Well, folks… it’s Friday and September is almost over.
What did you accomplish?
I’m not asking that (of you and of me) so that we’ll feel inadequate. I’m asking so we’ll make lists of what we did and remember that we are making progress.
How to Succeed at Anything
I didn’t make up this concept. I’m just following along with the experts. They say two things that have struck me as important this morning as I’m trying to make a plan for the fourth quarter.
- Be consistent.
- Celebrate the wins.
In other words, it’s the little things we do consistently that make us successful. That’s why it’s so hard to start something new. It’s hard to change your habits, but habits are what ultimately propel us to where we want to go.
Author Darren Hardy really drives this home in his book The Compound Effect.
In fact, it’s so important that he suggests that you begin by tracking whatever you want to change because it’s those little things that keep you on course or send you off into the weeds.
Hardy says even little things, like watching an hour of television news every day instead of reading a book that helps improve your life, adds up. That seven hours a week becomes 28 hours a month that you could have been going after what you want.
Using this Idea to My Advantage
This makes sense in the context of all the other things I’ve learned recently. For example, I’m working my way through Brendon Burchard’s The Charge.
Burchard devotes a whole chapter to the importance of integrating your successes into your identity. In other words, here is another small thing you can do consistently that will improve your life… track your successes.
If you combine the two ideas, be consistent and celebrate wins, you find yourself with self-confidence.
That’s how we get confidence and self-esteem, you know. By doing things.
When Your Friends are Relentlessly Positive
I have a very treasured friend who followed these principles to success. I have been privileged to watch Heather Sams, owner of Heather Sams Fine Portraits, consistently work on her business year after year. Sometimes things went really well, sometimes they were slower, but today she has a business that builds her dreams.
I consulted Heather one dreary day when I was feeling ineffective (as even the most cheerful, confident people do now and then). Did she commiserate with me about how hard it is to build a business?
She was not about to let me drag myself further into the hole. Instead, she put a big piece of paper on the wall and made me list out everything I’ve accomplished in the last 8 years.
You bet I felt better when I left. I took that piece of paper and put it on my wall where I see it every day. Think about it. Why would I deliberately integrate failures into my identity, but not successes?
That’s just silly.
Do This Today
Here’s what I want you to do now. Take a moment and write down what you accomplished in September. It can be anything from “Mowed lawn every week” to “Completed a plan to take over the world”.
Once you have a list, put it on your wall where you can see it. Don’t forget. You’re making headway toward your vision even if you feel like you’re just taking baby steps.