My life changed, literally overnight, when I started keeping a success journal

As a writer, what’s the point of keeping a success journal?

Isn’t keeping a success journal extra work? I mean, after hours of writing, who wants to crack open a diary and write even more?

Valid questions, all—and that’s what I thought, too. I first learned about the concept of a success journal at a seminar by T. Harv Eker, a motivational speaker who has helped millions of people attain financial freedom.

The concept is simple, really: every day, write down the 5 biggest successes you had that day.

That’s it. Simple, but powerful.

So I bought myself a notebook, and each evening, I would mentally review my day and write down every positive thing I could think of.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the first week I kept a success journal, I became a success junkie. I actually started going out of my way to do things just so I could write them down. Talking to people I wouldn’t normally talk to. Taking business risks I wouldn’t normally take. I made a little game out of it, and soon I felt like I was in a competition with myself, always striving to outdo yesterday’s accomplishments.

Thought of a great way to describe a setting? Write it down. Opened up a brand-new author Twitter page? Write it down. Made a decision on the name for a character? Write it down! No success is too small.

And believe me, it helps to know you’re not alone when you’re working to achieve your dream.

But it gets better. You see, once you’ve been working on your novel for a while, you’ll be able to go back and look at what you accomplished in earlier days, and marvel at how far you’ve come.

In fact, that would probably be your next journal entry: “Check out how far I’ve come!”

43 thoughts on “My life changed, literally overnight, when I started keeping a success journal

  1. I don’t keep a journal, but I have a giant post-it on my wall. Every evening, I note the date and an approximate word count. I don’t want to ever write a big “0” so I make an effort to write something (no matter how awful) every single day. It’s been several months and the few days without writing were days I was inspired to artwork instead. It is astounding how this has helped me focus and stay committed to my writing goals.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve done similar with an Excel spreadsheet, keeping a daily tally helps motivate me when I’m doing well, but gives a responsibility to do *something* even when I’m not. I kept a running total for my first draft, and it really helped me see how well I was doing, else I probably wouldn’t have given myself the credit.


  2. I look forward to more inspiration from your blog! A success journal sounds like a great idea. I used to write “morning pages” in the way that Julia Cameron suggested in her book “The Artist’s Way” but I seem to have fallen out of the habit. I started keeping a daily journal on my computer when I began to pack up for Australia. I discovered that it was the only way I could keep track of what I had done and what I still had to do. It also gave me a chance to pat myself on the back for small victories, which no one else ever seemed to notice. The sorting and packing has gone a lot smoother since I started that, and I think it might be the forerunner to my Success Journal.


  3. We’re often advised to keep a journal of some sort to keep record of our successes but the ‘how’ is not really spelled out. I like the examples you’ve given on what exactly to celebrate. I’ll give this a try.


  4. I started doing that many, many years ago after something really bad happened to me. I said I was going to write down at least one positive thing per day until my life got better. The first day I had only one good thing to write. Then the list grew. To this day I still write the list and it’s amazing that even on the worst days there’s always that ray of sunshine in your life 🙂


  5. Today, June 1, I am starting a success journal. I’m sure it will help me as I deal with very difficult situations this year. One needs encouragement some days just to keep looking up, and recording even the little successes could be one thing that will help with that.
    Thank you, Timothy, for sharing.


  6. Reblogged this on Howling in the wind. and commented:
    I’ve found journaling a great outlet to keep me sane when times are tough; I’ve always expressed myself best through writing. But I can dwell on the negatives, so forcing myself to add something positive each time helps pull me out the negativity and put things in perspective. This has reminded me I should do it more!


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