It’s that wonderful time after the “most wonderful time of the year.” New Year’s. It’s a time for personal reflection and celebration. As the date rolls over to a new number, we are challenged to do better and be better for the next year.
We often make a list of ways we wish our lives will be different in the next year. “I want to be healthier.” “Less stress in my life for 2015.” “I will enjoy my life and not just rush through it.”
Then how do we cope when on January 3, the morning breaks, and we find that we are shoving a donut in our mouth as we speed through a yellow light late to work? It’s time to consider the way we put our hopes into reality and revisit that most painful of topics we centered our lives around in nursing school – the nursing care plan.
I”ll give you a minute. It was wretched, I know. I remember.
The one thing that was beat into my brain while learning the process of writing a nursing care plan was “Is it measurable?” We could write a beautiful plan, but if the outcomes of the interventions were not measurable, the plan was unacceptable. This was a real drag, and the cause of many a tearful, sleepless night. Now, perhaps, having got through the pain of the process, we can apply this method to making new year’s resolutions that stick.
I Want to Be Healthier
A good resolution, but not at all measurable. Find ways to break this concept down into steps you can achieve such as: “I will exercise 30 minutes a day, three days a week.” or “I will drink 8 glasses of water each day.” or “I will pack a healthy snack to replace the candy bar I usually scarf during the last 2 hours of my shift.”
Less Stress in 2015
This one will require a bit more reflection. It will require that you sit down and figure out the things that are adding stress to your life. Discover if it’s a person, place or thing, and determine what factors you can control to reduce the stress.
If it’s a boss that is too demanding, determine what limits are in your right and set them. If you are working overtime to pay the bills, find out what in your budget you can reduce and limit the hours of overtime you work. If you are sleeping poorly, see if adding better foods and exercise will help your quality of life.
I Will Enjoy My Life and Not Just Rush Through It
This is a difficult one, because the pace of modern life demands that we move quickly from one thing to the next. There are small ways to improve our quality of life.
If you have a little time in your shift, invest it in a patient or a coworker who could use a little TLC. Find a way to remember to take some deep breaths during the day. One way to remember this is to think of something you do regularly and attach a breath to it. For example, each time you turn on a light switch, or knock on a patient door, or before you answer the phone remember to take a breath.
Another way to slow your mind down is to set a time to do just one thing. For example, when you take a fifteen minute break, don’t use that time to make a call, play a game on your phone and/or scroll through Facebook.
Actually sit, relax and let your mind wander through your day so far and find things to be grateful for. See if doing this just once a day doesn’t improve your quality of life.
No matter what your goals are, give yourself measurable ways to attain them, and discover the satisfaction of seeing them reached.
Here’s to a new year full of joy, peace and goals achieved!