Evaluating your successes – seizing opportunity for personal growth

This weekend I attended a workshop about improving your mentality and the one point that has really stuck in my mind is the idea of evaluating our success. We are used to the concept of evaluating failures as a tool for learning and growth. In business and in education we use evaluation and analysis of a project to determine future actions. But how often do we do this within our own lives?

Often when we have a success the euphoria of that success is our strongest emotion and memory. And rightly so. Success deserves to be celebrated. Yet often we don’t look back to see what steps we took to get there. Knowing how we have succeeded in the past gives us a blueprint to guide us to our future successes. Evaluating and knowing how you succeed will give you the guiding to succeeding again and again.

If you have worked with evaluation and analysis before you will know that you will need to approach it from an objective and logical process to get the most out of it. There are two ways of evaluating success.

  1. Evaluating the success in the moment
  2. Preplaning and pre defining success criteria and measuring your results.

Evaluating the success in the moment

When something happens that you consider to be a success take 5 mins before celebrating to evaluate how did you make it happen. Do you thinking on paper (or computer). We remember 70% of what we write down and having this information to hand will help you in the future. Answer the 5 following questions to guide you and write the answers down. This will give you a clear picture of how this success came about.  

  • What is the success?
  • How did I create it ? (write down a step by step list of the actions you took)
  • What did I do differently this time?
  • What outside factors helped in creating my success?* (remember to include expected and unexpected factors)
  • What is the most important thing I have learnt from my success?

*Remember we can’t always recreated the outside influences that support our success however sometimes it is helpful to know them so we can look to create the same help.

Preplaning success and defining success criteria and measuring your results.

Pre Planning success and defining success criteria makes for effective evaluation as your results are more measurable. This method has 3 parts the Before, the Doing and the After.

The Before

You can do this is 4 steps using What -How -When- How. (Again write this down.)


What : What do you want to achieve ? (Describe the desired result)  

How: How will you do this? (Define the actions you will take)

When: When will you take each action?

How: How will I know I have succeed (Define your success criteria* for each action)

*A success criteria can be as simple as I have written my cv or I get the job.)

The Doing

Basically you follow your plan. However if you get unexpected help or results make a note of it so you have a record.  Keep checking in with your planning to keep you on task.

The After 

Time to evaluate. Use the following questions to help you evaluate your success.

  • Did I achieve exactly what I wanted to achieve? (If not what success did you meet?)
  • Did I exceed my goals?
  • Did I meet the success criteria for each action?  (If not what success did you meet?)
  • Did I stick to my timeline?
  • What went as planned?
  • What went differently?
  • What unpredicted outside factors were there?
  • Am I proud of my results?
  • What is the most important thing I have learnt from my success?
  • What wa the most important thing I did to create my success?


From your success evaluations you will build up a valuable store of knowledge that you can call on when you need it in the future. Also by evaluating our success it reminds us to take ownership of both our results and allows us to acknowledge our success and be proud of it. Remember too that succeeding is not just about the big things. Success is also about achieving the small things. A little thing you can do is every morning you can define that days success. On thing you will realistically achieve that day. And then when you have done it evaluate and celebrate.  Success is a minefield of opportunity for us to learn and grow. Evaluating our success not only reinforces to us that we can achieve it also guides us to how we can achieve again.

So seize the opportunity of your own success  and evaluate one of your life’s successes and inspire yourself to succeed again!

Have a great week <3

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