Focus On This Podcast

139. 4 Reasons You Must Record Your Wins



When you’re constantly focusing on what’s next, it can be hard to slow down and focus on the progress you’ve already made. In this episode, Courtney and Verbs talk about why it’s absolutely important that you take the time to record all of the wins along your journey.

In this episode, you will learn –

  • Why living to simply jump over the next obstacle is risky
  • How recording your wins connects to your self-esteem
  • How chronicling your wins helps alleviate complaining
  • Where Verbs’s fear of animatronics comes from


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Episode Transcript

Courtney Baker:       Verbs, growing up, did you ever go to Chuck E. Cheese? Actually, what was it called before Chuck E. Cheese? It had a different name. Showbiz?

Nick Jaworski:           Courtney, I’m so glad you brought this up.

Verbs Boyer:             Wait.

Nick Jaworski:           I’m so excited you brought this up.

Verbs Boyer:             This is the best question ever.

Nick Jaworski:           Showbiz Pizza and Chuck E. Cheese were actually two different restaurants.

Courtney Baker:       Really?

Nick Jaworski:           Yes. Now here’s a fun thing.

Courtney Baker:       Mind blown emoji.

Nick Jaworski:           Here’s a fun fact. The animatronic band in Showbiz Pizza, their name was Verbs, do you happen to know the name?

Verbs Boyer:             Something Explosion.

Nick Jaworski:           Yes. It’s such a great band name.

Courtney Baker:       Wow.

Nick Jaworski:           It’s the Rock-afire Explosion.

Verbs Boyer:             That’s what it is. Yes.

Courtney Baker:       Rock-afire Explosion.

Verbs Boyer:             Now, here’s why I know that. So, I worked. I grew up in Phoenix. We had a pizza chain called Pistol Pete’s Pizza, which used to be a Showbiz Pizza and we still had the audio animatronic band in the store. And so I remember the changeover, but then I got to work with the band after that when it switched over to Pistol Pete’s Pizza. But here’s one more while we throwing out factoids. Did you know Chuck E. Cheese, his real name is Charles Entertainment Cheese?

Courtney Baker:       I did not. Wow. I feel like I just hit a gold mine of you two just had all the info. I was just having a moment in nostalgia and it was like, oh, let me tell you all the things you needed to know.

Nick Jaworski:           Listen, everybody, the guy who created the animatronic band for Chuck E. Cheese still has a YouTube channel. There’s a whole community of people who reprogram old Showbiz Pizza robots.

Courtney Baker:       No. No.

Verbs Boyer:             Wow.

Nick Jaworski:           With modern music and it’s very interesting and very specific. Only if you are above the age of 32 might this interest you at all.

Verbs Boyer:             I do remember those things were creepy, too, though.

Courtney Baker:       They were creepy. If you ever look at a picture, it’s like, again, I understand what happened to our generation now. We’re really awesome. We’re awesome.

Verbs Boyer:             Now, picture yourself as a young 16-year-old who’s closing the store and has to go behind the curtain to turn off the audio animatronic band.

Courtney Baker:       No, was that you? You did that? Did you do that?

Verbs Boyer:             I had to do that. I had to do it.

Courtney Baker:       Oh, my gosh. How [inaudible 00:02:42] you never talked about this?

Verbs Boyer:             I had to flip that switch back there.

Courtney Baker:       There’s a whole series of video games. Five Nights at Freddy’s is based off of how scary the animatronic band is at Showbiz Pizza.

Verbs Boyer:             Especially the gorilla, y’all.

Nick Jaworski:           Yes.

Verbs Boyer:             All right. We should do episode stuff.

Courtney Baker:       Well, my point of bringing up Chuck E. Cheese and Showbiz, the whole thing was a lot of times, I don’t know. Sometimes if you just feel like you’re not moving ahead or just that your day it’s like Whack-a-mole. You remember that game? I’m trying to think of what the Chuck E. Cheese version of Whack-a-mole was. Maybe it actually was whack-a-mole. I loved that game so much though. It was a winner.

Nick Jaworski:           Yeah, it’s very task-oriented. There’s a mole and I have to whack it and then it has to go away.

Courtney Baker:       Yeah. I think sometimes in life, it actually feels like that. It just feels like chaos in that you don’t know where the next thing is going to come from and you start living in this fight, flight or free, this anxiety about what’s about to pop up. I don’t know. Does that ever happen with y’all?

Verbs Boyer:             No. I think I agree with you. I think there’s that level of anticipation in the Whack-a-mole game example. It’s like you knew something else was going to come up, but you didn’t know exactly where, so you’re living in this tension of where do I need to go next? Because I’m not sure, but whenever it pops up, I got to knock it back down. And that could be exhausting because people sweat after that game is played.

