A look back at this past year…

Master Bastin

As 2016 comes to a close, and you are taking time to relax, enjoy the company of family (or endure the company of family, whichever), and enjoy fellowship with good friends, it is extremely effective to stop and take a moment to review where you are.  Where you have been recently, and specifically, where you wish to go in your future.

Take a moment to look back at this past year.  What great achievements were you able to accomplish?  What small achievements did you accomplish?  What were challenges that you were forced to face during the past year?  What personal, or business obstacles did you overcome?  Most importantly, what failures did you suffer?

As the years roll by, and yes, they most certainly will, it is vital to your continued success to review and reflect on where your journey has taken you; whether it’s your journey in life, in education, in your career, relationships, or your martial arts training.  The act of reflection allows us to view all the aspects that have shaped us, and our decisions during the previous year.

It is always exciting to think back on great accomplishments and positive defining moments.  Those memories help to build our self-confidence and to foster a positive self-image.  These moments are the building blocks of greater success, and we need to identify them, so that we can frame ourselves mentally to accomplish the next great achievement in our lives.

Now, as exciting and uplifting as it is to remember how great your previous exploits, we cannot overlook those times we failed.  Those times we crashed and burned, fell on our face, stumbled, made the wrong call, were challenged and came up short, in short - FAILED.  These are the times where we learned the most about ourselves, even if we didn’t always enjoy the lesson.  And if that resonates with you, you are quite right.  The lessons can be painful and difficult to look back upon the stumbles and falls we have suffered.  But these times are so crucial, and that cannot be stressed enough.  These moments are vitally important for personal growth and continued travel down the journey that is your life.

There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering. - Theodore Roosevelt

Below is an exercise to assist you with defining your past year’s moments.

This past year I had success in all sizes, some large and some small, yet all are successes.

Below, list accomplishments of this past year.



This past year I have dealt with very difficult challenges, and admittedly, at times I failed.  Though it is difficult to admit, I realize that I need to review the good times… and the bad, in order to grow as an individual.

Below, list challenges you faced and fell short of, or times you failed in goals or personal life.  This is only for you, and does not need to be shared with anyone else.  This is for YOUR benefit, not theirs.


NOW, please do not dwell on these past failures.  But instead, use them along with your accomplishments as building blocks for your future.  These are the paving stones of where you have been, and they have helped the direction of where you can go in the future.  Live and learn, as they say.  The only way to move forward successfully is to have a plan, and to not continually fall into the same pitfalls, and obstacles of the past, you must adapt and improve as you go.   Use the exercise above to help with clarity of thought and direction for your coming year.

I wish you the absolute best in 2017.

Master Bastin

© Aim and Focus Karate 2020