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For the majority of Kenyans, 2020 was a tumultuous time due to the changing and unpredictable events that negatively impacted the economy. Most careers and businesses took a downturn.

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With unpredictable economic and political clouds still hanging over us, including coronavirus, we can only hope for a bright future by borrowing a leaf from optimists. Developing New Year resolutions after such a stormy period is no mean feat. Many people harbour dreams and aspirations that the future will be brighter. They project an increase in employment opportunities and a favourable business environment.

However, due to the prevailing uncertainty, there is need to develop smart New Year goals and objectives that will change your career trajectory. There is also a need to eradicate the auto-pilot mentality that assumes good things will find their way to you without your input. You must rise and make things happen. Sit in the driver’s seat, take the mantle and direct your career on the right path to achieving short-term, medium-term and long-term goals.

Due date

The due date for your career planning and implementation of success is now, before January ends. The trouble with making New Year resolutions without an action plan is that the majority of goals set are seldom attained, leaving individuals with both regrets and the demeaning notion that nothing good can ever happen to them.

The million-dollar question for most career success enthusiasts and young entrepreneurs is how to create smart New Year goals with tangible and attainable prospects. Some of the tips that could guarantee excellence for any career builder are:

Recognise and accept that there is a need for change in your career as only those who accept that they are ‘sick’ ever consult a doctor. Carry out a needs analysis, then seek help from professionals or friends with clear objectives.

Learn new time management skills to improve your work-life balance and understand your career portfolio. Develop one if you don’t have it. Identify a good professional or a mentor to help you chart the strategy of attaining your New Year goals. Remember to only seek help from either certified professionals or successful individuals.

Dream board

The strategy must be written down on a dream board with clear timelines. An accountability buddy will come in handy in this regard. Many individuals argue that successful professionals are scarce and those available are unwilling to help. To achieve your goals, it is paramount that you plan to pay for your consultant’s time. Even your accountability buddy’s time must be compensated.

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Free things are only found in a mousetrap and many people do not put a value on free things. Indeed, hoping to attain great goals with a beggar’s plate is an exercise in futility. Do not be afraid to make New Year resolutions, but use a champion's mindset to make the goals smart, intelligent and achievable.

Plan to weather the storms, prepare for the zigzag and murky detours and emerge as a warrior. If need be, step up and change the road to your success. As long as you are alive and fit to work, never give up. And be your best friend by endlessly giving yourself a second chance.