As it appeared in the Daily Nation on January 2nd, 2018
2018 is here! Every New Year is an opportunity to make the additional year count. To most, a New Year presents new beginnings while to others it is just another year. Many businesses across the globe prepare annual plans or set objectives that they hope to achieve in the New Year. At the individual level, some set goals while others make resolutions for the New Year. How can we make 2018 count in our businesses and even in everything else that we are doing?

First, I believe it is important to reflect on lessons we have learnt in the past years. We learn new lessons from our own experiences and from the experiences of others. In the past years, we have witnessed some business excel, others have barely survived while others have shut down. What can we learn from these businesses? As I have reflected on our business environment, it has been evident that businesses are in need of authentic leaders. Such a leadership is genuinely interested in the long-term survival of their business. A leadership that can be trusted to do the right things from the board to all the other levels of leadership. Smart companies need to focus more on their leadership capability.

Secondly, we can make 2018 count by setting some smart goals. What goals have you set so far? What do you hope to achieve by the end of this year? Are the goals set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound? Can they be broken down into actions, activities and even daily tasks? Goal setting helps us to be get organized and focused in our lives and businesses. We need to write down our goals for 2018 this week if not already done so. I believe that when we set and write down our goals we have a higher chance of achieving them. Those who do not set and write down their goals are unlikely to get the most out of 2018. Set some 2018 goals today, do not just make resolutions!

Finally, we need to focus on positive change! For us to meet our goals and aspirations for the New Year, we need to do things differently. What do we need to start doing? What do we need to stop doing? Where do we need to put in extra effort? Positive change will not just happen in our lives, we must take some action. Businesses too need to change with the times; they need to be more innovative in how they run their operations. Such positive change happens when the internal environment of the organization is healthy. When there is negativity in our homes and at our workplaces, it sucks the energy out of us and prevents us from achieving any noticeable positive change. I believe that positive change will only happen in 2018 if we are more intentional. We need to see 2018 as an opportunity for a new beginning. Let us keep our energy levels high throughout this year.

Wishing all our readers a new beginning and new aspirations in this New Year!

Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy