Success Journal

A diary that develops the excellence habit

A success journal is a profoundly powerful way to assist learning, motivation and forming new habits. It is like a personal diary but the focus is on recording learning insights, questions, goal setting and tracking. Its a place to record failings and what was learnt from that attempt, so it is done better next time. Motivational changes or states can be written down regardless if they are good or bad. The success journal is a tool to nurture feedback and examining why, or how can I do this better, it is a constant process. There is no such thing as a fail if something is learned so it is done different of better next time.

A success journal of your insights is a powerful tool. It trains the the neurology to look for better ways and to gain value and wisdom out of mistakes. Feedback is an integral aspect of the tutoring process to develop the right success habits and routines. The well-known motivational speaker Anthony Robbins has promoted the success journal as a tool for assisting growth for a number of decades.

The below video on the success journal is special. I wanted to record a video on the success journal and by chance a wild magpie that I had been trying to build trust with for over a month finally landed on me. This was completely unexpected so I took the chance and recorded a coherent video as best as I could. Tap/click (touchscreen computers tap screen) the picture below to watch the video.

Analysis: Success Journal video

This video is delightful at many levels. It is totally spontaneous and the magpie plays its part beautifully. The magpie demonstrated the state awareness traffic lights. It can be seen testing me and daring to go out of its comfort zone. It demonstrates the yellow ‘caution’ traffic light and the give it a go attitude. It was quiet cautious and tested if things were safe it then quickly decided to jump on me for the first time. By the second or third time it jumped on me the magpie was displaying quite a level of comfort. I commented about the lack of wing flaring to indicate that in the video.

The timing was perfect, I had a brand new success journal and I was about to move house, so my time with this bird was coming to a close. I achieved a couple of goals for my success journal in one hit, Yay!

There are lots of behavioural aspects about motivation that can be seen in this video. My favourite part is when the magpie pecks my foot, at this point it actually hadn’t landed on me before. The bird is clearly showing signs of being in the yellow traffic light. It was highly alert, observant and testing me for a safe response. In the video that is where I say I to the magpie ‘what was that for’? I left the camera filming even though it flew away and onto the railing. Watch what the bird does; is magical! With hindsight I passed the test as being safe. Again this shows with the use of hindsight you can learn more.

The magpie and how it goes from it’s yellow traffic light awareness state of caution, with it testing me to then quickly being quite comfortable standing on me is testimony to how quickly these birds can learn. This magpie was naturally cautious of me for a long time. But once it decided I was safe it became quite comfortable.

While this compilation of 5 videos is a little bit messy how it had to be made was decided by the birds themselves. I had to be flexible. This video embodies many of the principles taught in this website, such as:
1. Giving it a go
2. Making the most of the situation
3. Using the learning journal
4. Setting the goals and working towards it. It was a process to get this magpie to befriend me over a long period of time.
5. Holding of the learning state so it finally happened with a very cautious animal.
6. Being resourceful to give a meaningful video while doing my best to manage an evolving situation with a timid animal.
7. Allow the outcome to be the best that could be made at that time. While not perfect it was a rare moment with something special took place and I actually captured it. I had no plugin microphone or tripod for recording.

Success Journal a whole brain tool

I have noticed over the years the success journal also helps to empty the backlog of stuff in my unconscious mind. I then feel clearer so I perform better. Its like a vacuum cleaner to clear the mind and thinking processes. It assists with whole brain learning and life context. The success journal acts like a big overview. This is a right side of the brain activity, as it engages the bigger picture of one’s life.

As it is a physical book and written by hand it makes it tangible. This helps the activates the kinesthetic aspect of learning. It is great to randomly flick through it and see symbols and colors. Mine has normal writing as well as mindmaps and doodles. It is a fantastic place for a monthly and yearly mindmap.

I sometimes make a motivation grid. This is a grid of days and weeks where hours given to an activity like study are recorded. I do this with website development hours. I can chart how I am being productive or not. It helps me to track if I am doing the important activities as they are the only ones that have time recorded. If the hours fluctuate I can refer to the date in my diary and see why I got site tracked.