Courtney Baker:       True story. I think today’s episode is kind of a little bit counterintuitive. You may not necessarily have made the connection of okay, how do I stop feeling like I’m not moving ahead or that I’m just kind of in this chaotic state by using what we’re going to be talking about today? So today we’re going to be talking about recording your wins and how that can help offset those feelings.

Verbs Boyer:             Welcome to another episode of Focus on This, the most productive podcast on the internet, so you can banish distractions, get the right stuff done and finally start loving Mondays. I’m Verbs here with Courtney Baker. Happy Monday to you, Courtney. How’s it going?

Courtney Baker:       Happy Monday. It’s great. It’s a really good day. It’s beautiful outside. Ready to go.

Verbs Boyer:             Let’s get right into it. What’s the first reason why we should record our wins?

Courtney Baker:       It really does improve your self-esteem. I think 99% of the time, we are our hardest critic. We know very clearly the things that were like, oh, I wish I could go back, and I wish I could have said this or done this. And it can be bad even when we feel like we’ve done something well when maybe we didn’t feel like we got the praise that we thought or we’re kind of looking for external things to give us that self-esteem. So when you actually take the time to document your wins for yourself, you kind of take control over that process of acknowledging your win.

I mean, this is where the full focus planner really has helped me so much with doing this because it’s part of that weekly preview of I really have to stop and just say, okay, what were the wins? And every week, I have to look at the calendar to help me actually even remember. Again, I’m just very future-oriented, and so I have to look at the week and be like, okay, what happened? It’s every Monday morning when people are like, “How was your weekend?” I had to be like, “Okay, wait. What happened this weekend?” That’s kind of how it feels when I’m documenting wins, but it’s really powerful to do that. And the boost that it gives to your self-esteem of yeah, there’s some really great things that happened when I take the time to acknowledge them. So Verbs, how do you kind of position your wins to kind of get that boost of self-esteem?

Verbs Boyer:             Yeah, it’s in the same way. Just again, the secret sauce or the weekly previews. It makes you slow down for a moment and acknowledge what those may have been, and especially if you’re in a regular habit of consistently doing that weekly preview, then you’ve already set or identified at least three things that you were working on as your weekly big three that you can say hey, I accomplished these. So I actually have at least three wins that I could acknowledge in that current week. And I think you’re right. It takes you out of that spiral of, especially when things are moving quickly in your week. It takes you out of that spiral of feeling like time was going so quickly and you’re almost always trying to keep up and you never settle into what you’ve actually accomplished. Because when that happens, if everything seems like a setback or you miss the mark, then you’re bound to feel just discouraged about your week all the time, consistently.

Courtney Baker:       Absolutely.

Verbs Boyer:             And so recording those wins is a way that you remind yourself of really, what’s happened and the fact that you are winning in areas that you probably haven’t really settled down to discover quite yet. But especially in that weekly preview time, it gives you a designated moment of sitting down just to think about those things.

Courtney Baker:       I actually had a moment with my weekly preview this past week where the week before I had just been one of those really chaotic weeks. They’re just was a lot. My husband was supposed to be traveling. There was just a lot of moving pieces that week. And literally in my planner, I wrote with everything happening this week, I was able to manage a chaotic week and come out well on the other side. And that seems small, but I was like, hey, that actually for the next really chaotic week where we’re just juggling a lot of things, I can do that it. It just gives you that confidence for the next time that there’s a thousand things happening all crammed into one week, that there is a path through where you don’t feel like you just got run over at the end of the week.

Verbs Boyer:             Yeah, no, absolutely. And sometimes it’s just important that we affirm it for ourselves and we see it for ourselves. Put a name to it instead of waiting for others to see that because that may or may not come during that week. So being able to identify it for yourself is important.

Courtney Baker:       So the next reason to record your wins is it just shows you what’s working. Even in my example I just shared of last week because I was able to navigate that really chaotic week, it actually in the next section, when I started documenting what worked, it helped me identify what are the things that helped me be successful? I think a lot of times we spend a lot of our focus thinking about what didn’t work and how to make sure that doesn’t happen again. But actually it’s really focusing in some sense on the wrong thing. How do we duplicate what worked, not just try to fix what is broken? And so again, just taking the time to acknowledge those wins, really powerful for duplicating in the future.

Verbs Boyer:             Reason number three is it mitigates complaining. Now there’s always going to be something that occurs in your week that is prime material for complaining about it. But counteracting that with identifying these wins is going to be helpful for your mind and your soul and everybody elses who may be prone to have to listen to you complain.

Courtney Baker:       Absolutely.

