Ask the Nursing Expert about... resolutions for 2016

Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA
Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA

What are good 2016 resolutions for nurses even if they're started late?

One way to start is by refusing to let other people's negativity deter any personal and professional goals this year.

Let's say that your goals are moving more during the day, improving infection control and creating a mentorship program. Start by putting up a vision board illustrating what you want to achieve this year. You can have anything you want out of life and work, but it is ALL up to YOU.

As part of being positive, don't let yourself become sucked into saying statements such as “I am not a good nurse because X.” Instead, write down reasons why you are a GREAT NURSE.

You must learn to be kind to yourself. In addition to positive exercises for yourself, you should develop a support group. This could be an outside group with similar goals, or a group of nurses at work  — perhaps working on a quality improvement project. Group members should write down their plans and try to stick to them.

Real behavior change is hard. There are days when you will succeed and others when you will fail. On the days you fail, treat that as an opportunity to learn about what to do in the future, rather than as a reason to give up. 

People really can succeed with their New Year's resolutions. They just have to make a plan.

My New Year's resolution is to change healthcare, so here are some motivational quotes to help us all keep going: 

“There are some people, who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” 

Douglas H. Everett

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream. Not only plan but also believe.” 

Anatole France