Weekly Success List

If you’re like me, you often berate yourself for what you didn’t get accomplished any given week.  Even what you “do” accomplish, you might second guess yourself.  I feel like I ride the edge of depression constantly, only veering upwards of that black pit of despair by constantly reiterating to myself that its mostly just brain chemicals making me feel a certain way.

I can keep going, try to smile and stay productive, by constantly repeating to myself that my feelings of failure are false messages being sent by some darker portion of my psyche that is truly afraid of failure.  But I think there is more to it than just the chemicals.  I think the constant self-criticism that I use to constantly push myself to go further while a powerful driving force, is also what can start the chemical cycle that puts me in a darker mood.

So yes, the ridiculous dark emotions are probably just chemicals, but the trigger for those chemicals aren’t themselves just more chemicals (necessarily).  I’ve decided to start celebrating my successes more, internally, if not necessarily externally.  But even externally, rather than stating what I’ve done as flat accomplishments worried that if I seem too proud I’m bragging, I should be willing to be proud of what I’ve done.

I want to transform the self-criticism that I use to make what I do better into self-evaluation which performs the same role but without the negative self-attacks.

Instead of self-doubt, I want to make lists of valid risks and if appropriate, planned countermeasures so I’m ready to deal with them.

And finally, I want to make a weekly list of items I feel like are accomplishments.  I don’t think I will be posting my list up for everyone to see every week, but to start this process off, here is my first week.

  • I brought some positive business ideas that I felt were valuable to our company weekly tactical meeting
  •  I wired the upstairs guest room and our game computer with physical ethernet instead of wireless and it looks NICE and professional
  • I made a video about wiring the house up
  • I relocated our wireless access point, hiding a bunch of wires and giving all of our devices better coverage
  • While doing stucco patch after the ethernet wiring outside,  I found a deep gouge left by the previous owners that exposed internal insulation and repaired it
  • I made a vlog video I’m very happy with (today, should be live tomorrow, enjoy the butter beer shot recipe!)
  • I rearranged our audio so that the sound recorder-mixer lives attached on top of our camcorder which reduces free floating devices during shoots.
  • I removed over 300 fragments of unused code from work which coincidentally fixed at least a few different issues we were having with iPad compatibility with our application.
  • I cleaned up the wiring underneath our gaming table while I was rerouting the ethernet substantially cleaning it up.
  • I ran a GREAT (IMO) game of tabletop Shadowrun, with a much closer to reasonable level of quality I’m looking forward to uploading for every one.
    • The Best compliment was when one of the players asked if I was running my game out of a module, which, of course, I wasn’t, because I wrote the prequel here on this site.
  • The workbench I built actually proved to be a great area for organizing all of the components for the ethernet wiring.
  • I completed  my popcorn experiment paper (once I resubmit after correcting one source I had left out) which finishes another college class!  22% or so complete for my degree.
  • I finished the design of my first T-shirt, configured it to be produced, connected this site to a shopping cart to allow the t-shirt to be purchased, then purchased it.  The shirt store will be open as soon as we verify the quality is at the level of quality we expect.
  • I got a lot of compliments for the refried beans recipe I put together for the company BBQ
  • I wrote this post!

I was actually surprised how much I had gotten done this week, especially with how much I felt like I was lagging behind what I wanted to accomplish.  I’m always going to push myself to strive for the next level, but if I go through this process regularly, maybe I can be less of a taskmaster fighting my subconscious and more of a partner.

Have you tried doing something like this weekly success list? If not, I’d love to see you post a success list below!  Post whether you were surprised by the items on your list (big or little) that maybe you hadn’t considered an accomplishment.

Richard Mathis

Author

Richard Mathis

Richard Mathis is a software architect and CTO of CHSI Technologies. When he isn't imagining new ways to help insurance companies run their business, he's writing, gaming, or performing. You can follow his meanderings on twitter.

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