In our last post, I discussed how to use a vision board to bring your goals to life. Now that January is almost behind us, it is time to think about how you will record and document your career successes for 2016.

Do you remember each of your work accomplishments for 2015? If you are like me, probably not! When updating your resume or LinkedIn profile for a job search, it’s common for us to stall when it comes to our achievements. When I am coaching clients on career marketing documents, I very often get the remark “Well I can’t remember what I did in my last job.”

Instead of hoping for praise and rewards from your superiors, take matters into your own hands and start documenting your own successes with a victory journal.

It’s much easier to focus on negative thoughts about our performance than to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. A victory journal will help you celebrate your achievements, whether big or small, and acts as a source of motivation and reassurance when self-esteem wanes.

Here’s how to start your victory journal:

 

victory-journal-1Make Time – No Matter What

Your journal doesn’t have to include a detailed account of daily events. When you get a note from your boss or colleague on a job well done, tuck the note or email away in a folder called “Successes.” Then once a month, you can make a simple, short and straight to the point entry, which should take no more than a few minutes. At the end of the year, you should have a nice list of your achievements.

Take Note of Your Emotions

Achieving something you struggled with is a different kind of victory than succeeding on a project you were passionate about. Make a note on how the victory made you feel. Did you think “good riddance” when it was over or were you aching to do it again? This will help in the future when you’re reflecting on which aspects of your career you like and dislike.

Reflect on Past Victories

The point in recording each victory is to have it as a reference for the future. As you take time each month to document new victories, also make an effort to read through your past entries. Over time, this enhances your self-awareness and proves your worth. It also refreshes your mind and reminds you of accomplishments you may have forgotten about.

In addition to the benefits of self-worth, the journal will serve as a resource when you’re preparing to ask for a raise, compiling a presentation for your annual review, updating your resume/LinkedIn profile or interviewing at a new company. You’ll have concrete examples of where you shine that you can use when you ask for a potential bonus, promotion or even a new position, which in turn help strengthen your personal brand.

Remember: You don’t have to limit your victory journal to your career. It can also help if you include achievements in health, relationships or your hobbies. Celebrate each of your wins throughout the month – you deserve it!