Sunday, April 1, 2018

Tips to Help You Keep a Success Journal and Soar in Business and Life!

In the past, I let fear, shyness, low self-esteem, and procrastination stop me from doing things I wanted or needed to do. Can any of you relate?

As a solution to being stuck, I’ve kept a success journal to get more in touch with how I feel and think about going for the gold.

The post has been updated 11/18/20

It’s made an astonishing change in how I face down the fear of doing what is right for me, and enables me to make progress in accomplishing my goals.

Wonder what a success journal is and how it can help you feel more self-confident and willing to risk change?

Set up a success journal by grabbing any blank or lined notebook or journal you have on hand. Make it a dedicated place to record the smallest daily forward motion, small victory, accomplishment, or steps you’ve taken to fulfill your heart’s longing. 

Make sure to record even the tiniest way you’ve been accountable for improving yourself and your lifestyle.

Use colored pencils, crayons, markers or colored pens to write. Cut and paste magazine clippings, scraps of colored paper, or any collage material you like. Make it as beautiful as you can. Paste in thank you notes that touched your heart, a certificate, letter of recognition, or awards.

After writing every day for just a few weeks, this is what I discovered…

Tips to Help You Keep a Success Journal and Soar in Business and Life!

Set a Standard for Success: EXAMPLE (EX.) For me, success doesn’t mean mega bucks in my bank account or special title on my office door. I've figured out what success looks like by reviewing my values, ethics, and personal preferences. 

If you compare your accomplishments to things others do, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Strive for improvement in yourself and happiness will be a part of your process rather than judgments and shame.

Focus Attention: (EX.) Write a to-do list with only one or two goals per day. Make each task your first priority, and small enough that it can be completed in a day. Don't allow anything to sidetrack you including your phone, social media, or text messages. 

Roll up your sleeves and get busy. When you actually complete an assignment, take a moment to record how this success made you feel. I wrote and published my woman's self-care journal by using this method. I vowed to write at least one page a day. I found on most days, I wrote many more than one page. On those days that I didn't feel creative, writing or revising one page was good enough for me.

Pace Yourself: (EX) If you have the stamina, start to work on the next goal. If not, take a 15 min. break to walk in nature, read a book, have a cup of peppermint tea, or do a few yoga poses. Then move on to the next to-do item.

To function at your peak, balance work activities with play. Set aside time to participate in a sport, work out at the gym, gather with friends and family, walk with a walking buddy, or take part in any relaxing activity you enjoy.

Learn from past mistakes: (EX) Use a success journal to describe how a setback in the past eventually had a positive outcome. I wrote about my victory to let go of expectations that a business associate would prepare a document exactly the same way as I do. When I was able to recognize and acknowledge we each have our own style of doing things, I found peace and equanimity.

Put a positive spin on self-talk: (EX) Write about yourself and actions by using the expression I “get to” do this rather than “have to” or "should" do this. I tell myself “I’m working on that project and haven’t completed it yet,” instead of I can’t do that.” An optimistic slant and proactive approach helps me feel good about things I need or want to do and helps me persevere.

Be gentle with yourself: (EX) Give yourself permission to be a beginner at new things. Treat yourself as you would, if you were a child learning something new. Some people are quick learners and some take more time. Honor your process and remember...

“Kindness encourages progress and compassion infuses positive karma into each action.” Nancy Andres
Recognize you always have choices: (EX) Instead of getting anxious and bent out of shape about interpersonal relationships, I’ve learned to take as much time as I need to test the waters. I was burned in the past, and as a result my m-o is to be cautious and go slow. This doesn't mean it always has to be this way. After all, I do have choices.  

I also proceeded slowly to approach public speaking many years ago. Over the years, I’ve gotten more comfortable talking to groups. Nonetheless, even today I feel slight nervousness. I think that's good, because my anxiety is what motivates me to prepare fully and think of many ways to make any workshop or seminar I present concise, entertaining, interactive, and informative.

Discover new ways to be more flexible: (EX) When I recorded those tasks I didn’t enjoy, but completed anyway, I realized I could release certain tasks (relegating responsibility to others or eliminating the project entirely). When the same task needs to be done in the future, I’ve decided to surrender it to someone else and remove it from my to-do list. This leaves more time and energy to do something I love.

You don’t need to have all the answers: (EX) I accept that when I lack knowledge or skill about a subject, I have options. I can reach out for help from an available person, take a course, or get expert advice. Sometimes the only way to learn something new or creative comes from trial and error. Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them.

List at least 1 positive thing you did today: EX: Today I woke early so I could meditate. I walked outdoors. I straightened out details of a book I’m reprinting, I called about a product I bought to get info on how to use it more efficiently, and postponed instant gratification of eating chips and had a nourishing bowl of soup instead. Even if the only thing you did today was to lift your head off the pillow and got out of bed, that's a start. Write it down.

Compare worst case and best case scenario: (EX) I coaxed myself to write down what one fear was, and named what I thought would be the worst and best thing to come from it.

This exercise reminded me I could line up a person to bookend. That’s someone I speak to before and after taking an action that I perceive as a "scary deed." Turns out what I thought could happen, never did.

Flex your skill muscles: (EX) Rachel Simmons, author of Enough as She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives inspires me and helps me keep on going. “Skills are like muscles: they must be flexed repeatedly to stay strong and agile. Risk taking is just such a muscle.” Perhaps Simmons words will inspire you too.

Aim High: (EX) Identify things, people, and places you want in your life. After you’ve discovered this, take baby steps to actively pursue those avenues of satisfaction. Momentum encourages more momentum. Just see.

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” — Oprah Winfrey

Act as if: (EX) If you want some area of your life to improve, act as if it already has. The law of attraction will help it manifest in your life. Include written signs of praise, photos, memos, and objects that validate your efforts. When you're having a challenging day and don't feel like a winner, look at these items and take the word of others.

Don’t Let Your Past Define You: (EX) I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from childhood trauma, and was ashamed and afraid to admit it. I also thought if I show the world my vulnerabilities, it would mean further abuse.

After many years of extensive work on myself, I now know for sure I'm lovable and good enough just the way I am.

That's why I keep on keeping on. I love what I do, and show the world my authentic self as I write and publish my blog Colors 4 Health. I am the author and publisher of Colors of Joy. It has been so popular, It's now in a second printing (Oct. 2018). An additional hat I wear is to present seminars and workshops

Noting my progress in a blog post is positive reinforcement. Stating some of my accomplishments is a healthy action and good for self-esteem. I suggest you do that too!

Here's Are Additional Ideas to

Use Success Journal Pages to Share...

What talents, gifts, skills, knowledge, and know-how you possess that can be of service to others? How did you share your gifts today?

What are your secret longings? Do you dream about making changes in your career, family life, social life, community life, spiritual life, and personal life? What would your day look like if the things you dream about were in your life picture? 

Record those moments, events, or situations today when you made progress in handling a situation in a more positive, effective way?

Celebrate small wins and learn not to minimize forward motion. Draw a picture about how it felt as you crossed the finish line. 

Allow yourself a few moments to celebrate your achievement by sharing it with a mentor, coach, friend, family member, or colleague.    

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  1. Great points. I like how you mentioned success does not look the same for everyone. What I may define success as might now the be the same for you. Also not letting your past define you. So many times we let our past mistakes, fears, wishes keep us from moving forward. I think it is a great idea to write things down. Successes need to be celebrated. Great post! Thanks for linking up at #trafficjam Be sure to come back next week!

    1. Thanks so much Tracy, both for the visit and comment. Agree with you about not letting your past define you and successes need to be celebrated!!!