Most of us have a tendency to go through life realizing our mistakes. They often appear to us as painful thumbs and can be a cause of regret and darkness. What may be overlooked are the small goals we set for ourselves. When we are successful we often ignore them and do not take the time to feel good about them.
What would happen, though, if you could write down these small accomplishments every day for a week?
In a recent study Teresa Amabile, of Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer looked at nearly 12,000 diaries from 238 employees in seven companies and found what she called the “Progress System”.
For almost 15 years Amabile and Kramer have been looking at what is going on in their minds and work in organizations. They found that a person’s inner work life was the most important determinant of a person’s feelings, motives, and opinions.
To better understand the inner life of people who have asked project team members to respond to an email survey at the end of each day, for a period of four months. The study asked participants about: “feelings and emotions, levels of motivation, and workplace ideas for the day, and what work they did and what events stood out in their minds”.
26 project teams from seven companies participated. In total there were 238 people who initiated the study and formed approximately 12,000 diaries.
As Amabile and Kramer wrote:
“… We know, from the reading of thousands of diaries, that more harmonious concepts, a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, happiness, and even happiness often follow progress. Here is a typical post-development note, from the programme’s developer: “I hit that soap that bothered me for about a calendar week. That may not be an event for you, but I live a modest life, so I am influenced by everything “.
The goal of progress is defined
“Of all the things that can enhance emotions, motivation, and vision during the work day, one of the most important things is to make progress in meaningful work. And the more people who experience that feeling, the more likely they are to produce by building over time. … Daily progress – even small victories – can make a huge difference in how [people] feel and act ”.
Amabile and Kramer emphasize that progress is not limited to long-term goals and great success. Although these events may be very special, they usually occur only occasionally. The small things we do every day can also give us a sense of accomplishment.
As they write: “Even a small win can enhance a person’s inner life. Many progress events our research participants report represent only a few steps forward. However they often provoke positive reactions. “
What The Little Conquest Wins Do To Our Brain
Amabile and Kramer explain how the practice of recording our progress helps us to understand our small victories, which can also boost our self-confidence. This confidence can also be used to help us become more competent and achieve future, greater success.
Any achievement, no matter how small, activates the reward cycle of our brain. When this process is opened some important chemicals are released which gives us a sense of accomplishment and pride. In particular, it releases the neurotransmitter dopamine which gives us energy and gives us a sense of well-being. This chemical stimulates us not only to experience that wonderful feeling of reward but also to encourage us to take action and repeat what we did to begin its release.
By writing down you win every day you can see your progress. The best experience for your progress can uplift you: motivation to see; a sense of accomplishment; and feeling happy. So why not get started today? Buy yourself a diary or download other apps and start making notes of your little success!
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