On Saturday, I:
- Weeded part of the vegetable bed.
- Painted the detail on my Asura.
- Cooked dinner, especially the frozen pies which looked like they weren’t going to cook through.
- Helped Vickie fold a set of sheets.
- Caught up on some missed sleep from the night before.
I’ve had this saying, which I most tend to use at work. I usually use it in the context of myself. I’ll get joyous or relieved abut something I’ve just done, which someone will point out isn’t too much of a big deal.
To that someone, I say:
I take my victories where I find them!
– Rob Farquhar
It’s something to remember, especially when working in a business as deadline driven as a daily newspaper. There are a lot of little things that you need to do to make sure the big win at the end of every day – an edition filled with enough advertising to positively contribute to each day’s overall target – happens. As with every work place, there’s a lot that can go wrong.
While I might celebrate the victories, though, I’m less effective at keeping track of them.
On Sunday, I:
- Spent seven minutes meditating.
- Ran the water on the vege bed.
- Rode the Foxy Lady around the yard.
- Called Celia to organise a practice ride time. (Success!)
- Put a dog-wire fence up around the side garden bed.
- Turned the side garden bed over.
- Got my work clothes ready for tomorrow.
- Cleaned the kitchen up after Vickie cooked dinner.
- Wrote a blog post about keeping track of your small wins.
- Put my Asura in acetone to strip her of paint.
People have been telling me on and off for years that I need to do a better job of tracking the things I actually do. In part, they recommend I cover my arse; if something happens I can go through my notes of that day and offer my side of what happened.
But while I’m never quite comfortable with the idea of having to log my day that thoroughly – it seems like an unhealthy indulgence in paranoia sometimes – there’s also the point that I often don’t realise just how much good I do every day.
I think I’ve written about confidence issues before, and a lot of what I’m doing with the Blog of Living Curiously is done with the aim of being confident enough in myself to really investigate the world around me and my place in it. The main thing I fight every day is the idea that I’m not good at anything – or, at least, good enough to really live, if you get my drift. Live instead of just coasting.
But when you don’t really recognise the things you do every day that help you, that you learn from even when you don’t succeed, it’s easy to not believe in yourself.
It’s something I’m sure I’ve read and heard before, but it was this reading of the idea, penned by Emilie Wapnick over on the Puttylike web site, that finally made it click in my brain. Keep a diary not of your accomplishments, but of the things you did, the actions you took. Whether the result was success or failure, it’s worth recording, because sometimes you forget what an effort it is to just get up and try.
Emilie suggests getting a book that you’ll enjoy writing in. I thought I already had one, beign the big, black hardback notebook I’ve been journaling in. But I wanted something more portable, and when I spotted this lovely red number in Woolworths yesterday, I knew I had to have it.
- Bought a nice red notebook for my Book of Small Wins.
- Left a message for a prospective voice work client.
- Scrubbed my Asura of paint.
- Found my missing Games Workshop miniature bases (in my Someday / Maybe file, where I meant to put them).
- Assembled my Asura, Deva and Naga miniatures.
- Took a photo of myself in my miniatures painting glasses.
Still, that’s talking about the future, and I’ve only been at this for a few days. So far, though, it feels good.
Who knows where it’ll go next?
- Got up at 5:30.
- Meditated and journaled.
- Cleaned my shoes.
- Took a photo of my Small Wins Journal.
- Finished this blog post.
Are you curious?
How do you keep track of all the small victories in your day?