Create More Finish Lines {Mark the Moment Series #3}

This is part 3 of 5 posts, How to Mark the Moment. It’s based on Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s book, The Power of Moments. This week we look at element 2, “Moments of Pride.”

Create more finish lines

Element 2, Moments of Pride

Why do some experiences impact us for days or weeks, while other moments go by unnoticed?

And how can we capture more positive moments so we can enjoy them longer?

Last week we looked at the first of four elements to make an experience special: elevating our moments.

This week we want to mark accomplishments, either our own or others, by creating moments of pride. (If you’re following along in The Power of Moments, this is from chapters 7-8. We’ll pick up chapters 5-6 next week.)

Goals Too Hard?

I’m thinking ahead. My daughter Morgan has entered her third trimester with our first grandbaby. I want to consider now how to create special memories with our grandchildren later.

But this grandchild will live several hours away, so how will I do it?

Why do some goals seem too hard?

  • Because they are unmeasurable (like my goal to “learn Spanish”, even though DuoLingo tells me I’m 45% there—so untrue).
  • Because they are so long (like memorizing a chapter of the Bible).
  • Because the journey seems boring (like training for a marathon).

But in The Power of Moments, the Heath brothers show us ways that we can reach our goals by multiplying the milestones, thus giving us more moments worth celebrating.

Multiply the Milestones

They suggest this:

Set up many finish lines along the way, not just one grand prize at the end.

For example, a goal of “Lose weight” is too vague (even though it is measurable). Instead, set specific milestones along the way, and celebrate them when you succeed. Their examples include:

  • Go one week straight without using the elevator.
  • Pick out 2 microbrews to enjoy on Saturday after a full week without booze.
  • If I jog continuously for three songs on my playlist, that entitles me to download three new ones.

They say you’ll know you’ve succeeded when you reach your pre-determined milestone: “Fitting into my sexy black pants (without gastrointestinal distress).”

We see these multi-step strategies at work all around us, such as earning Boy Scouts’ merit badges or finishing the Couch to 5K running program.

This is important even in our Christian walk. While we have a big goal of heaven after we die, Christ also intends for us to live an abundant life now.

By setting multiple finish lines, we can enjoy and celebrate many small wins all along our journey, instead of just trudging along for only one grand finale goal.

Celebrate Others

These moments of pride aren’t just about us, however. We can also recognize others’ moments of achievements. We do this best when we give authentic, frequent, and meaningful praise or prizes or celebrations.

Did you know that a top reason that people leave a job is a lack of praise and recognition?

Providing moments of recognition can be a turning point in someone’s life instead.

  • Have you had a teacher who spoke words of life into you?
  • Or a boss who applauded your work outside the yearly review?
  • Or even a friend who said, “I noticed what you did for me; it made a difference.”

These moments of pride don’t necessarily happen on their own. We can create them through thoughtfulness and intentionality.

Every step matters, and when we complete it, it’s a win. Recognize it.

Jeff and I have set some specific milestones we’d like to reach for grandparenting despite the distance. They’ll likely be adjusted once the baby actually gets here.

But by designing our goals deliberately, with several benchmarks along the way, I hope we’ll create more moments of accomplishment and more opportunities to celebrate.

“We’re not stuck with just one finish line. By multiplying milestones, we transform a long, amorphous race into one with many intermediate ‘finish lines.’

As we push through each one, we experience a burst of pride as well as a jolt of energy to charge toward the next one.”
– Chip and Dan Heath

* * *

What’s a goal you have? How can you build in multiple finish lines and create more moments to remember? Please share in the comments.


The Four (EPIC) Elements of Marking the Moment:

For more on The Power of Moments, watch this 4-minute video, “Build Peaks, Don’t Fix Potholes


26 thoughts on “Create More Finish Lines {Mark the Moment Series #3}

      1. LisaNotes Post author

        Thanks, Debbie. Credit for these goes to Chip Heath and Dan Heath. I am so glad they came out with this new book. I love everything they write. So practical yet profound.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Michele. I just couldn’t cram it all in one post. 🙂 This book is one of those influential ones; I hope I return to it again and again.
      I always like seeing your smiling face where I link up.

  1. floyd

    I’ve done this instinctively my whole life. It’s like counting the rungs on a ladder. I have quite a few goals still in me in business and my personal life.

    One of them is to get traditionally published. Each rejection for me is fuel.

    I’ve been working around Spanish speaking people for over 25 years… and I’m no where near 45%. Don’t feel bad! Tu moocha chingona!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you’re using that rejection as fuel because many of us are looking forward to your book being published one day soon, Floyd! I know it will be both witty and wise.
      Just when I think I’ve made progress in Spanish, I overhear a conversation in Spanish and realize I still know nothing. One day I hope to make it to at least 1% comprehension.

  2. Kristi Woods

    Oh, I love this! Lisa, each time I visit, the book looks more and more promising. Small goals make tasks manageable. True. Please help me remember that concerning the manuscripts bouncing around in my head and files. (Insert wide eyes here.)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I have multiple projects that bounce around in my head, too, Kristi, so I understand that wide-eyed look. 🙂 I often set the smallest of goals for myself so I can feel I’m at least getting something accomplished. Just today I decided I’d finally collect the facts about an issue I needed to call my doctor about, only to discover once I did that, that I didn’t really need to call him after all. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Stacey. I had originally meant to do only one post about The Power of Moments, but I quickly decided there were too many things I wanted to share from it. 🙂

  3. Linda Stoll

    Hi Lisa … I like that idea of celebrating along the way, little milestones and goals reached, reasons to give thanks and to feel like yes, we are moving ahead.

    Thanks for the prompts, friend.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’ll likely love all the examples they give in the book, Jean. They’re interesting in and of themselves, but they also give you ideas to recreate for yourself.

  4. Donna Reidland

    Lot’s of good information here. It’s so important to have those specific goals rather than broad ones. But I especially like the section on lifting others up. When it’s done with the right motivation, it can be powerfully motivating for those God’s puts in our paths. Thanks for posting on this important subject.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, The Power of Moments is very informative book. I gained so much from it. They wrote a complete chapter on lifting others up. I wish I’d had more room/time to share more from it because I agree with you, Donna—it’s an important ministry to those we come across in our daily lives.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Not having specific goals is something that gets a lot of us, Melissa. I’ve discovered when I break down my goals into bite-sized pieces, I’m more likely to keep going. But when I have this huge monster goal in front of me, I get overwhelmed and don’t even want to start.

  5. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! I’m with you in creating multiple milestones. The far off ones just seem impossible, especially when it comes to weight issues. Ugh.
    I have a son who lives far away, so long-distance grandparenting is something I’m familiar with. I love Face Time. It gives us a chance to visit face to face, living room to living room. Of course, my daughter lives three hours away, with four of our grands, but we see her almost every month. It can be done!

    Congrats on the birth to come. I’m excited for you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m hoping my daughter will get FaceTime or Skype or something before the little one arrives. 🙁 I do want to have an option to connect that way. I’m encouraged that you get to see your some of your grands almost every month because a 3+ hour drive is our situation too. We’re hoping for once-a-month as well! Thanks, Ceil!

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