When we were kids, we failed all the time. Learning to walk, ride a bike, long division... pretty much everything we did involved a lot of trial and error.

Now that we're adults(-ish), it can be hard to rock the boat and try something new that we might not be great at.

Enter the Failure Resume— a way to reflect on your screw-ups to (1) push yourself to try new things, and (2) reflect on your lessons learned so that you don't make the same mistakes next time.

Inspired by this video from Dan Pink, we created a template to help you turn your setbacks into progress.


How to Create a Failure Resume (and Templates)

Creating a Failure Resume could not be easier:

  1. In the first column, list your 5 biggest failures.
  2. In the second column, reflect and write down what you learned from each failure.
  3. Finally, in the third column, list what you're going to do about it next time around.

Failure Resume Templates (Digital and Printable)

If it hasn't been obvious enough already, we really want you to give this a shot! We even created a couple of templates for you to use, so that's it's as easy and fun as possible:

  1. Digital Template: Copy this Google Sheets template into your own spreadsheet (go to ""File"" --> ""Make a Copy"").
  2. Printable Template: We also created a Failure Resume Printable Template, if that’s more your thing.

Make Failing (and Learning!) a Habit

Learning from your missteps will hopefully be an ongoing, lifelong practice, so try creating a calendar reminder to revisit and update your Failure Resume quarterly or annually.

Bonus points: create a recurring calendar invite to review your failure resume with your work-bestie or partner!


Let's be Friends

Looking for more grounded goal-setting guidance? Check out our Look Back Plan Ahead Workbook and Habit Calendar.

And sign up for our monthly newsletter for more tools for living a thoughtful and creative life. 

Happy experimenting!