By Lori Norris
In this day and age of fast paced business and advancing technology, we are most times too quick to move onto the next thing before appreciating our own accomplishments. This is a simple yet often overlooked tool for success. Those of us in service businesses, such as coaching and consulting, know how powerful this is in helping our clients recognize their accomplishments, see their strengths, uncover clues as to their next steps, and notice patterns for determining their future direction.
So, what about us? Who's tracking and helping us acknowledge our accomplishments for our self improvement? As business owners, service providers, and solopreneurs where we wear all the hats, this is an important piece of managing and building our businesses.
In The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, he mentions how research shows that the more you acknowledge your past successes, the more confident you are in taking on and accomplishing new challenges. He says that simply knowing you've had successes in the past gives you the self confidence that you'll have more in the future. What a great place to come from when getting out there to serve our clients!
Need more reasons for doing such a thing? Similar to a diary or journal, this list provides a log of successes over time – a place to revisit and review your own patterns and trends, clues to future direction, both personally and professionally. It's especially handy for those occasions when someone presents you with a wonderful opportunity where you'll greatly benefit and they need your portfolio/resume/bio "as soon as possible." Your list of accomplishments provides you with information at your fingertips. A handy list reminds you of your victories with difficult situations or those complicated ones that you want to document for possible reoccurrences. And on tough days, your Accomplishments document reminds you of why you do what you do!
How to implement your own recognition system? It's as simple as you want it to be. Create a word document with a catchy title like "My Victory Log" or "My Magnificent Year," and make a shortcut to your desktop for quick and frequent access. Or, tape a piece of paper to your wall and jot down your weekly and monthly successes as they occur. Or, note accomplishments on your wall, pocket, or desk calendar as soon as they happen. For more detail, utilize "C-A-R stories" where you note the Challenge you encountered, the Actions you took, and the Results that ensued. This provides you with fuller information and facts for better recall. Create a "Brag Book" binder where you keep your list and also collect testimonials and thank you/recognition letters. Insert them into page protectors with your reminder notes about the occasion.
Whatever the format, write them down and update and review regularly - at the minimum, on a monthly basis and better yet, on a weekly basis. At the end of the year, you have a whole collection of how you succeeded in the many tasks you took on for the last 12 months. What a great planning tool for next year!
Celebrate your wins, notice your own patterns and areas in which you excel. Give yourself some credit! Be aware of what you do well and pat yourself on the back for the value and experience you bring to your clients!