But when a whole bunch of building blocks are put together, suddenly they form something much more interesting and significant. This is the same with what happens to our own lives as well.
Too often, we all get a little down if we feel that we have not achieved any of our big goals we set for ourselves. We may see our lives filled with failures. But in reality, we probably have achieved much more than we thought. So to help you realize this more, I have an exercise that helps you put things into much better perspective.
An Exercise to Bring Out Your Little Successes
It involves taking a look at all areas of your life during the past year — or any other time period you want to consider. Look at everything from:
- Your health
- Your career
- What is happening in your home life
- What hobbies you participated in during this time period
- Essentially…pretty much everything
Now write down on a piece of paper all the successes that you had in all areas of your life — not just the financial ones or those connected to your career — which are often the first ones many people think about. Write down all little successes, no matter how insignificant they might seem at first. This is very important as you will see.
It might take some time to come up with a list of successes…especially the little ones that you might not even realize right away.
Some Examples of Little Successes
Just to give you some examples, here are some of the successes of various scales that I came up with for myself in the last couple of months.
- Presented some talks to interesting audiences including a military base
- Launched an instructional program on dog litter box training
- Got the weights of both of my dogs down to acceptable healthy levels
- Kept up my martial arts routines for fun and fitness
- Minimized eating out for lunch and coffees
- Got back all the guitar playing skills I previously had years ago
- Had another great annual medical check up with my doctor
- Developed new keynote for business sales audiences
- Improved my short radius turns in snow skiing
- Became a regular contributor to Lifehack
- Finally got a new car to replace my dying 1997 Eagle Talon
Acknowledge Little Successes
What you will find after such an exercise is that you probably took a lot of your little achievements for granted. When you do acknowledge them, these little successes really do add up.
Take my little success of minimizing eating out. Each lunch or coffee on its own doesn’t amount to much but if you consider cutting down such expenses over six months or an entire year, the savings can be quite significant.
This would be the same for people who want to lose weight. Losing one to three pounds per week might not seem a lot, but doing this consistently over time will result in a big and healthy weight loss success. The little drops in weight each week certainly add up.
We should never forget about our past successes no matter how small they initially seem. This exercise will hopefully shows that you perhaps did not do as bad as you think you did. Again, this really gives you a different perspective on things.
It also shows which areas you may have to work on for better balance of the different areas of your life. You can then build upon these little successes for the goals (or New Year resolutions) you set for this year.
Feel free to share below some of the little successes you had that you may have forgotten about.
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