As we enter the holiday season and end of 2016 it seems appropriate and timely to write something about “completing the year.”
Completing a phase, period, initiative or task effectively is just as powerful and rewarding as starting or executing these effectively. However, it seems as if most people tend to focus more on the starting and executing part. We underestimate the power and value of completing things effectively, not merely finishing or ending them.
The dictionary defines finishing as ‘bringing a task or activity to an end.’ It defines Completing as ‘making something whole or perfect’.
We don’t have to do anything for something to end. It is the nature of the world. Things begin, go through their cycle and end. A year, a project or a lifetime, it’s all the same. But, in order to complete things – or more accurately to feel complete with activities or situations – we need to apply a deliberate and mindful focus and awareness.
How do you complete things?
If you review the year’s events without the distinction completion in mind, you are likely to focus on the cold facts of what actually happened. You will ask yourself things like: “What did I do?”, “What didn’t I do?”, and “What results did I achieve?”. While you may find intellectual satisfaction in taking stock of this year’s events in the most factual, objective and accurate way, this information won’t empower or uplift your spirit and soul.
In contrast, if you look at 2016 through the lens of completion you will be compelled to push your thinking and reflection beyond the cold facts of what happened to a deeper level. You will be compelled to own ‘what happened’ and ‘what didn’t happen’ in a more meaningful way.
You will ask yourself questions such as “What did I accomplish?”, “What did I learn?”, “Where and how did I grow?” and “How am I better, stronger and more prepared for the future?”. This type of taking stock will make you feel more satisfied and complete.
In fact, the idea of success and failure is an interpretation, not a fact. You can feel victorious and successful even when you haven’t met your goals. And, you can feel defeated and a failure when you did meet your goals. The feeling of success or failure is determined by the completion conversation.
Completing the past will enable you to put things in a better perspective. It will help you put the past behind you, and this will leave you feeling freer, stronger and more empowered and excited to focus on the future with a clean slate.
However, if you leave things incomplete, past incompletions could haunt you and cloud your thoughts, plans, and aspirations for the future. Furthermore, you could become more hesitant because of past failures and/or blindly confident because of past successes. In both cases, you would be reacting to your past and that won’t be effective or satisfying.
The good news is that you can bring a completion view to your past at any moment, no matter how good or bad things were. You just need to take stock, draw empowering conclusions from past events and then declare the past complete. It requires taking a stand, and it takes courage. But, you can do it!
How to complete 2016 in a meaningful way:
So – as we are ending 2016, reflect on your year. First, make the list of the facts – what happened, what you did and didn’t do. It’s useful to start there. But don’t end there.
- What did I accomplish?
- What did I learn?
- Where and how did I grow and improve in the areas I care about?
- How did I forward my bigger personal and professional vision and purpose?
- What am I most grateful for?
- Who do I want to recognize and thank? (Make sure you tell them.)
Once you declare 2016 complete, you will feel a sense of satisfaction, peace, and fulfillment. In that space, you can powerfully start creating next year to be your best year ever.
Wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year!