My mother’s experience with weight loss provides an important lesson about mindset. In the past, gaining a pound would have left her feeling defeated and she might even have avoided her support group meeting. However, recently even though she had gained a pound, instead of seeing failure, she focused on her achievement of walking 10,000 steps daily and 100 miles monthly. Her active lifestyle habit was a win. And that gives her momentum.
She displayed a new attitude from the past and the biggest change was her mindset. She learned that her success toward achieving a healthier lifestyle was not just lowering the number on the scale, but as with most goals, had many different aspects: diet, exercise, sleep habits, and stress levels.
The lesson for leaders is to look for successes even if the goal is not met. Achieving the big goal is important but gaining momentum by celebrating small successes gives you more traction.
Implement the following strategies when setting goals with your team in order to shift your mindset to celebrate successes and build momentum:
1. Break down the goal into mini-goals and celebrate their achievement. Goals need to be tangible and measurable in order to be achieved. Telling a team that they need to increase sales by 20% is great, but, if you actually want them to achieve that target, then the team must understand and agree to the actions and behaviour changes required. This also provides more opportunities for recognition and celebration, which builds momentum to achieve the tougher goals.
2. Measure short-term and long-term data. Measuring the short-term allows you to get feedback quickly so you can change behaviour before it impacts the overall project. Measuring long-term indicators allows you to see overall trends. Even though you may have a week or a month where targets are not met, looking at the long-term trend enables you to observe the success of your overall efforts.
3. Keep specific goals and tracking visible. Post them on walls, in the main meeting room, or on a Primary Visual Display Board. Keeping goals in front of people is a daily reminder to work on them. A visible scoreboard provides opportunities for recognition as well as motivation to do better.
We set goals to change a behaviour or a circumstance. Every small win moves us one step closer to achieving the ultimate goal. Why wait to celebrate?