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What the Heck is a Success Journal?

What the Heck is a Success Journal?

So, I think we are at a solid point in our relationship where I feel comfortable sharing some personal stuff with you? Slow down, we aren’t close enough for the real juicy stuff, yet. But I felt compelled to be transparent about a weakness that I struggle with and a new way to try to overcome it.

Like most of you, I set goals for my life and business every year. I don’t have some elaborate process for developing them, it’s more like answering the what, why, when, and how for these annual objectives. But every year, I seem to fall short of achieving the full goal. Whether it’s a weight loss goal (unbelievably, 2020 is the year I am blowing through that goal, go figure) or revenue growth objectives, I just can’t seem to stretch all the way to the finish line.

I have read a ton of books over the years, listened to thousands of hours of podcasts, and even attended dozens of workshops so I have the knowledge required to be a goal achiever, yet here we are! I write my goals down on paper, because that is what you are supposed to do, right. Admittedly, I don’t have an elaborate system to track my daily progress. But I understand the axiom that whatever you want to grow or improve you have to measure it. Yet there is something missing in the transition from tracking to achieving and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Every day, I would plan activities or tasks that when performed repeatedly and done well will help you run the ball over the goal line (sorry, I am so ready for football to start again). Theoretically these daily repetitions lead to incremental results that over time will show up in your tracking analysis. But what I realized is that whenever I started generating momentum with those incremental successes, something would happen, minor or dramatic, that would derail that energy. And even if that issue was only related to one of the goals, it seemed to cause the whole train to derail or at least come to a screeching halt.

Well, this caused me to start thinking about how to maintain that incremental momentum through the ups and downs. I have heard colleagues talk about goals journals and gratitude journals and it struck me that a daily reflection and accounting might be the ticket. 

So I created a Success Journal for myself. On the first page, I list the major goals and objectives for the coming 12 months. Then every day I make an entry of any successes, large or small, that I achieved that day. The idea is that I see my major goals daily, and then I get to have a small celebration every day of a success. Theoretically, celebrating the little successes daily helps to keep the momentum going forward and pushing me to reach the big goals at the end of the year.

But being totally transparent, I have tried journaling a dozen times and have the half-filled notebooks to prove it. But it never seemed to stick – lack of discipline, boredom, whatever the reason I just couldn’t keep it going. The hurdle I faced was seeing this Success Journal process through to the end.

To combat the urge to quit, I added an incentive, a reward to myself for at least completing the journal year ( a success itself to celebrate). The incentive for me is a bottle of Dom Perignon, an expensive champagne with a label that says “Do Not Open Until July 24, 2020.” On that designated day at the end of the 12 months,  I will review all the daily success pages and review the year-long goals. Then I will pop the bottle and celebrate all the small and big successes with family, friends, and colleagues that helped make these successes a reality.

Now this is the part of a blog post where I am supposed to share the results of years of using this methodology to create unbelievable results. Again, in total transparency, this is a brand new technique for me and I am not sure what this will look like in a few months (I will let you know; good, bad, or otherwise). So far, it is helping me to see more clearly the short term successes that are leading to better results. But, the jury is still out!

If any of you have used a similar process to elevate results, I would love to hear your feedback and experience. Please share your stories in the comments below. Again, I would greatly appreciate and value your own authenticity to hear how this worked or didn’t in your journey. Also, share any other tools I should consider to help keep successful momentum moving forward and to start over achieving my goals instead of falling short!

Believing in a clear mission for your life and driving toward important goals is only part of the formula for overachieving. The daily work you put in to build on the small successes can help you maintain momentum, or give you the gas, to continue moving forward, even when the goal seems so far away. Wish me luck!

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