A new year can mean many things for many people. For some they see it as a new start and a chance to wash the bad away and bring in the good. Others hope to continue their current state of success while making minor changes to promote additional success. Nurses can use the New Year as an excellent opportunity to set personal and professional goals for themselves that are measurable and attainable.
You might be left to wonder, however, What sort goals a nurse should set for themselves? Resolutions are often stereotypical an tired, but they don’t have to be. Let’s discuss a few simple rules to help you create measurable and attainable professional and personal goals.
Pick Something Specific
Many are guilty (myself included) of making their New Year’s resolutions and goals generic and difficult to measure. For example, Get healthier sounds impressive, but how exactly can you measure that? If you eat some assemblance of a salad cover in heavy salad dressing does that mean you are actually healthier? If you took the stairs after eating a candy bar, are you healthy now? No¦ probably not, but you could probably argue that you were making some healthier choices and therefore were healthier. You could argue it, but you’d be wrong.
A better approach is making a goal to walk at least 30 minutes 4 times a week. A goal like this is clear and leaves little interpretation to whether or not you completed it. This will help you be much more accountable.
Write it Down
It’s easy to say that you’re going to work towards a goal if you’re only saying it in your own head. If you fail to meet the goal then you can pretend you never really intended to achieve it in the first place. However, if you take the time to write it down, and maybe even tell others about it, then it cements this goal as a reality and something that you should actually spend time working towards. You will be far more disappointed in yourself if you can visibly see that you let yourself down.
Establish a Clear Deadline
You might think of New Year’s resolutions as yearlong efforts that you have all the way until December 31st to complete. Typically, they probably are, but you’re going to set goals not resolutions, remember?
Goals need to have clearly defined deadlines that are staggered so you don’t have to try to complete all your goals simultaneously. Some goals can be completed at the same time, while others would fare a much better success rate if they were staggered. Pick dates that are attainable and write them down too!
Make them Count
Nurses can use the New Year as a time to set goals that will help further their career and make them a better nurse. Make at least one of your goals something that will help you further you nursing career and provide better care to the patients you serve.