Tiny Wins

Matt Spear

Matt Spear: 12th January 2022

3 min read

Bullet Journalling

For a while I kept a bullet journal. Not the cliche thing you might have seen on YouTube, with the fancy illustrations that probably took the owner hours, but the orginal iteration as created by Ryder Carroll.

I'll spare diving into the details, I can say that Rider's book The Bullet Journal Method is a great starting point and worth a read.

The key aspect I liked was 2-3 symbols used when daily logging:

A bullet represented a task / todo

A dash represented a note, thought, observation in your day

A circle represented an event

I loved the approach of interstitial journalling, capturing throughout the day and clearing your mind, in a very GTD, David Allen friendly way. The same benefit / approach can be done digitally using tools like Roam, Obsidian and Craft via daily note features.

One unforseen perk of this level of detail allows for me to turn to any day and see what was on my mind, what I was working on and actually achieved. I often found myself flicking back through, reviewing the month and seeing what I had done.

A Tiny Win

Since bullet journalling, I've realised the power of capturing these moments of achievement, however small.

I think momentum plays a big role in habit formation, all you need to do is achieve one tiny win and the ball begins rolling, before you know it and the ball gains momentum and the tiny wins start to add up.

One tiny win early on in your day can make the difference to your mood and impact on how much more you get done that day. So I've found a tiny win to kick off your day, possibly through a habit (meditate, stretching, washing the dishes, etc) a great way to start. Plus you can fallback on the 'If I achieve nothing else today, I've still done X'.

An alternative approach dubbed Eating the frog can be useful when a task just needs to get done. But there have been days where I have put so much pressure on myself to complete / eat my frog that only part of it gets done or none at all. The feeling of not achieving anything can begin to weigh on you. Multiple days of partially completing tasks increases the chances of getting stuck, blocked or giving up altogether. So it is key to break things down and play winnable games. So my adage would be eat the frog, but after a tiny win or in tiny pieces!

Something special comes from capturing and celebrating these moments I call 'Tiny wins'. You begin to join the dots and see that it is possible to change, improve and make progress.

It also gives us an excuse to share / celebrate with others. Even like finishing a podcast, or book deserves recognition – especially in todays distracted age.


Give it a go, have a space where you can capture and celebrate your tiny wins.

I've long thought that having a #tinywins slack channel in a team, with a partner or friends a great idea. It gives an excuse to cheer people on, celebrate, inspire and motivate yourself as momentum builds.

To checkout my tiny wins head to the page: Tiny Wins