Motivation Monday: The Little Victories

The difficulties and struggles of today are but the price we must pay for the accomplishments and victories of tomorrow. – William J. H. Boetcker

There’s a goal you have in mind.  It’s big, it’s difficult to achieve, and if you succeed it will look good to everyone else who sees you accomplish it.  People will envy you and wonder how you did it.  they will see the huge difference it has made in your life and it will inspire them.  But there is a lot that they don’t see.

I’ve talked about the grind, the adjustment, the focus and skill, and above all, the routine of progress toward great achievement, but one of the most important ingredients for staying focused and motivated to succeed is self-recognition of progress.  Or said in plan language – the little victories.


At the end of the road, there’s one big victory that everyone sees, but they don’t see the hardships, the work, the constant effort and continuous push a person has to make to get there.   For you, the person in the midst of the grind, getting a little victory along the way can make a huge difference.  It’s usually something that no one can actually see except you.

It may be a bit more size in your arms if you’re lifting to build muscle, or a bit less size in your midsection if you’re working to lose fat.  Maybe it’s a piece of writing or art that looks cleaner than you expected.

Ultimately it’s a comparison.  No one knows where you started better than you.  You know every nuance, every curve, every angle, and every element.  And so when there’s even a tiny bit of movement in the right direction, you notice.

It’s important to use the small victories to motivate yourself, because along the way there are small failures as well.  There are times when things just don’t look or feel right, or come off a bit differently than you expected.  Those are the times when it’s easy to become discouraged, to give up or change your approach.

But if you’ve found some small victories, you can use them.  You can tell yourself that even though you don’t feel the progress or any kind of positive change right now, you have felt it.  You have seen the difference in the past, and it validates your approach.  You’ll need that validation and motivation to push through the tough times.

When it’s all said and done, and you’ve reached your goal, you’ll look back and see dozens of small victories and failures.  You’ll see times when you felt like you were making incredible progress, and times when you felt like you were moving backward.  But keeping pace, using what you have, not breaking under the pressure, and finding motivation in your experience, that will make it so much sweeter when you win.

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