Do you have a success journal? Are you writing in it regularly? Do you know what a success (or achievement) journal is?
It can be a small notebook, a sticky pad, a bookmark with blank lines, anything that will allow you to keep track of daily, weekly, and monthly accomplishments. A success journal is a useful way for any self-employed writer to stay on top of daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
By having the goals written out each week (I do my weekly list of goals on Sunday nights), it’s easy to not only check off the tasks as they are accomplished, but it’s easy to list some of the ones that took extra effort, as successes.
As 2012 comes to an end, I admit that I haven’t kept my list of successes up-to-date on a regular basis. In fact, I don’t even have a journal per se.
I use the Planner Pad system for my tasks, goals, and calendar and use the far right Notes/Calls column to track successes and wins I’ve had. I actually have it renamed as “accomplishments,” but that’s semantics.
Just as I see the value in keeping a gratitude journal (listing 5 things a day I’m thankful (or grateful) for that day), keeping successes / accomplishments/wins in front of my mind is also quite beneficial.
I have weekly writing goals, and love being able to note new blog posts, new magazine or newspaper assignments, or new clients as successes. I also have marketing goals (and related successes), editing goals (as part of my freelance business is editing), as well as fitness goals.
Noting successes (and a success is something different for each of us) in one location for the entire year allows for an easy review at year’s end.
By having all my accomplishments listed in one place, I can easily pull a 12-month list together. And I have to tell you, it is quite a rush to see how much I’ve done in 12 months. I love it when I go back to review the early months and see my successes. It’s like being given a gift all over again because in most cases, I’ve forgotten those successes in the passing of time.
If you haven’t started a success journal yet, I recommend starting now. And then a year from now, go back through it and see what you’ve done. It’s a great motivator and an inspiring kick in the butt — it’s also useful to do in December if you set goals for the coming year at this time.
Success breeds success. And once you review what you accomplished in 2012, your goals for 2013 will be higher than you imagined. In fact, it’s a good way to start your list of Wildly Improbably Goals like Diane talked about last week.
Do you keep track of your accomplishments / achievements / successes / wins?
Lisa J. Jackson is a New England-region journalist and a year-round chocolate and iced coffee lover. She loves working with words, and helping others with their own. As Lisa Haselton, she writes fiction, co-blogs about mystery-related writing topics at Pen, Ink, and Crimes, has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is a chat moderator at The Writer’s Chatroom. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.