incremental Steps to Success

incremental celebrationsI didn’t accomplish a single big goal last week.

My home doesn’t look like a spread in House Beautiful.

My business hasn’t grown exponentially.

Health and fitness? Let’s just say I won’t be running any races any time soon.

I couldn’t be more delighted.

With my progress.

When I decided to step sideways into spring, I had no intention of squandering the combined energy of the new moon, solar eclipse and equinox.

So I set big audacious goals.

Goals based on:

  • alignment with my strengths and the kind of balance that best fits me
  • the creation of a vision board
  • digging deep into the why of each goal
  • articulating alternate pathways and clarifying the feeling states once I’ve achieved them

The easy part.

With a top VIA character strength of future-mindedness and three top Gallup strengths in the strategy domain, planning has always brought me more ease and joy than doing.

Last week, though, I got stuff done. With ease and joy.

Using evidence-based tools from social science like subgoals, habits and focus on process helped.

Subgoals, Habit and Process

Knowing my wonky knee wasn’t up for 10,000 steps this week, I focused on subgoals instead: “more steps than last week” and “three days of 30 active minutes.” My knee is happy, and all of me feels energized and motivated.

To beautify my house, I turned decluttering and cleaning into a habit, one that I pursued every time the coffee brewed or a meal sizzled in a pan. I ooh and ahh out loud whenever I go near the kitchen.

After a three-month drought, getting back into writing was a slog. I published as much last week as I had since the first of the year by focusing on how much I enjoy the process of writing, even when getting a piece publication-worthy felt hard.

Celebrate the Increments, Not Just the Finish Line

Focusing on subgoals, habits and process helped me accomplish more last week than in ages.

But it’s celebrating the increments that’s really motivating me.

Savoring moments of fun and flow. Noticing ease and joy in the present tense. Looking forward to next steps.

I may never accomplish these goals exactly the way I envisioned them.

They may turn out even better than I can imagine as a result of unanticipated opportunities that come my way.

Unforeseen obstacles may force me to ditch them altogether.

(Don’t count on it.)

I’ll be different person in three months.

Even when I’ve accomplished my goals, everything around me will continue to change.

But the savored moments of joy – the celebrations of the increments – will remain.

No matter what.

 

What’s your big goal?

How can you savor and celebrate the incremental steps toward its accomplishment?

I specialize in helping clients identify goals that align with their strengths and fuel their well being and craft plans to accomplish them with ease and joy.

Contact me to talk about how I can help you achieve your goals. 

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