by Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta


The New Year brings an opportunity for us to start new journeys or continue on what we’ve built in the previous year. But how do we begin? How do we harness what we is available to us to achieve our goals for this year?

How about starting with gratitude? One of my favourite quotes is, “If you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness” – Author Unknown. What this means for me is, starting from a place of appreciation for where I find myself right now; reflecting on where we are are right now or what we have, no matter how little it might seem, will empower us to forge ahead. When we start from a place of gratitude, we create space for more! We create space mentally to receive more, and space to think and see more clearly, and how to forge ahead. The energy we give out, is the energy we receive. Law of Attraction.


Grab a sheet of paper, or click open a blank screen to make some notes. Take some time to look back on the last year, and list out what setbacks and accomplishments you experienced in the previous year. View all of it from a perspective of gratitude – treat the accomplishments as your victories, and see the setbacks as learning opportunities. When looking at your wins, take note of what made them work, and what you did to achieve your goals. For the tougher parts of the year, see what lessons you can take from what did work out as expected. By doing this, you are able to lay a foundation for this year, and better position yourself.

Starting the year with positive and prepared mindset, gets you ready for taking advantage of what this new year brings.


With 2020 being a tough year, I understand why most of us may be apprehensive about making plans. I understand how terrifying it may feel to not know what lies ahead in the coming year, be it with the COVID-19 pandemic, political turmoil or social unrest; and how no matter how well we plan things, there are many things outside of our control. 

True, but we can still plan for what is within our control. Our personal goals, our professional growth, and our aspirations. There are smaller, more achievable short-term goals we can set for ourselves, even with the limited view of the future we feel we may have right now.

For example, you can work towards developing specific soft and cognitive skills that have been identified as top skills for the future of work? Or you could decide to explore your curiosity and passion, and extend your knowledge and experience within or outside your profession? These are a couple of steps you take towards being more fulfilled or positioning yourself to achieve a bigger goal in the future. We may not know what lies ahead, but we can make the best of this moment and the present.


The Start-Stop-Continue Framework is a simple, but powerful tool to help you gain a clearer view of your plans for the year. Let’s get started!

Take time to reflect on past year, and determine what are the things you want to STOP doing. List down the habits or activities that have held you back, and you plan to STOP doing.

Next, determine what worked for you. List out the habits, efforts or actions that worked, benefited or fulfilled you, and determine to CONTINUE doing them, perhaps with a few tweaks and fine-tuning.

Lastly, figure out what you want to START doing this year. Is it learning new skills? Is it expanding your professional network? Have strong WHY behind why you need to start doing it, put a plan behind it, and get started!

Positioning yourself for success in 2022 is not out of our reach, even though the last couple of years of the pandemic may have been a hard year for many! Our organization took a hit in 2020, but I took it as a chance to pause and reposition us and myself, I took the time to also grow professionally, and to work with the team to develop other parts of our organization.

Now you have these ideas and simple approach, you can now begin developing your own strategy to navigate this year. Ask yourself, “What am I looking forward to?” or “What can I do to prepare and position myself ?”, and work towards making it happen. All the best!

Click here to learn about more tools to help you with your professional development.

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