Tracking progress and noticing what we’re achieving is just as
relevant to the day to day when we’re following our to-do lists, as it is to
thinking about our bigger goals.
The day to day
Isn’t it so easy to get to the end of the day more aware of all the things you still need to get done, than of what you’ve achieved? Even more so when we’re interrupted and need to deal with items that weren’t on our to-do list in the first place. It’s hard to go home feeling chuffed with your day and ready to enjoy putting your feet up when that’s going on. Stop. Take stock. Notice all the good stuff you’ve achieved (even if it wasn’t on your original to-do list for the day).
Tracking activity and results
When I’m working with sales people around this, I notice how disheartening it is when there are lots of irons in the fire, but nothing over the line yet – particularly when the only measure of progress is actual sales. I recommend focusing on the actions they’re taking as much as the sales they’re making. Noticing what they’ve put in place helps them see the progress and to feel better. Why does that matter? Because when we don’t feel good, we don’t do well. It’s rather chicken and egg, but I have experienced it time and time again. When I feel good and acknowledge what’s working, more of the good stuff comes. I’m sure you’ve noticed that too.
What is working well? What feels good? What are you pleased with?
Encourage your brain to do more of the good stuff
Your brain also learns from what you pay attention to. While much of what is happening on the inside is unconscious and automatic, we can influence that to some degree. Think about what happens when you imagine biting into a juicy wedge of lemon, the juice spraying over your tongue, and your mouth pursing at the tang. What happens? Saliva starts to collect in your mouth – it’s happening to me even as I’m typing the story! This happens because your conscious attention is on one thing, and your body and unconscious responses are following suit – automatically.
I talk to clients about this a lot because we tend to be much better at noticing all the stuff we’re not good at or want to improve, than what is already working well. Someone may habitually think about the parts of their job they find difficult at the moment, which triggers stress, rather than thinking about how they are doing the bulk of their job really well. Their body is experiencing it like they’re completely failing. Do you really want your brain to keep repeating that stressy feeling and building more negative (and inaccurate) evidence?
It just makes sense to pay attention to what you want more of. For example, you could notice how you’re a little nervous before you start your presentation at work, OR you could notice how well prepared you are. Which one will add positive energy, and which one will take it away? And which one would you like your mind and body to repeat for you later? The nerves or the savvy preparation?
Check out these tips and see what you want to take on board:
- At the end of your work day, take two minutes to log what you’ve achieved in your day (whether it was on your original to-do list for the day or not). What are you pleased you have achieved?
- If you are working on changing a habit, improving an area of your life or developing a new skill, be sure to track your progress and notice each day, or at least every few days. I do this when I get into bed, with a notebook and pen handy to make it easy. Ask yourself – What has been working well today? What feels good? What am I pleased with?
- Take time to celebrate wins with your team. It’s easy to gloss over the good stuff and get back into the next challenge on the list before you’ve taken a breath. Half the reason this happens is because we forget what we’re doing it all for – and some of that is the reward and satisfaction of achieving the goal, helping a customer, essentially making a difference in some way. I can’t tell you how often I hear staff say that they’ve barely finished one project and it’s on to the next, and no one seems to give a brass razoo for the effort they’ve gone to. Did anyone notice what I did this month?!
Daily Practices for a Happy Life
AFTERNOON SPRING RETREAT
I will be sharing valuable practical ways to bring more enjoyment and energy into your day, along with (much to my delight!) much loved yoga teacher, Karla Brodie offering simple and delicious restorative practices to enhance vitality. You don't want to miss this!
It is a blend of savvy NLP tools, mindfulness and restful yoga practices to give you an overflowing toolkit of calm. No prior yoga experience is necessary. Suitable for men and women, the afternoon will leave you feeling refreshed and restored, and inspired to take that calm and renewed energy home with you.
Daily Practices for a Happy Life - Afternoon Spring Retreat
1-5pm Saturday 8 November
Kawai Purapura, Albany, Auckland
$120 per person including workbook and refreshments.
Find out more here, or simply email us to book – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach – Trainer – Speaker