The Power of Tracking Your Wins

A woman in a white shirt stands outside smiling

If you want to stay on top of your goals, you need to start tracking your wins.

When it comes to goal setting, much emphasis is placed on your process and systems—writing your goals down, creating deadlines, managing your to-do lists, etc. And while these are all undeniably helpful for seeing positive results, we shouldn’t ignore another crucial element of the goal setting process: the practice of tracking your wins. 

Tracking your wins means routinely checking in on what you accomplished, big or small.

Going for a run for 20 minutes. Sending that email you’ve been putting off. Scoring your dream job.

It’s so easy to gloss over our achievements and fixate on how much more work there is left to do. And when we only focus on the next rung of the ladder and all the ones we’ve yet to reach, we risk burning out or losing hope on our goals.

The practice of tracking your wins allows you to appreciate how far you’ve come and the progress you’re making day in and day out. 

Here is how tracking your wins can transform the way you pursue your goals and help you feel more motivated.

Combat limiting beliefs. It’s so easy to cling to the criticism and negative comments we receive from others. Whether it’s a childhood memory of a parent or teacher telling us we weren’t good enough, or a bad performance review from a boss, we hold onto these negative comments and view them as truth. Tracking your wins, however, helps you combat these limiting beliefs by acknowledging the good work you are doing on a regular basis. It’s a simple but powerful way to shift your mindset. 

See how much progress you’re making. With goals, we’re eager to see results in real time. But big goals take time to come to fruition. Instead of becoming frustrated with your lack of progress, track your wins to reward the efforts you are making each day. You might think that you’re not making any headway on your fitness goals, when in reality, you’re running faster than before. Or you might think that your side hustle isn’t going anywhere, when in reality, you’re gradually increasing your clients and profits. Seeing your progress reflected back to you will help you stay motivated on your goals. 

Career development. You’re working on your performance review but have no idea what you accomplished this past year. Or you’re hoping to ask your boss for a promotion but don’t have the data to back it up. Or you’re revising your resume but can’t remember the key projects you worked on. Don’t rely on your memory to keep track of all your wins. Instead, keep an ongoing list of your accomplishments. This will definitely come in handy the next time you need to make a case for your promotion or update your LinkedIn profile. 

Giving yourself permission to enjoy your wins. Do you tend to hide your light under a bushel or have a fear of being seen? Taking the time to acknowledge your wins can help you own your success and become more comfortable with winning.

Building confidence. The next time you have an important meeting with a client or a manager, or if you’re trying to combat feelings of imposter syndrome, look at your past wins to help build confidence and the reassurance that you deserve to be in that room.

Different ways to track your wins

Whether it’s a bullet journal to record your accomplishments or an email folder to save all the nice compliments you receive, here are some ideas for tracking your wins.

Keep a compliments folder. Create an email folder just for the nice words you receive from others. Your boss thanking you for a job well done. A customer thanking you for going above and beyond. Your friends sending you nice messages on your birthday. The next time you need a pick-me-up or an extra boost of motivation, turn to your compliments folder to remember just how amazing you truly are. 

Track your progress in  your planner. If you’re trying to reach a specific goal, then track your progress in your planner. At the end of the day or week, record how many words you’ve written. Or how many miles you ran. Or how many clients you reached out to. Over time, you’ll see just how much progress you’ve made. 

Relish your big wins. Are you taking the time to celebrate your big accomplishments? Writing a draft of a screenplay. Being invited to a big job interview. Running a 5K. Savor these big victories and all the hard work you put in. Take the lessons learned and experience gained to head into the next phase of your life with full confidence. 

Don’t forget your small wins. Yes, it’s important to celebrate our big milestones but don’t neglect your micro wins as well. Doing the dishes. Taking out the trash. Going for a walk. These may seem like routine activities, but they can also feel an awful lot like work–-especially when you’re having one of those days. So express gratitude for your tiny wins because they do add up. 

Send a weekly email update to your boss. Don’t keep your wins to yourself, share them with others! If you feel weird boasting about your accomplishments, don’t fret. A weekly email can convey your wins in a subtle yet effective way. You get to keep your boss in the loop with relevant office updates while also cluing them in on all the great work you’ve been doing. This is a great strategy to get your boss to invest in you

Example email:

I wanted to give you an update on my progress with the X project.

- I finalized the budget and just need you to review and approve.

- You had mentioned wanting to meet with the satellite office so I’ve set up a meeting for next week. Please confirm if that works for you.

- Also attaching a draft of your presentation - appreciate your feedback and edits.

So if you have trouble tooting your own horn, then combine a weekly work update with updates on your progress. It will feel much more organic and you’ll get noticed for your hard-earned wins.

Written by JiJi Lee

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