How often do people assess their errors? Once a year, a whole segment of the U.S. population makes “New Years Resolutions”. Within a week or two, most of the avowed resolutions are put into storage, of the mind, and forgotten. Yet, we perform the same ritual, year after year.
When you decide to participate in your life choices, you are probably ready to make changes.
Assessing one’s errors goes a step beyond wishful thinking and making resolutions. Assessing our errors requires a deeper thought process and if our habits and/or attitudes cause us enough discomfort or pain, we will want to change.
What do you want to change, how can you identify it, and how can you promote change? In my work, it was drilled into my thinking, that you couldn’t solve a problem, unless you can define it.
A starting point, in definition, is to take a personal inventory of your life. What are the mistakes or errors that you made that cost you?
What is the cost of your errors? Did they cost relationships, lost business opportunities, loss of health or loss of personal identity or self-esteem? List all that apply. Inventory, whether in material goods or personal errors, always has a cost.
As a starting point, personal inventory might be a piece of paper with a line drawn down the middle and labeled errors, and the other side would list positive things I’ve done. This is only the tool for beginning the assessment. By including the positive elements of your life, you are able to keep perspective on the real you, with both good and bad points.
Can you identify the errors as patterns of behavior, or are they several isolated big time goof-ups? Where do you want to go, now that you’ve identified the cost? What do you need to do to get to your destination or goal? A finished worksheet might have headings that look like this:
Errors, Cost, What needs to change? How do I change it? Goals/Destination, Progress
An excel spreadsheet would be an great tool for this assessment, because you can compile different elements on separate sheets and put them in an excel notebook. You make changes as you gain additional insight and make progress. MS Access or other relational databases, are also excellent tools.
The worksheet concept is offered as a tool only to help you get started on assessment, since this is a unique list and requires self-reflection; it is your task to design it to fit your own needs. Ask a trusted friend to give you insight on the list.
Additionally, you can search the Internet for tools that are designed to help you in your personal assessment. Self help books and online diagnostic tests can be of great help on your journey.
Once you have a finalized list, you can pick the errors that have caused the most discomfort and pain and decide what changes you want to make.
In this article, I draw from some of the models I used in my former work. I am not a psychologist. It is meant as a helpful tool only, and not to be taken as professional advice.