Understanding what your values, strengths, talents and needs are, is a critical piece of the puzzle, but so too is knowing how to use them and where they are in demand. Whilst self-reflection can be a very difficult thing to do, it is essential to ensuring that any future plan is built on solid foundations. Conducting an audit on yourself and the alignment you hold to your career and/or business is critical if you are to be clear about where you want to go. 2. Determine Your Direction When we understand what we want and need, we are in a position to define our ‘big picture’ goal and explore the options available to us. nor behind but stationary which is dangerous. 4. Build Your Marketing Strategy Everyone in today’s market place needs a way to showcase his or her brilliance. Whether we are aware of it or not we all have a personal brand, and we constantly have to position ourselves to engage in the type of work that inspires, motivates and fulfills us, be it as an employee or business owner. It makes sense therefore to take control of your own brand. As a potential employee or service provider it is what will see your noticed and sought out in the market place. Ask yourself: What do I do best and what am I known for? What do I want to be known for? How relevant is it to my industry? Who are my networks and influencers? All too often we narrow our decisions to A or B? Right or Wrong? Should I stay or should I go? Every year I hear people tell me that their New Year’s resolution is to find a new opportunity without being able to articulate why. Creating a plan that addresses each of these questions will support the actionable outcomes to drive your success. Failing to consider the full range of options can see you running the risk of bouncing around – chasing new jobs, new markets, new clients when really you may be missing the opportunities that are right under your nose. It’s time to say goodbye to your comfort zone and step out into the world of action. The great news is that when you do this with clarity of purpose, clear direction and a well-defined plan your ability to execute is so greatly enhanced. Knowing and understanding how to explore, critically assess and reconcile all available options to our direction and purpose is key to our success. Engaging with your network, your market place, your stakeholders and clients will bring further clarity and confidence in what you are doing. It will elevate your brand and attract new opportunities. It will highlight options and position you as being ready, willing and able. 3. Develop Your Plan For many of us writing a business plan is so much easier than writing our own career plan. Why? Because our career plan is so personal, it can require change and like most things, we don’t want to muck it up! However to build a long-term career that is both resilient and successful we need to plan for it. Gone are the days of having a single job for life. Our plan needs to be a working document that is re-evaluated, updated and amended to ensure that our objectives remain relevant and in line with our desires and goals. Remember success drives success, so your plan for 2015 needs to be both measurable and timely in order to generate further action, confidence and clarity. Without it we will find ourselves in March in exactly the same place as today – neither ahead 5. Start. Creating a fulfilling career and business isn’t a quick or easy journey. It takes time and effort. It takes continual re-evaluation and planning. You need to engage yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. You need to be active. It’s time to get your hopes up, to raise your expectations. Your best days are in front of you! Wishing you all a prosperous, fulfilling and purposeful 2015!