Guest opinion: Success in two minutes or less
By Christi Hegstad | President, MAP Professional Development
When my daughter was about to graduate from high school, a friend of mine — also the parent of a high school senior — shared how, since her child started kindergarten, she had each of his teachers sign the Dr. Seuss book he had loved as a toddler. The day before his graduation party, she surprised him with the book, and they had so much fun reminiscing about teachers, and memories in general, of days gone by.
Oh, if we’d only had this conversation about 15 years earlier! Do you ever hear the most brilliant ideas just a tad too late?
Since we are about to embark on a new year and decade, I want to share an idea that I’ve encouraged thousands of coaching clients and workshop participants to try, with outstanding — and often surprising — results. I call it the Success Journal, and it can literally take less than two minutes per day but have a profound effect on your growth, mindset, confidence and sense of purpose.
Basically, the Success Journal involves jotting down one win per day. That’s it. One highlight from your day, recorded before you leave the office or before you go to bed at night.
YOU get to decide what makes the win each day. It might be personal or professional, planned or unexpected, big or small. The point is documenting something that strikes you as meaningful on a daily basis. I recommend handwriting your wins in an actual journal or notebook (there’s good science behind this, too), but if tracking it in your phone works for you, then go for it.
By keeping a Success Journal, you’ll likely find yourself starting to look for more wins in your day (and we tend to find what we look for!). You may begin to notice clues into your passions, your purpose and what matters most. You might even find yourself closing your day on a better tone than usual, thanks to your ongoing positive reminders.
You can also use your Success Journal to uplift you on the days you don’t feel so successful, or when you need to build your confidence for an important meeting or interview, for example. Document a win per day for just a few weeks, and you’ll have over 20 wins identified and reported. It becomes more difficult to listen to self-doubt when you have a written track record of success to prove otherwise.
You could alter this idea, too; perhaps recording a leadership win, or an action you take each day toward a specific goal, or a moment when you felt completely present. Remember, you get to decide what constitutes a win.
I have done this on and off myself over the years, with 2019 being an “on” year. I can’t express how delightful this list is to review! I am reminded of many moments I would have otherwise forgotten, and I am also seeing interesting patterns in how my priorities have shown up and shifted over the course of the year.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “Do something your future self will thank you for.” The Success Journal is one such thing. Next year at this time, you will be so glad you started today.
Christi Hegstad, Ph.D., PCC, is a certified executive and personal coach for difference-making achievers. Receive your free “Big Dreams, Bold Goals!” workbook at ChristiHegstad.com and connect with Christi on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook @ChristiHegstad