The world has changed. Have you? How has your personal brand adjusted to the changes? Those are blunt questions, I know. You know I always keep it real with you. I guess my question is: You are in charge of your destiny, so what are you doing about it? How are you taking advantage of the opportunities that life is throwing your way in 2023?

I get it, the last two years (ok, maybe three) felt like the world tilted, and everything was on hold. But it wasn’t. Sure, you shifted to at-home work and maybe juggled teaching your kids at home for a bit. And here we are in 2023.

At the risk of sounding cliché, today, 2023, is the new normal. It’s time to stop waiting for the world to go back to the way it used to be and embrace what IS. We have an opportunity to look at things through a different lens, and we can change the way we look at life and make ourselves happier in the process. Who doesn’t want that? My word for the year is OPPORTUNITY!

That sentiment applies to home and the workplace (I’m looking at you, the ones who say, “But that’s the way we’ve always done it”!) Your reality may not be your dream. So, you have two choices:

  1. Wallow in it and stay stagnant, or
  2. Take charge of the opportunities you’re given and change it.

Where to get started?

Change is never easy. There are entire fields of study dedicated to change management, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re struggling. But clearly, if you are still reading, then the reality you are in might not be the reality you want, so we have to make some changes somewhere. Now it’s time to grab the metaphorical bull by the horns and steer! (I love a good pun).

First, make a plan.

One of the main reasons people tend to not act on their goals and ambitions is because they don’t know what they really want, and they don’t have a realistic plan of how to get there. There’s a reason I train everyone, from CEOs to sales professionals to my readers, to make a plan first. It’s important. It’s not about writing, “I want to retire by age 55.” That’s a goal, not a plan.

A plan is a series of small steps (so you don’t get overwhelmed) that act as milestones to the main objective. Do some research, talk to those who are living your dream, create a timeline. Remember, goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

I have a friend who wanted to start her own business, making enough money to support herself and her daughter. She didn’t just quit her job with a half-thought-out idea. She planned for six months while she still worked full-time. She made notes, she read blogs, she interviewed five vastly different entrepreneurs, she got a mentor, she planned out baby steps (and revised them when she needed to). That plan even included next steps for a household budget and health insurance since she would lose it when she resigned.

Next, find your allies.

No one does this life alone, so why would you try to take charge of your destiny on your own? Seek out friends, family, co-workers, mentors, even past employers – and ask for the help you need. I do not believe in the self-made person. We all need each other.

Share your ideas with your allies and accept whatever help they offer. This is not the time to be shy about owning your destiny in 2023! When my friend launched her business after solid planning, guess whom she reached out to and asked for business and referrals? Her allies! And what happened next? Because her allies had seen she was serious and prepared, and they knew her reputation, her allies helped her to get started and her business grew right out of the gate.

Finally, be open to opportunities and possibilities.

With each baby step, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? How does it support my end game?” That will help you stay on track and stay in charge of your future. If you don’t have a good answer to those questions which each step, then that opportunity may not be for you. By being open to opportunities, you’ll start seeing them everywhere – and be able to do a gut check.

Throughout the years, my friend has been approached with several business opportunities. Some match her goal, some don’t. Some would take her away from her focus, even though she’s excited by the idea at first. And that’s ok – at least she’s exploring and not cowering!

As you expand your circle (your allies), you’ll find new and exciting opportunities – ones that will help you take charge of 2023!