One of the most effective but unassuming strategies for making change happen is to take small steps toward your goal and celebrate the “small wins.”
The strategy of recognizing the power of and celebrating small achievements, comes from the work of Teresa Amabile, a professor at Harvard Business School.
Professor Amabile studies how progress, however small, can influence people and their performance. Her most recent discoveries appear in her book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. The book is based on research in which she examined approximately 12,000 daily diary entries from over 200 professionals inside organizations.
One of the most important insights her research revealed is that people are motivated most by having made progress, regardless of the amount or scope. She calls this The Progress Principle.
The graph below shows results of a close analysis of those 12,000 diary entries of knowledge workers showing that making progress in one’s work—even incremental progress—is more frequently associated with positive emotions and high motivation than any other workday event.
You can learn more about Amabile’s work on her website .
Two popular commentators on contemporary life, Brian Johnson and Shane Snow , take up Amabile’s ideas and have used popular journalism and social media to describe in very practical terms how Amabile’s discoveries apply in everyday life.
Watch this video for a fun and provocative presentation of this powerful strategy to achieve awesome goals…one small step at a time.
To read the transcript of this video,
Brian Johnson, Small Wins: Shane Snow