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5 attainable New Year’s resolutions for nurses


Digital Vision | ThinkStock

Digital Vision | ThinkStock

Ah, the infamous New Year’s resolution. Most of us approach it with a little discontent, knowing that the odds of success are not in our favor. I think the percentage of people who actually following through and accomplish their resolution is horribly low (less than 10 percent)? I think it’s because most resolutions are so lofty and so dream-like that they’re almost impossible to attain.

This year, how about taking a different approach? Maybe pick a resolution that is completely attainable. One that is simple, yet impactful. How about a resolution that has such a high return on investment that it would be hard to not at least try?

Well, I’m about to give you five resolutions to choose from that fit the bill. Here are five resolutions that I think can change your life if you just give them the effort they deserve:

Smile More

A smile is so infectious, isn’t it? When someone smiles at you, or even near you, don’t you feel your face automatically begin to return the favor? How such a simple gesture can literally change the mood in the room. I mean, at the very least, you can follow the old adage about how it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown–so conserve some energy!

Be More Positive

There is nothing more attention-grabbing than a positive attitude. It’s just something you cannot ignore. Most of the blow-hards out there will claim it only makes them angrier, but I beg to differ. When a person with a positive attitude enters the room or occupies the same space as me, it makes me feel a tad lighter on my feet. Even if it’s only for that moment, in that moment, my day got a little better. How can that be wrong?

Listen More Than You Speak

In this social media-saturated world, we spend so much time talking, so much time updating and so much time sharing that we’ve lost the ability to properly listen. I guarantee you’re missing something in the conversation. When we listen more, we help eliminate that horrible human disconnect that can happen when miscommunication creeps in. We were given one mouth and two ears for a reason. We should listen twice as much as we speak.

Be More Patient

Life is fleeting and we spend so much time trying to speed things up. Making something better has translated into making some processes faster. We expect the faster approach to all parts of our life, so much so that we get annoyed when someone or something isn’t fast. We get annoyed and we become impatient. I think it’s time we took the off-ramp and spent more time smelling the roses. Take in the sights. Breathe in the air. Become more patient when your patience is being tested.

Say Thank You More

How much better do you feel when someone thanks you for your service, thanks you for your effort and recognizes your work? While we would gladly accept a material gift, sometimes simply saying “thank you” makes all that hard work worthwhile. Just because it’s their job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t thank them. Did they do their job well? Did they perform their duties properly? Be sure to thank them for a job well done, because there are some out there who can’t.

As nurses, we have the potential to positively impact lives with the care we give. Yep, I’ve kept my resolutions simple. Heck, you might even call them mundane and basic. I probably would agree. But I think there is something to be said about the human condition these days. I think it’s time we enriched everyone’s lives a little bit by revisiting the basics.

Happy New Year, everyone. May it be everything and more for you and yours.

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