Set Yourself Up for Success in 2022

Personal and professional resolutions for nurses

By Meredith Foxx, MSN, MBA, APRN, NEA-BC, Executive Chief Nursing Officer

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Ringing in a new year offers an opportunity to make intentional changes in our personal and professional lives. Making resolutions is inherently hopeful and optimistic, presenting a positive perspective of the future and goals to work toward.

For nurses and other healthcare professionals, resolutions give us a way to re-set and focus on what we need. My predecessor and mentor, Kelly Hancock, DNP, RN, NE-BC, FAAN, Cleveland Clinic Chief Caregiver Officer often says: “To be your best, you have to be at your best.”

Resolutions that are attainable and intentional can help us become the best, most successful versions of ourselves.

Make personal and professional resolutions

In our line of work, it’s beneficial to make resolutions that are personal and professional. Changes we make in our personal lives, such as self-care enhancements, also benefit our professional lives. Similarly, work-related resolutions, such as those tied to professional development, can contribute to personal happiness, fulfillment and mental and emotional health.

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Personally, my 2022 resolutions include committing to a regular fitness/exercise routine and improving my nutrition habits. Exercise and nutrition are important to my daily success. They give me energy, help me keep a clear mind and boost my mood. This infographic offers quick and helpful information on the importance of these and other wellness cornerstones. Also, this article gives tips and advice on good nutrition habits for nurses.

My professional resolutions, while specific to my needs, also likely apply to many in nursing. Two are driven by what I perceive as lack of time, to which all nurses can relate.

This year, I resolve to stop allowing my busy schedule to prevent me from doing the things that are important to me. This means I must better organize my priorities. For example, I find great value and joy in mentoring, but I’ve been pushing it aside for other responsibilities. Moving forward, mentoring will be scheduled on my calendar. This will include both nurturing relationships with my mentors and mentoring others.

I will also be scheduling time for reflection. Turning the page to a new year is a natural time to for this, but reflection should really happen every day. It challenges us to consider different strategies or ways of doing things. It inspires innovation and creative thinking. And it helps us put our best foot forward. In 2022, my reflection goals will focus on positive events and activities in my day and what I can do differently to consistently improve as a leader.

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I also plan to ask for advice when I need it. Admitting that we don’t have all the answers can be difficult, but it provides an opportunity to learn from those who have walked in our shoes. It makes us better nurses.

Include your passions

My final resolution for 2022 was inspired by a colleague who challenged me to think about something I love that was currently missing from my life. Within minutes, I knew my answer.

Reading is one of my greatest passions. It’s also good for us. Research shows that the benefits of regular reading can include improved brain connectivity, increased vocabulary and comprehension, increased empathy, aiding sleep readiness, reduced stress, decreased blood pressure and heart rate, to name a few. This year, I resolve to read something fun or interesting for five to 10 minutes every day. I will also read one article a day that I consider out of my comfort zone.

I hope you’ll join me in embracing the new year by considering resolutions that can help you set yourself up for success. It’s about being the happiest, healthiest you. Happy New Year!