Forget Big Goals, Focus on Small Wins


As we approach the end of February, do you find yourself losing steam on those New Years Resolutions? Don’t despair! I want to offer you some advice on how to get back on track.

In his very compelling weekly blog, Eric Barker cites several studies which show how small accomplishments can be quite motivating: “Those little achievements you can see day to day … anything that went well (or got done). Don’t take that achievement…for granted.” I’ve also written in the past about the book Little Bets by Peter Simms. He cites example after example, from Google and to Chris Rock, of breakthrough ideas emerging from small discoveries. So, how does this all apply to you?

More on leadership: 3 Small Business Myths That Prevent Your Success

We tend to get caught focusing on the big picture, and we ignore the little wins that get us there. But it’s important to remember that any “big win” will be composed of multiple small victories. Focus on and celebrate these. Start with a website, build a prospect list (even if it’s just you and me!), send an email; speak to a small group, get their feedback — just do something. Then rinse and repeat.

Once you start to put one step in front of the other, you’ll discover you are walking down the road to success- building prospect lists, talking to customers, and developing a real purpose and passion for the work you are doing. Once you find that purpose and passion, the big goals won’t be far behind.

What small wins have you had this week? Let me know, I want to hear from you!

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Matt Tarkenton

Matt Tarkenton

Matt Tarkenton is Executive Vice President at Tarkenton Companies, and has started several businesses and is interested in business formation, strategy, and growth. He was part of a group that started Renova Partners, a boutique investment bank, and was recognized as a “40 Under 40: Up and Comer” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2009. Matt performs business planning and marketing training for hundreds of professionals across the country, and co-hosts a weekly coaching program on entrepreneurial education. Matt graduated from Princeton University, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He maintains his Series 7, 63, and 79 licenses, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Youth Villages, on the Education Committee of the National Association of Fixed Annuities (NAFA), and in leadership positions in various organizations.