Verbs Boyer:             It’s going to help them out as well. But we’re all prone to complaining from time to time, especially when things just don’t seem to be going our way. But when you focus only on the negative, then you might be powerless or just even feeling like this victim mentality start to come up. As a result, it produces several consequences to you and those around you. And when you choose celebration instead, you’ll feel energized to continue in that direction. So again, this, if it’s a habit and the more you get into the rhythm of doing this, again, it kind of lifts you out of that, the doldrums as our colleague used to say, of just being in just an Eeyore mindset.

Courtney Baker:       Yeah. I mean, I think this is a really powerful one. I think I would say one of my former places that I worked, there was just a lot of spirit of complaining and it is so contagious. When you are around people that are complaining, you’re like, okay, the way that we connect with each other is to complain. And it just breeds this really toxic, negative, terrible place to work.

Verbs Boyer:             Yeah, cynicism creeps in and all of that. Yeah.

Courtney Baker:       Yeah. And it’s just a really easy thing to happen under the surface. And then all of a sudden you’re like what has happened? And so I love that just taking time to reframe how you’re looking at what’s happened of like, this is where are the opportunities? What are the wins? What has worked versus the opposite can be a really powerful mindset shift that gets, I mean, we’ve talked a lot about this. It’s really all in our thinking. And so if our thinking is living in that complaining negative space, the actions and results that we’re going to get from that are very different than when we can actually look at, okay, what about this is working? What about this is winning? How do I duplicate that? That produces very different actions and then results. And so again, I know this is an easy one to kind of, especially if you’re in a culture of that to really try to turn the tide of that.

I don’t know about y’all, but do you have any specific examples of when you’ve gotten different outcomes, when you’ve been able to celebrate versus, or just pick things that are good versus like choosing the things that you could complain about?

Nick Jaworski:           So at least once in my life I have undertaken a 24 hour complaint-free challenge. You guys ever done something like this? And you can get an actual bracelet or whatever, or you can just use a rubber band or whatever. And the idea is pretty simple. You put it on one wrist and you go as long as you can until you complain. And then when you do that, you switch wrists. And you’re just trying to keep it on the same wrist for a day straight.

Verbs Boyer:             Okay.

Nick Jaworski:           And for me, if we’re being honest, it’s interesting. There’s this, we’ve all been there. There’s this thing where as somebody who creates stuff for a living and is in interested in process and interested in product, I critique a lot of stuff.

Verbs Boyer:             Right.

Nick Jaworski:           That’s how I view my job is I actually think that what is I’m being paid to do, and what I am good at is a certain taste level and a certain whatever. But that same mindset can easily creep out of the computer or the project into your world where you’re going, well, I wish this were different because I can see all these different ways that I would do it differently.

And so I really would encourage people to just try it sincerely. I did it with my son. I was like, we’re just going to try it for a day. Let’s see how. And then once you get past that day threshold, it changes pretty quickly. You really catch yourself quickly and it changes your behavior. It’s interesting how quickly it can happen. So it’s not really an example of anything. I just would encourage people to be very mindful of it for themselves.

Courtney Baker:       And other people. I mean I think I have so much, I had such a negative experience with this that I’m the other extreme. It’s one of my pet peeves now. It’s like I could complain about the complaining if you let me. So I love that. I think that’s a really great practical tool to try, Nick.

I would also say Nick, just to make you feel a little better, I have been known at church with our bulletin because I… Not so much in my role now, but I used to proof emails all the time when I was a strategist or marketing director. And so I would get the church bulletin and rather than taking sermon notes, I would be correcting grammar or spelling issues in the bulletin. Somebody turn it off. I’ve created a monster. So I feel you.

Verbs Boyer:             But wait again, out of fairness, because if what you guys are saying is true that I’m in trouble. Because there’s the attitude or spirit of healthy critique in hopes to see something become better, but then I feel like complaining is when you comment incessantly about a particular thing that you don’t really have any… What I’m trying to say, you don’t have, there’s nothing in you that’s actually working to change the thing, so you kind of remove yourself and you take a pause from just complaining about the thing. I don’t know what the word is, but.

Courtney Baker:       Well, tell me, I mean in my example, I would proof the bulletin and then hand it to my husband, who’s on church staff.

Verbs Boyer:             Right. So, but that’s the move, right? So it’s like, Hey, this can be better. Here’s my critique on it. And then you made a step to actually make the thing better versus I have no intention about putting any energy in towards helping the matter get better, so I’m just going to complain about it and comment about it.

Courtney Baker:       Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah.

Verbs Boyer:             Instead of saying, Hey if it’s a problem or something that has a solution that you feel like you can be a part of, maybe that’s the move to make instead of just commenting on it and then spreading out, kind of bleeding everywhere else with your thoughts.

Courtney Baker:       Yeah, I’m just always… Yeah.

