If you have one strategy, it is to keep a daily success list.
For those of you who have had classes with me before, who have worked with me one-on-one, you know this is my signature request. It’s a request because you’re all adults, so it’s not homework.
It’s a request that I make of everybody that I work with.
At the end of the day, you simply write down what has been a success or what’s gone well for you that day. It can be big or small, connected to your reinvention or not.
One of my favorite ones to use sometimes is that I ate three cookies instead of 10. That’s a success because you managed to moderate your intake. Any kinds of things can be construed as a success if it moves you closer towards that goal.
Here’s a thing. This is a critical activity because the human brain basically has a way of only storing certain kinds of information. We can’t store everything, so we tend to let things go and move on to the very next thing. This works so that our mind is not overloaded.
It does not serve us when we get to the end of a day, however, because we end up focusing on what still is left to be done. We tend to forget all the good things that have happened and what we got done that day.
When that happens, we start everyday with a deficit. We think, “I haven’t done this. I haven’t done this. I haven’t done this.” It creates a feeling of fear, of anxiety, the antithesis of what we’re looking to foster in your reinvention.
Here’s the thing. The goals that you identified in the beginning, there where you want to end up. But in fact you can help them along every single day if you start to structure your habits so that you begin to notice them.
How many do you need? I always say you want to have a minimum of four. This pushes your mind to go beyond what’s comfortable because sometimes you might think, “I can think of one thing but that’s it.” You want to push your mind to go beyond that and to really remember.
What this does is build new neural pathways in our mind. It takes time, however. Those grooves that are already there are pretty strong. We’ve got to build new pathways, new grooves in our brain that create the good feelings.
Here’s the thing. We’re all human. This is all real life. I do these five days a week but I give myself weekends off. That’s me. Some people do it everyday. I know that I much more likely to do it five days if I give myself two days off. It’s all about working with your psychology.
Keeping a daily success list is small, but overtime you’ll end up with a big result. One day it might only be a walk, but then three months later you’re down 15 pounds. It’s in that noticing everyday. “Hey. I took a walk.” “Hey. I did good today.” That feeling keeps you going, keeps you moving.
For those of you who are in a relationship where you’re maybe having some kind of stress or conflict with them, another addendum to this daily success list is to list two good things about your spouse that day. This is something that I do. I got married after the age of 40 and I was raised in a single parent household. This kind of relationship was not natural for me.
It’s about deciding where you’re going to put your attention and focus, because that determines where your feelings are going to be. If all you’re noticing are the deficits in life, that leads to negative feelings. When you notice the good things, it takes you back to those feelings of love, of appreciation, of gratitude.
This helps to shift you toward what you’re looking to accomplish.
Coaching Action Steps
Start to keep a Daily Success List to recall the good things they’ve done.
Regularly reminding yourself that you’ve succeeded in the past will strengthen your belief that you can succeed in the future.