4 Steps to Reverse Your Inner Conflicts: The Power of the Victory Log
Taking time out of your daily routine to focus on your goals is essential for staying focused, seeing how far you’ve come, and getting motivated to achieve new goals in the future.
That’s why I’ve created my own Victory Log, a place where I record my goals and celebrate when I achieve one. Following the four steps below, you can create your own Victory Log and reap the benefits, too.
You’ll need a dedicated notebook, some colored pens, and bright stickers.
Step 1: Accomplishments
After you put the date at the top of your page, take a few lines to free-write about your accomplishments since your last entry. Whether big or small, accomplishments are accomplishments. It’s important to write down as many as possible. When you come back looking for motivation or reassurance, the more you have written down, the better you’ll feel.
Some things you could write: “Yesterday, I had a conference call with a prospective client,” or, “I finished an autoresponder series for Company X.” I also write down upcoming projects that I’m excited about.
If you feel that yesterday was a slow day, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, write what you would like to do better today. “Today, I will only spend 15 minutes on Facebook—and I won’t play Farmville!” Or, force yourself to use a new productivity technique, such as master copywriter Eugene Schwartz’ 33.33 minute egg timer. (Christina Gillick explains how this technique works here.)
You can also use this section for free journaling, if something is on your mind or otherwise worth recording.
Step 2: Goals List
Write out your goals next, in a numbered list. You’ll write the full list out every day. Write them as “action” statements with a time limit, for example …
Earn $100,000 in copywriting fees by December 31, 2013
Is much more powerful than …
Earn $100,000 in copywriting fees
See the difference? The first one has a deadline attached. It won’t continue endlessly. Plus, once your subconscious gets fixated on that action statement and that date, it will do everything in its power to make it happen.
How many goals can you have? As many as you want as long as each is a focused, reasonable, time-restricted goal and you have time to take action steps toward each one. (I currently have 16 goals on my list.)
If you come up with a new one, add it!
You may also find that you have goals for the year that can’t be started until six months from now, because the required conditions won’t be in place until then. You definitely don’t want to forget about those goals, so include them. Getting your subconscious focused on achieving that goal six months ahead of time could only be beneficial!
Finally, when you’re writing out your goals, don’t just copy them for the sake of copying them. Really feel each goal as you write it out. Try and capture the original excitement you had when you first put it on your list originally. See yourself achieving that goal by your determined deadline … and feel how it’ll be once you do!
Step 3: Affirmations
There is power in repeating positive phrases about yourself, to yourself, on a daily basis—as many professionals, productivity experts, and psychologists will confirm.
Affirmations were designed to slowly reverse limiting beliefs you hold about yourself by accessing the subconscious through repetition. One common one: believing you truly are a copywriter.
Write these out every day underneath your goals list.
Some excellent affirmations for writers include:
I am a masterful, knowledgeable copywriter.
I find it easy to focus on my writing.
I always meet my deadlines.
And some I also write for myself:
I am a powerful person.
Clients are attracted to my positive energy, professionalism, and tight, profitable copy.
I earn $8,300 / month in fees—minimum!
This section can also include your personal statement of purpose if you have one.
Step 4: Reflect
At the end of every month, go back and look at how your goals list has evolved.
Using your most recent list, go through each goal and write out:
- the goal’s name
- current status or progress you made this month
- next action step required
For example, one of my goals this year is to write for one of the biggest information publishers in the industry, Boardroom. So, I wrote:
Write for Boardroom à spoke with Marcella Allison about an April package à send Marcella samples
Another one of my goals I can’t move forward on just yet, so I write:
Put up a money making website à no progress; waiting for next Live Series with Nick Usborne to begin
Then, once you’ve gone through your entire list, make sure your action steps are on your schedule so you’ll take the next required step.
And, if you’ve completed a goal? It’s time for victory!
For example, I exceeded my income goal for February …
Earn $8,800 in February à VICTORY! $9,300!
Really celebrate your successes! Give yourself a reward for doing so well. Studies show that we are psychologically motivated by rewards.
Have some fun with it!
Get yourself a pack of those “gold stars” you used to get in elementary school when you did well on an assignment. Did you finish a big package? Gold star! Did you contact new clients? Gold star! Heck, sometimes even getting out of bed deserves a gold star. (Throwing confetti is also enjoyable, but less permanent.)
I use a plain spiral notebook for my Victory Log, but you can be as creative as you want to be. If you have a knack for scrapbooking, perhaps you make your monthly victory reflection a big deal on the last day of the month. I sometimes pull out my calligraphy pens when I’ve reached a goal, and really “do it up.”
It’s most important that you have fun with this. This is your life, after all! If it becomes just another dreary habit that you “have” to do on a daily basis, then the point is being missed.
This should be your daily indulgence … getting a sneak peek into what your life is going to be like once you’ve achieved these goals.
What else do you record in your Victory Log? Let me know in a comment below so that we can all share in your helpful habit!
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