Why Small Wins are a Powerful Way to Form Habits

What are small wins?

Small wins are progress points on your way to your goal.

For example, say that your main goal is to get out of debt.

This can be a daunting and discouraging task because it involves a lot of moving parts.  Focusing on small wins helps you break down a large goal into manageable chunks.

You create a series of small wins like:

  1. Consolidate your debt into a single credit card
  2. Get under $20,000 in student dept, then $10,00, then $5,000, etc.
  3. Pay off all of your credit cards.
  4. Set up a savings account.

Each of these milestones are part of a larger goal, but their chunked down manageable steps.  This makes it easier to stick to your plan.

Why Small Wins Help With Habit Development

Small wins help you feel like you’re accomplishing something.  If we focus too much on the bigger goals, we’ll feel like we will never get there.  That’s why smaller wins are so important.  They give us motivation to keep on going where it snowballs into the development of the bigger goals.

Small wins give us motivation to keep on going, often snowballing into success with larger goals.

Here are some examples of some small wins for daily habits.

Example #1: Get your dream job

For some people, it takes a long time to land that dream job.

Instead of focusing on this outcome, you’d create a series of small wins that move you towards this goal.

Here are a few habits you’d focus on:

  1. Apply for a job even if it’s not exactly what you want.
  2. Develop the daily habit of searching internet job boards.
  3. Celebrate the times when you get called for an interview!
  4. Consider it a “win” when you’re offered a job – even if it’s not what you want.

Small wins can help you with finding a dream job.  All you have to do is chunk down a large goal and build momentum as you complete each phase of the process.

Example #2: Achieving success in your business

Every entrepreneur has dreams of becoming successful.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight.  You need to work hard at this goal on a daily basis.  For instance, here are a few “small wins” that you should focus on along the way:

  1. Receiving your first inquiry from a potential customer
  2. Getting your first sale
  3. Achieving your first income milestone ($1,000, $5,000, $10,000, etc.)
  4. Getting your first client referral
  5. Taking your first vacation

Once you get in the habit of celebrating these milestones, you will soon have a thriving business.

Example #3: Feeling better about your appearance

This could be considered a small goal but a goal no less.  If you want to feel better about yourself, some small wins could be:

  • Getting a new wardrobe
  • Getting a new haircut
  • Losing weight
  • Getting a compliment on your appearance

If you get in the daily habit of taking care of yourself like doing your hair, putting nail polish on, ironing your clothes, polishing your shoes and putting money aside for the small wins, you will soon start to make small wins to feeling better about your appearance.

Small wins chunk large complex goals into more manageable pieces.

Small wins may seem impossible to get to at first.  But once you reach that first one, the other ones will fall into place.  You will become more motivated and wins will keep on coming.

Small wins break complex bigger goals into more manageable pieces to handle.  They are effective because they reduce stress and give you a daily action plan to follow.  If you develop good daily habits, you’ll be eventually on your way to celebrate many small wins.

Finally, one way to create small wins in your life is to focus on a single habit change every month.



This article was written by Steve Scott, an author, podcaster, and entrepreneur, who is a firm believer in the idea of the “Internet Lifestyle” and in the goal of creating the life that YOU want to live.

GoalsOnTrack Newsletter

Subscribe now to receive four wonderful ebooks for free to help you reach goals, build good habits, increase income and become more productive in life. They are beautifully designed, well written, practical and easy to read!

Plus, you'll have free access to all our member resources. Subscribe below to get your free access code in the confirmation email.

We respect your email privacy