Nick Jaworski:           Well there’s something here about complaining about, if you write down your wins, it’s hard to complain about yourself. It’s interesting. So if you write your wins down, it does allow you to look back and say I did all these things and there’s no time to be focusing on the complaining. And anything that you do come up with is probably going to be constructive. So you can even get a little bit of a bonus point. You go, ooh, I love this. I’m so proud of this. I did this. This was great. Next time I’m doing this. I don’t think necessarily that’s a complaint at that point. That just becomes like a tweet. Becomes the that’s like Albert Pujols.

Courtney Baker:       Yeah. That’s like what didn’t work.

Nick Jaworski:           Yeah. Albert Pujols goes to the watch his film after every at bat. He’s not sitting down there hating himself. Right? He’s going like, I’m really good at this. I know I’ve got 3000 hits. I’ve got whatever. And I’m just next time, I’m going to do this small thing. I think that’s a great mindset to be in.

Verbs Boyer:             It keeps the mindset in the realm of what you can do to make again, make the thing better. If he’s up at bat, he knows what he needs to do when he’s there on the deck circle, just swinging the bat, preparing himself for when he goes to the plate. It doesn’t become about, Hey, I didn’t win because such and such didn’t do what they were supposed to do again this week. They should have spent more time doing this than I could have did what I needed to do to actually record a win. Kind of takes us out of that loop as well. But I like what you said. It’s a definite mind shift that needs to happen internally first because it’s less external things that are weighing in on what you need to accomplish to get a win and then record that win for that week.

Which brings us to reason number four. It increases your happiness. So it’s really all about the posture of how you’re approaching, especially during the weekly preview, how you’re viewing your week and the attitude that you’re approaching it with. But when you recognize a win, it can instantly boost your mood. You’ll feel it. But here’s the thing. If somebody else also recognizes a win on your behalf, then that affirmation of success can also lift you up and change your day and even change your week. And I think this has a snowball effect, really. If you accomplish and record wins, you recognize them. Someone else recognizes you and encourages those wins, then there’s a snowball effect there that wants you to continue to do that and pay attention to those wins as you accomplish. Them.

Nick Jaworski:           Can I say something real quick?

Courtney Baker:       Yeah.

Nick Jaworski:           This idea of just recording a win is not enough. You can write it down, but if you write it down with the spirit of I didn’t really accomplish this or it wasn’t as much as it could have been or whatever, you don’t actually get that boost. I see it in my own child at times. He’ll have a legitimate win and you’ll try to tell him, oh my gosh, that’s so amazing you did that. He can’t hear it. He can’t internalize it. He can’t. And so it’s interesting to watch. My own dad has told me you need to be kinder to yourself. It’s interesting.

There’s a habit of writing something down, but you also have to do that next step to feel the win. So that’s, I don’t know if that’s an Enneagram four thing. I don’t know what that is, but you can’t just record it and be like, I did the work. You also probably need to take a second and feel it otherwise you don’t get any of the lovely benefits of having written it down in the first place.

Courtney Baker:       I think this point is really, really powerful because I feel like probably in my twenties, a lot of times, again, we talked about the Enneagram a lot today. But as an Enneagram three, I looked, which is the achiever in case you’re not totally in the loop on Enneagram language. But I feel like I looked externally for that affirmation a lot. And when it didn’t come on certain things, it was like this win actually became this the opposite of a win. It was like, why didn’t I get the affirmation of that? And obviously as we grow and learn, I think realizing that really owning your wins and your accomplishments needs to come from yourself. And like you said, Nick, having that moment of acknowledging what you have done, what you’ve accomplished, counting on other people to do that, that’s bonus. That’s the icing if that comes. But if not, you’ve got to have the framework and the ability to do that for yourself.

And again, without it, that’s where you get into some of these other things that we’ve talked about with complaining and the whole flip side of not seeing wins. So I think this is really powerful.

Verbs Boyer:             So the good news is you don’t have to stay in the funk that you’re in. You can get out of that seeping negativity. By recording your wins, you can improve your self-esteem, see what’s working, mitigate complaining and increase your overall happiness. So before we wrap, are there any final thoughts for our focus on these listeners?

Courtney Baker:       Well, I just want to remind everybody that this is why the Full Focus system is so powerful. This is built into the weekly preview. We referenced it a couple of times, but if you’re still on the fence about doing a weekly preview or maybe you’ve got off track, this is the week it’s built in. It’s going to give you the tools for all the things that we’ve talked about today to get that as kind of an automated practice of acknowledging your win. So highly encourage you doing that.

Verbs Boyer:             Thank you, the listener, for joining us on Focus On This. This is the most productive podcast on the internet. So please share it with your friends and don’t forget to join our Full Focus planner community right there on Facebook. We’ll be here next week with another great episode, but until then stay focused.

Courtney Baker:       Stay focused.