The Secret to Progress You Can Start Today

Rosemary O’Neill

There is one tiny change you can make to your daily life that will have a huge impact on your success. In work, in relationships, and in family life. Lean closer, because I’m going to have to whisper it.

Look back.

The Secret to Progress You Can Start Today

My car has one of those built-in video screens so that I can see what’s behind me when I’m backing up. Skateboards, basketballs, and even the occasional kid have all survived my driveway because of this rear-vision feature.

We’re all told constantly to plan, set goals, look ahead. And in these next few weeks you’ll be barraged with people telling you to sit down and create a roadmap for 2013.

But before you do that, it’s essential to grab a cup of coffee and review 2012. How can we ever savor life, see our progress, and learn from our mistakes and successes if we don’t ever take a moment to look for them?

Daily Gratitude

At the end of every day, as you’re settled in bed and closing your eyes, take a couple of minutes to think back and be grateful for the day just passed. Give yourself a high five for any accomplishments.

Weekly Review

At the end of every week (I do it on Sunday afternoon), sit down and actually write out your successes. Write down lessons you learned during the week. Write down things you meant to do but didn’t and figure out why. Write down things that happened that made you feel awesome.

Monthly Check-in

At the end of the month, glance through your weekly review notes, as a reminder of your progress and things you’ve learned. It will solidify the lessons learned and give you a boost going into the coming month.

Yearly Wrap-up

Almost everyone starts the year with some sort of vision or goals (let’s not say resolutions anymore, ok?). But do you ever sit down at the end of the year and see how you did? So maybe you didn’t finish that novel, but you did publish your blog three times a week. It’s ok to celebrate that. And since you have your weekly reviews in front of you, you can really see and remember everything. Before I started writing these things down, I wouldn’t have remembered some of the minor victories that really stack up.

Do you take time to look back? Do you have any review tips to share?

Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee

Thank you, Rosemary!

You’re irresistible!

ME “Liz” Strauss


  1. says

    Thank you Rosemary! What a great reminder. I practice Gratitude and coach my clients to do the same…and I LOVE the idea of noticing and calling out our accomplishments. It is so easy to see what we haven’t done yet, and we forget to celebrate all that happens. I would only add that we can begin to train (yes train) ourselves to notice these positives as they happen as well, and to reward (yes reward) ourselves for our “good behaviors” so that we continue them. Thanks!

  2. says

    Thanks for stopping by Lisa! How do you reinforce the “noticing” part? That’s definitely a key part of the process, and tough to make a habit. I have seen myself now start to notice more and write down during the week as cool things happen, knowing that I’ll want to tally it up at the end of the week review.

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