Would you like to be motivated and inspired to get those home projects that you’ve been wanting to do for a very long time accomplished this year?
Maybe you would like to fix up a certain area of your home, make it more attractive by painting, adding some accessories, organizing an area or doing a craft type project. Sometimes it’s very easy to feel bogged down by all the tasks/jobs we see around us. So it becomes very important to take it one step at a time.
In a recent video I watched of Teresa Amabile, a Harvard teacher and author of the book The Progress Principle, she talks about the science of small wins.
You see when we have small wins in any area of our life it becomes a catalyst to move us forward to another win.
How does this apply to our homes? Well maybe you’ve been wanting to organize your closet or that junk drawer in your kitchen or redo your bedroom for a very long time but no progress has been made. Maybe you’re not sure exactly how you want to decorate your bedroom or how to completely eliminate having a junk drawer because every time you clean out that drawer, it just piles up again. You start feeling a little overwhelmed when you think about these things and become unsure of just where to start.
I’m going to suggest something that Teresa talks about in her lectures. Keeping a diary. I’m intrigued by this idea myself and am looking forward to implementing it.
By keeping a daily diary, you are able to:
- celebrate the small wins
- plan your next steps
- grow more patient with your progress even if it is small
Sometimes our brain gets so tied up with the finished vision of what we want to do that we may miss all the little achievements that we are accomplishing. We miss all the small wins and get discouraged because all we see is the monumental task before us.
Some tips, Teresa Amabile suggests for keeping a diary are:
- start small – commit to keeping a journal for 1 month to start with, focus on 1 area/issue (for example, your junk drawer)
- have a target time – set aside 5-10 minutes a day, preferably at the same time each day
- have a memory trigger – something that reminds you to write
- decide if you are going have a hand written journal or electronic one
- take 2 minutes to reflect and refresh yourself before you begin
Some areas that you may want to keep track of in your diary:
- clarity on problems or new ideas
- Problems or Issues
- One thing that will help you to move the project forward tomorrow
Here’s how this might look in my journal.
January 22, 2014
Today I didn’t make much progress in my home goal of organizing the library because of feeling a lack of direction. (progress/setbacks)
I realize that part of my feeling a little frazzled is because the kids’ school schedule is not typed up. (clarity on problems or new ideas)
I need to have a plan for papers that come in the house. That’s why papers set around for so long because I’m not sure what to do with them. (problems or issues)
I need to make a decision on whether I want to store my cassette tapes where they’ve always been or move them to the library cabinets. (One thing that will help you to move the project forward tomorrow)
Now you might not see the value in writing this but as you keep your diary daily, you will be able to see the progress that you are making be it ever so small. And by thinking about your day and the progress or setbacks that you may have encountered you’ll get more clarity on what you need to do or change. Maybe there will be some days that you will not be able to see what needs changed but through time, the solution will become clearer.
Just writing a little journal entry like I did above gave me direction on what I should focus on today. I like that. I like having direction and doing something that will move me forward on my project. The day I wrote about was one where I didn’t mention any progress but on the days when I record things I have accomplished, over time I would see all my
small big wins. 🙂
Small wins lead to big success.
Go easy on yourself if you do not move forward as quickly as you would like. Celebrate your small wins. Write them in your diary and then over time you will be able to see steady progress towards your goal.