It also serves as an overview and summary function. This helps processing and secures long term memory. They dynamics of memory and how to improve it is in the study skills modules.

Success Journal methodology

Primarily the learning journal as used to assist with projects, hobbies, studies, planning, goal setting, personal and motivation development. It is a central place where the important material is collected. What is important in your life that you want to improve? Set that as a topic of reflection and focus.

It is the place to dig deeper, understand and pick yourself apart with honesty. To self-evaluate in a nice way and make distinctions of what can be improved or what was a win. It is a good place to reflect on what you did and did not do. To ask and answer the ‘why’ or ‘what if I did this’ questions. It’s about taking the time to inquire and figure out the causes.

It’s an excellent place to reflect on skill sets that are trying to be developed. For example when did you remember to use the traffic light state awareness exercise? What was the effectiveness of going into the learning state? This helps develop a new habit faster because you’re putting in time and attention. Doing this demonstrates to the unconscious mind that it is important. The unconscious mind then will assist as it is your faithful 5 year old friend that wants to please.

The act of writing out and reflecting also allows more neurological connections to take place to help deepen the habit. It gives the unconscious mind the fuel to make improvements next time as it knows you are watching. Your unconscious mind wants to serve. The success journal helps the communication process with your unconscious.

Developing creativity is a key aspect of the success journal. Put in all the ah-ha moments, creative ideas and inspirational thoughts. This affirms the creative process to the unconscious. My journals are full of amazing ideas. Some I try out but some I go back to many years later and then give it a go. Its quite exciting to go hunting through a pile of journals looking for that inspirational idea a few years later. “I know it is in here somewhere!” When the current situation is mixed with an old inspiration, often something new and brilliant results.

Then when a creative idea is needed your unconscious will more than likely provide something. The habit has been formed.

Development of emotional intelligence can be accelerated with reflection and feeling through the events (from the place of the learning state). Observations can be recorded regarding emotions and how they were responded to. How quickly was the state awareness traffic light identified. How easy was it then from this place to give a response, or did an undesirable behaviour and emotion happen? You can see your emotional intelligence is growing when you look back into the past. It gives that sense of accomplishment.

The success journal can also be used as a personal diary. It can be a great place to vent. The act of putting it on paper helps the unconscious mind arrange and process it within your psychology.

The the success journal is a great place to put where you failed at things and the reason why you think that might be. Later you make it deeper insights as to why if you write these down. You’ll be really surprised how at a future time you can reflect upon those and go ‘yep that was the time I made that change’.

if you like defining and mastering a hobby if you put your learnings in the learning journal you go back and reflect and come up with a deeper understanding of something you are passionate about.

Mind mapping and diagram doodles are excellent. Yearly and Monthly goal mind maps spark possibilities. Project or research mind maps.

Success Journal summary: – why use it

In summary the Success Journal is a central place where you put your learnings, aspirations, things you want in your life. It can also be a good place to unload your emotional material. That is better out than in, per the prime directives of the unconscious.

Reflecting and journaling helps the habits of being successful, planning and becoming responsive to situations. You’ll learn how you tick inside by reflecting.

One of best aspects of the success journal is over time the changes can be seen. It is great to look back and see how much competent you are. Looking back to see what helped (or not) in a prior time can be helpful.

As discussed in the video you can also use a phone app or something like that with a password if you don’t feel safe with the people around you if you are putting private material in your success journal. Another option is to use coded and vague language for certain things. It is important you feel safe to be honest with yourself. That way you will be able to move through situations and issues that may otherwise continue to cause problems.

Book a session now. Free Parent & Student Action plan analysis

Individual online tutoring is limited to 16 students total worldwide.
Book here. First calls / video session to assess outcomes is free. Wait list may apply.

For newly uploaded videos see and subscribe with notification on at the StudentSuccessTutor YouTube channel