The final month of 2016 is drawing to a close. Not only are we gearing to tally up the amount of money we spent over the holidays, but also the amount of memories we accumulated this year. The good, the bad, the ugly. Whether we have hit our goal marks for 2016 or not, it is always good practice to reflect and redetermine to be better next year.
CARP President, Naokimi Ushiroda, has over 10 years of leadership development and goal-setting experience personally and in training others. According to him, a prerequisite to setting new goals is to first reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and failures or to make the “complete offering”.
The reason it’s called a complete offering is because it is important to claim your victories throughout the year, but it’s just as important to acknowledge your failures. A third point is to identify the lessons learned from both, your victories and your failures. That’s where the complete offering is made.
1. Claim Your Victories
It’s very easy for time and experience to pass by and to be forgotten. If you don’t take the time to remember and claim what went well, then no one will. And as time goes on, the experiences and emotions are very easily lost. So it’s very important that we take a few moments after any period of time, whether it be at the end of a year, a month, even a week or a semester, to reflect on and claim our victories.
The word “claim” is crucial here because it is a conscious effort on someone’s part to say “this is something that I am proud of” or “I’m happy that this happened”. This way you claim an experience as a victory or achievement for yourself. This is aso a way to celebrate progress for yourself – your own developments – as a mechanism by which to continuously encourage yourself.
2. Acknowledge Your Failures
In preparation for anything new, it’s really important to acknowledge what didn’t go well. Otherwise, what happens instead is that like having a subtle break on when you are trying to drive (or without noticing there’s a hand break), you’re trying to push but it’s not going as fast you would like. If you don’t acknowledge your failures, you will ask yourself “why would it work if it didn’t work last time?”
This holds you back from entering into any new engagements based on past failures that were never acknowledged. Take the time to clear out anything you felt you failed at or that you regretted just by acknowledging that it happened. This is the first step in letting that failure go.
3. Identify Lessons Learned
From a mastery perspective, this step is about constantly growing yourself. More important than the achievements or even the failures is the learning process and recognizing potential areas of growth. Taking the time to identify the main takeaways or lessons learned based on your victories and failures.
This is particularly important to apply to the failures. Oftentimes, there is more you can learn from your failures than your victories. If you’re able to reflect a few moments on lessons learned from a failure, it actually no longer stands as a failure. This used-to-be failure is now transformed into an investment for your future success.
This final step of identifying takeaways and lessons learned from your failures, is what transforms your victories and failures into a complete offering. That’s the best way to wrap up any time period where you can actually appreciate your failures.
This 3-step process of claiming your victories, acknowledging your failures, and identifying lessons learned will guide you to truly make a complete offering out of this past year. An offering is something that is given without any strings (resentments, worries, regrets, etc.) so making a complete offering is important in having closure and in being present for what the new year has to offer.
We suggest that you complete this 3-step process individually by writing these down on paper with three sections. Then, share within your family as a meaningful way to end the year together. As a spiritual practice, families can also offer the year to God, our Heavenly Parent, and pray for a bright new year ahead.