According to Forbes, approximately 40% of Americans make New Years resolutions. Do you know how many actually achieve their goals? Approximately 8%. Yes, friends – 8%.
As healthcare professionals, perhaps we’re aiming too high with our resolutions. Maybe we don’t need to achieve perfect care of our patients, lose 80 pounds, workout seven days per week while working six 12-hour shifts, and maintain our sanity.
Hear are 6 achievable New Year’s resolutions.
- Consume more whole foods. Year after year, our resolution list may say “Lose 30 pounds!” and we’re disappointed when this doesn’t happen. Let’s spin it this year by trying a different tactic. Instead of the packaged foods (such as the frozen meals, granola bars, potato chips, and various vending machine options), we choose foods such as fruits and vegetables, cheese, yogurt, lean protein, and eggs? It may require a bit more planning on packing your lunches, but you’ll likely feel a lot better – and hey, maybe you’ll even lose that 30 pounds!
- Take your breaks. Are you known at work for powering through your breaks? Maybe you eat your lunch at the nurse’s station while charting – or even skip eating because it is always so busy (or because you’re simply disorganized). You leave after your eight or 12-hour shift exhausted – and famished. Make a resolution to take your breaks – you’ll feel better if you can leave your patients. Sitting down to eat, relax, call home or a friend, read a book – whatever you do to have some ‘downtime’ – will make you feel better.
- Get more organized. Ahhhh, yes. Who hasn’t made this resolution – and failed miserably? Whether this is a work or home resolution (or both!), it is worthy of revisiting! Fellow disorganized healthcare professionals, it is better on the other side! I’m not sure if there is a Type C personality – somewhere in between a Type A and a Type B personality but this would be me; the uber-organized mind but can’t always put it into practice. As a floor nurse, I would create lists for my tasks for each patient. I would cross them off when I got them done. And I would get such satisfaction when I saw that line. As an inpatient diabetes educator, I follow a similar practice. How will you get yourself organized?
- Find an exercise you tolerate. Here’s what I’ve learned from my years of nursing. Not everyone likes to exercise. This is why I use the word ‘tolerate’ – you may be a couch potato when you’re not at work, but if you can tolerate taking a walk with a friend, you should do that. Yoga is your jam? Get on the mat! How about biking to and from work? More of a Crossfit gal? What if you’re not sure? There are so many types of exercises to try. The point of exercise is that you don’t necessarily need a gym membership to stay healthy. Sure, you can do strength training and improve your cardiovascular status. However, many of us have a gym membership that sits unused. So, find that exercise that you can tolerate and get moving. Your body and your mental health will appreciate it.
- Be assertive. If you’ve worked with any bulldog physicians, it can be intimidating to speak up. I know that in my early years as a nurse, I had a difficult time. In one instance, I had a difficult time conveying my patient’s status and the physician would not come up to see the patient. I hung up the phone, exasperated and in tears. I composed myself, wrote down what I wanted to say to him, and called back. I was much more assertive – and it worked. The physician assessed the patient and he was transferred to ICU. If this sounds like you, set a goal to be more assertive – without being aggressive.
- Above all, be kind. The healthcare field can be a tough place to work. We’re juggling many balls on a daily basis – patient care, family members, different personalities from our coworkers and medical staff, worrying about patient satisfaction scores and overtime and reimbursement, and the list goes on… Add into the mix our own personal lives, and isn’t hard to see why tensions can run high. In 2019, let’s all try to be a little bit kinder to one another.
Diamond, D. (2013, Jan 1). Just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Here’s how they do it. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/#445d48d6596b