There’s a distinct difference between ending something and completing it. Events in the physical world have a beginning, middle and end to them – whether we like it or not. We get older. Another year passes. And our lives keep moving forward, towards an eventual ending point.
Similarly, there is a physical rhythm to our professional year that is beyond our control. In a way, we’re passengers in time. The year ends, a new year begins, and the sand in the hourglass keeps trickling down.
Completion is different. Completion is a mindset, a paradigm, and a way of viewing our efforts, achievements, successes and failures in the most empowering way.
We have no control over the fact that 2012 is now over and that we’re already halfway through 2013, but we do have full say about our relationship to what happened in the previous year, including what we delivered and what was accomplished We also have control over the conclusions and lessons we will take with us from the previous year into the next.
So here we are in June of 2013. But many of us have never really taken the time to complete 2012.
To bring closure to last year and fully prepare yourself and your team for the rest of 2013, consider the following questions–starting with some basic facts. In 2012:
- What results did you promise or want to deliver?
- What results did you actually achieve?
- What objectives did you deliver, and what promises did you keep?
- What objectives and promises did you not deliver/keep? Where did you and/or your team fall short?
Once you have embraced the hard facts, take a look at some of the bigger-picture aspects of 2012:
- What did you accomplish in 2012 beyond your targeted results? It’s important to honor and even celebrate what got accomplished, even if it seems small or “not enough.”
- How did you forward your bigger vision and purpose (whether you made all your numbers or not)?
- In what areas and in what ways did you get stronger? What “muscles” If you post the piece about building your warrior muscle before this blog, then you could link to it here.and new competencies did you develop? What did you learn to do – by choice or by necessity – that will make you stronger and better in the future?
- What valuable lessons did you learn from your successes and/or failures? This is particularly relevant and important in tough years – which can make us stronger and better prepared for future chapters.
- How did your successes and/or failures in 2012 better prepare you for greater success in 2013?
- What can you commit to in 2013 and beyond, given all that occurred and all that you learned in 2012?
The beauty of completion is that it enables and empowers us to draw out the opportunities, learning and gold from everything that happened in the past. By viewing our past deeds and achievements through the lens of “completion,” we can foster a continuous path of personal development, growth and fulfillment.
When we end a year without completion, we often feel somewhat “stuck” and not quite ready and excited to move forward. However, when we take the time to complete each year, we experience a powerful sense of harmony, confidence and calmness. We feel empowered, ready and excited about moving on to the next chapter.
So go ahead and complete 2012, and keep what you have learned in mind, because 2014 will be here before you know it.