Record and Reward
- Do you sometimes feel you’re not making any progress?
- Does it ever feel like you’re taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back (or worse, 1 step forward and 2 steps back)?
Striving to make progress towards a goal can feel exhausting and it can be de-motivating if we feel we’re not getting anywhere. Sometimes, though, the feeling we’re not making progress is false.
It’s human (and especially British) to play down our positive points and focus on those which we think need work. However, acknowledging our achievements, feeling good about them and rewarding ourselves can make us more likely to work towards goals in the future. Noticing how far we’ve come can re-inspire, re-invigorate and re-motivate us.
Research suggests that those people who celebrate their wins are more likely to achieve more in the long term. Even if the reality is that you’ve not done as well as you could have, celebrate the steps you have taken.
Divide a piece of paper into four columns (the last one is just a tick box so can be narrow).
Write down all that you’ve achieved in the last 6 months in the far left column (e.g. updated C.V. / built database of recruitment consultants, HR people and personal contacts / updated LinkedIn profile / etc.). This could be a really long list, so if it helps, just focus on one project, topic or goal at a time. Be careful to focus on what you’ve done that’s positive — we can be distracted by what we haven’t done, but that’s another exercise and not helpful right now.Take some time to feel good about those achievements — and feel good about yourself.
In the second column, write down the unique abilities or qualities it took for you to achieve those things (e.g. self-discipline / tenacity / ingenuity / etc.).
In the third column, write down how you’ll reward yourself for each achievement (e.g. take a day off to play with the kids / buy an iPad / get a manicure / take a walk outside…)
The fourth column is for you to tick once you’ve rewarded yourself.
Keep revisiting this list of achievements and unique qualities to remind yourself just how far you’ve come. Consider scheduling a once-a-week or once-a-month ‘record and reward’ session — what would work best for you?
Doing the exercises on my website could help you to move closer to your goals and improve your life. Sometimes we all need a little help, though … and self-coaching may not be enough. Friends and family might not always be able (or willing) to give you the support you need, and they may also be resistant to change. A session with a professional life coach can help you to figure out what you really want … and how to go about getting it. Having someone on your side who will gently hold you accountable, and root for your success, can boost your confidence and make the process of change faster and more satisfying. Whether it’s one-to-one or group coaching you’re drawn to, please get in touch with me to discuss options.