New Year’s Resolutions for Busy Nurses
Happy New Year! As traditional as turkey on thanksgiving and wrapping gifts under a tree on Christmas, so is our annual tradition of committing to a New Year’s Resolution!
...and then giving up on it less than a month later.
But it doesn’t have to be that way in 2018. I wrote this post for nurses that are feeling burned out, unhappy, that really want some change in their life but are feeling lost.
If you want 2018 to be different and you’re looking for evidenced based tactics for sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions. This is the post for you.
First Step: Choosing the right resolution.
I have a lot of insecurities, self doubt, and bad habits, and every time I came up with a goal for the year, or the month, or the week...9 times out of 10 i’d stop following through with it. I know a lot of people struggle with this, so i’d like to share the book that helped me short-circuit my self-destructive, excuse making, complainypants brain
UnF@#$ Yourself by Gary John Bishop
Buy on Amazon (click here)
Buy the Audiobook (click here)
In Unf*ck Yourself, Bishop leads you through a series of seven assertions:
I am willing
I am wired to win
I got this
I embrace the uncertainty
I am not my thoughts; I am what I do
I am relentless
I expect nothing and accept everything
The part that stuck out to me during the holiday season and new year’s resolution time was the section titled “I am willing”
Instead of goals, successes, and failures, he talks about what you are willing, or not willing to do. Pretty simple.
We have this tendency to create these broad mythical ideas about ourselves and make goals like, “I want 6-pack abs” but do we really want that? Because in order to want six pack abs, we have to be willing to give up beer, soda, the cake and delicious filipino food that the night shift always has in the break room, and pretty much everything that tastes good. Are we willing to give that up?
Personally, I am not willing to give up my ice cream and dinner dates with my wife that involve fancy Italian restaurants with plates full of pasta..
And that’s OK. I’m not willing to do what it takes to have a 6-pack, and so making a resolution to get a 6-pack will just leave me sad and insecure.
Another common example from the book is related to wealth. So many of us want to be multi-millionaires, or billionaires. But do we REALLY want that? Are we willing to work 120 hours a week and have a shitty family life at home that probably ends in an ugly divorce and kids that barely ever see you? Because that’s what it’s going to take to be a billionaire.
I am unwilling to make the sacrifices to my work-life balance in order to become ultra-wealthy, so I have to, for the sake of my sanity, let my dreams of being Elon Musk go.
The take home message from UNF*K yourself is just to be honest with yourself. What are you willing or un-willing to accomplish this year?
Think about it for awhile, drill down deep and figure out if there is something you REALLY have the resolve to achieve this year.
Once you have something you want to achieve, head to the next section to find out how to make it stick.
Forming Good Habits with a Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
Buy on Amazon (click here).
Buy the Audiobook (click here).
This is one of my favorite books, and it’s a super short read so just go and get it.
Remember the section above? What are you willing or un-willing to do. If you aren’t willing to spend $10 on a book and 7 minutes in the morning trying to improve how you wake up in the morning...do you really want to achieve your new year’s resolution?
The part of the book that I think is most relevant to today's post about New Year's Resolutions, is the idea of starting small.
Let’s say your goal is to floss more. Most of us will commit and say, “I’m going to floss every day!”
Well sometimes shit happens and you end up missing a day, and then we say “i’ll just start again next week” and we all know how this story ends up.
If you really want to floss every day, start small. Just floss one tooth, and then go to bed. Continue to floss one tooth for as long as you want, and then move up to two, and then three, and just work your way up all your teeth. And if you don't have the time to floss one tooth, then flossing all of them every day probably isn't the best resolution and you can return to the top of the post and start again.
How to hack your brain to guarantee sticking to your goals
Human beings are social creatures. That’s how we’ve evolved, it’s in our DNA, and that means that we care about what other people think of us. Anyone that has told you that they don’t care what people think of them is lying, because if they really didn’t care, then they wouldn’t have told you that they didn’t care what people think of them, they would have just continued to do whatever they were doing before, ignoring the fact that everyone around was judging them.
Once we embrace the fact that we really, really, care what other people think of us, we can do cool things to hack that part of our brain to achieve our goals
Tip #1: How to use social media to achieve your New Year’s Resolution (Cost - Free | Impact - Low to Moderate)
Post your New Year’s Resolution on facebook or instagram. Ask your friends and family to check in on you and encourage your success, and commit to taking a photo or posting about it every time you do whatever you are planning to do.
Once you put your goals out there for your friends and family to see, it’s much harder to quit because you don’t want to look like a chump.
Feel free to post your goals in the comment section below if you’d like.
Tip #2: Hardcore New Year’s Resolution Brain Hacking with STICKK (Cost - High | Impact - High)
There is only one thing people care about more than avoiding public shame, and that is avoiding losing money. And the only thing worse than losing money, is losing money to someone or something you HATE.
Stickk is a platform where you can put your money where your mouth is:
You set your goal
Set an amount of money that would HURT if you lost it.
Pick a buddy to be a ref
Pick an anti-charity
The anti-charity is the best and worst part of STICKK. Basically you pick an organization that you absolutely despise, for example Stickk has the option to donate to a American Crossroads (a Super PAC that supports the republican party), or for the conservatives out there, you can choose the House Majority PAC which supports democrats.
Then you combine this strategy, with Tip #1 and announce to your friends and family on FB that if you fail your resolution, you are going to donate a huge chunk of money to the organization you constantly complain about at family dinners.
And that's it. You now have the most groundbreaking tools for changing your behavior. Will 2018 be your best year ever, or will it be just like the past "blah" years. It's up to you.
Are you willing to do what it takes to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions? Post your goals below and share this post with others!
Looking to make a career change?
Check out Clipboardhealth.com the best job search platform for registered nurses, nurse practitioners, techs, and nursing assistants.
- Search over 180,000 healthcare jobs
- Sort by specialties like ICU, ED, OR, L&D
- Read reviews about the work environment written by nurses, for nurses.