Part 1 of 3
With so much interest, why is it so difficult to follow our dreams and achieve our goals?
Nurses, did you set goals for the new year? The beginning of a new year brims with opportunity. Many of us are excited to start new projects, commit ourselves to an idea that enhances our well-being or find renewed determination to achieve that goal we have been mulling over for some time. This seems like the perfect time to introduce eSsential Nurse by launching the blog to connect with nurses and those who care for others!
This week many of us return to our normal routines after a holiday break. Perhaps our break was a physical reprieve from our job, or even a mental rest as many of us move through the holidays with a certain amount of mental or emotional disconnect from our routine lives. Even at work, many departments slow down, schedules are lighter, the census may decrease, and we may find time to breathe a bit deeper even while we care for our patients.
Then the new year arrives, and we begin to return to our normal routines. In parts of England, there is a tradition that stretches back into the 15th century. The first Monday following the twelfth day after Christmas, or January 6th for this year) is called Plough Monday. This marks the end of the holiday season and the start of the new work year. Here in the 21st century, many of us are ploughing back to work, school and our normal lives after a holiday reprieve.
Goals, Goals, Goals
With renewed vigor we are setting goals and making plans to better ourselves and work on something that is important to us. Is your goal to achieve more work-life balance? Get healthier? Practice better self-care? Go back to school? Get certified? Train for a half-marathon? Read more?
Goals We Make
Many nurses I know are busy creating goals for their professional lives. We are a goal-oriented profession. Perhaps you are a student who wants to land a residency in a specialty unit, or you may be a nurse who wants to return to school or achieve new knowledge or skill. In my role as a unit-based nursing educator, last week I spent some time at work reflecting on 2018, considering what went well, what areas we could improve in, and what do I feel passionate about to bring to our team in the new year. I created a list, then prioritized, and added an estimated timeline. Later that weekend I followed the same process for eSsential Nurse. As someone who is passionate about nurse well-being and helping nurses create meaning and joy in their personal and professional lives, eSsential Nurse will be a personal priority for me this year. Nurses are hurting, feeling empty, and stressed out. Me too. So that means holding the line on work-life balance to create the space for this to happen.
Goals and Resolutions..do they last?
How do you set and work towards achieving your goals? Many of us start out with great intentions, high energy and motivation, but stutter over time. Fitness gyms are filled in January but see smaller crowds within a month or two. What makes those who continue to show up at the gym throughout the year different from those of us who lose our inspiration? This pattern is common for many of us in our personal and professional lives. With the best of intentions, we make our resolutions and affirm our goals, yet a few months later we have lost sight of the vision.
Trouble-shooting Your Goals
So why do we lose momentum and focus with our goals? Some pitfalls include:
- The goal is too general or not specific. (“This year I’m going back to school, or I’m going to work out more ..might be too broad)
- The goal is too large (Wanting to complete a full marathon when you have yet to jog a mile might be a lofty undertaking)
- We set too many goals for ourselves. (“In January I’m going to apply for that management position, and enroll in three doctorate-level courses” seems like a lot to take on all at once)
- Lack of planning (What is your timeline, and do you have a back-up plan to handle setbacks?)
In the next two blogs we will take a deeper dive into identifying, creating and sustaining what we want to achieve, and how to create the space for success.
As nurses we are constantly anticipating the next step for our patients and our colleagues. Now it is time to anticipate the next step for YOU. What are you yearning for? What do you want to work towards, or manifest this year?
Next week we will dive into how to create success around your goals.
In the meantime, a little ‘homework’..
- Think about your take-away from the information that resonates with you here.
- Then, reflect on 1-3 goals you would like to work on
- Write them down
- Reflect on WHY you want to work on these goals
- Write it down
Take care, practice self-compassion, and stay connected.
Your eSsential Nurse
As a nurse educator with a passion well-being, holistic and integrative nursing, and a board certified nurse coach, I invite you to work with me. Holistic Nurse Coaches partner with clients to create lasting changes that align with your goals and values. Please browse the website and Facebook page for more information on eSsential Nurse and eScential Self.
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