Droughts. Load shedding. Covid. Load shedding. Riots. Floods. Load shedding. Invasions. Threats of nuclear war. The Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight! We used to go into a new year with hope and optimism, but the tone of the conversation over the last while doesn’t feel that upbeat. 

And now another year comes. We may feel overwhelmed by personal problems and national and international concerns. Perhaps we feel a little burnt out, a touch depressed. Maybe not much energy is left to enthusiastically claim 2023 as our potential best year ever. But the truth is, it is! It is our potential best year ever. 

Just think about what you have come through as individuals, as families, and as business owners. No matter what has gone wrong or how bad it has been for you personally, you have come through and survived 100% of the worst days of your life. 

I don’t say this lightly. I have had professional disappointments and personal heartbreaks this last year. Already the first month of 2023 is almost done and we need to consider our state of mind. 

Just like you, I know that my business and my family and my own healthy state of mind and body are dependent on how I look forward, not how I wallow in what is past. We don’t need to wait to change, even now there is still time to make a shift. 

So friends, sisters, fellow business owners, moms, daughters and partners, let me invite you to consider this. 

Take the time you need to really acknowledge where you are in all areas of your life. Take the time to give yourself some space to grieve for whatever you have lost, or lost out on, or missed in these past few years. Take time to heal, grow and learn. To become strong and courageous. To recognise how resilient you already are and to take advantage of that. 

And then let us stand up resolute as women do, and look at 2023 and claim it as our year. We have, through the resources and the network of the South African Council of Business Women, some brilliant minds, valuable tools, worthwhile advice and brilliant opportunities to aim our futures in the direction we want to go. 

As a futurist and a realist, I know that there are many challenges that we face, and I don’t pretend that they go away with some positive thinking. But I do know that we cannot hope to have a better future, a better 2023 if we don’t plan for one. 

In my articles this year I will share some of my tools and models that I use with clients to make future plans. But to start with, use whatever is your favourite goal setting, visioning or planning tool. Get creative and ambitious and start defining how you want to end this year, what successes and experiences you want to have. And then let us start to walk this journey together towards a beautiful year that we have crafted, for ourselves and those we care about. 

Charlotte Kemp

Futures Alchemist 

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