Change is hard! Lasting change is even harder

Change is Hard

We all know how the saying goes: New Year, New You. The start of a new year is a mental (and sometimes literal) clean slate. While the day itself may be arbitrary, using it as inspiration for self-improvement and forward momentum isn't a bad thing. Still, it's not a coincidence that most New Year's resolutions tend to go by the wayside pretty quickly. Change is hard! Lasting change is even harder

For healthcare professionals, there isn't a whole lot of spare time floating around, so setting goals can seem like an even bigger challenge than normal. We've put together a few dos and don'ts for setting resolutions this year. If you have more advice, we'd love to hear it in the comments!

DO: Create a list of the things you'd like to achieve in the next year. Even if they're not really feasible or you're not sure if you can complete them, write them down. The simple act of voicing (or in this case, writing) something can change your mindset and make it feel more real. It may even give you ideas about how to move toward your goal!

DON'T: Set an unrealistic task and beat yourself up when it isn't done. We all have high hopes for our resolutions, but there's no reason to get down on ourselves when life circumstances get in the way. You know what you're reasonably capable of and what will stretch you past your limits. If you don't meet your goal in a set amount of time, it's okay to give yourself an extension.

DO: Think of things that will improve your life and make a plan on how to achieve them. Have you always wanted to get some higher education? Travel? Volunteer? Write a book? These are the types of things everyone wants to do, but it's difficult to get from Point A to Point B without a plan. Figure out how you can make it happen, step by step. Then all you have to do is check things off your list!

DON'T: Make your timelines too short. Sure, setting a resolution that you're going to lose 20 pounds in two months might be doable in extreme circumstances, but it's not recommended. Resolutions don't have to be a race. Give yourself plenty of time to achieve your goals.

DO: Challenge yourself. Anyone can make a resolution to donate $25 to charity this year, but there's not much risk or growth involved. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Not so much that your goal is out of reach, but enough to help you become a better person, friend, nurse, coworker... on and on. After all, that's what a fresh start is all about!

What are your resolutions this year? How will you achieve them?