Setting goals has always been something that I’ve done religiously. Every year without fail I’d invest in a brand new notebook and immerse myself into what I wanted to achieve. I’d love the ritual of allowing myself to dream, and how it would feel when I actually got there.
Now, although this practice was an absolute joy if I said that I achieved everything I set out to do, I’d be lying…because although there would be times when I absolutely did…sometimes it just didn’t happen.
In fact, one October I found myself in exactly this situation. There I was flicking through my notebook when I suddenly got the sickening realisation that I had achieved absolutely nothing that I had intended.
To say I was horrified was an understatement. It was October and I was no-where near close to achieving them.
For the longest 5 minutes I felt completely disheartened, and like a total failure, with one thought whirring around in my mind…
“What on Earth have I been doing for the past 10 months?”
And then in an instant I suddenly had a very different feeling….
”Hang on…what have I been doing for the past 10 months? I haven’t just been sat watching TV, I have done something….so what have I been doing?!”
In that instant I quickly turned to a fresh page, grabbed a pen and started to scribble down everything that I had actually achieved that year. The words tumbled out of me as I wrote the longest of lists that spanned several pages. Some things that were relatively small, and others were huge but every single thing was something I was really proud of accomplishing.
That’s when it hit me…my goal setting had a huge missing piece. My achievements!
Sure it’s important to write down your goals – and this is something I still do on a regular basis – but it’s just as important to keep track of what you’ve achieved.
That’s when I created the celebration journal, a note book that I keep next to my bed where I write down at least 3 things that I’ve achieved that day – no matter how small.
Here’s how this helps:
- It focuses the mind
Yes there are days when you achieve a lot, but there are also days when you feel you’ve achieved nothing of any significance…but I promise you, there will always be at least one thing that you’ve done that has value. By writing it down you’ll end those days on a high instead of feeling like you’ve done nothing.
- It improves your productivity
Once you’ve been keeping your celebration journal for a while, you’ll start to notice that you only want to do tasks that feel ‘worthy’ of a mention in your journal. You’ll find yourself procrastinating less, and doing more of the tasks that take you closer to your goal. As a result you productivity will sky rocket.
- It gives you a boost
We all need a boost from time to time. You might find yourself going through a bad patch, or having a moment of self doubt when you have a lapse in confidence. It happens to us all. But this is where your celebration journal really does help as you’ll then be able to flip through and see all the great things you’ve achieved and just how far you’ve come and your mood will definitely shift.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about goal setting, and the celebration journal. Maybe you’ve got your very own version that works for you. Let me know by leaving a comment.
Guest post by Barbara Nixon
Barbara supports leaders to get the results they need without feeling overwhelmed. She does this through her very popular FREE monthly webinar, her online leadership development programmes (The Boss Hat Programme and Time Mastery) and her one to one Executive Coaching and her book The Boss Hat. She prides herself on developing leaders at all levels, and teaching them the small tweaks they can make to reap MASSIVE results.
To get your invite to Barbara’s free monthly webinars visit barbaranixon.co.uk