As nurses, there is so much we can’t control in the current state of health care, but one thing we can control is our mindset. Each year, create goals that are just for you — not your kids, your manager, or your spouse. Let’s talk about how you can make goals you will be excited to keep and how you can stick to the plan.
Make it Personal
Depending on where you are in your nursing career, the current employment trends mean it is an excellent time to get serious about any career advancements you have been thinking about. If you have been feeling stuck or burned out, use the “new year new me” motivation to make moves toward a career change. Identify which career move you will make and which steps you will need to take to get there.
On the other hand, you can use this time to make positive changes in your personal life to be the best version of yourself at work. Remember that just because your work bestie has plans to go to CRNA school, your goal could be as simple as reading a new book. This is your journey, so consider one of these categories for choosing a new goals:
- Professional development
- Personal growth
- Diet and lifestyle improvement
- Mental health awareness and mindfulness
Set a Timeline
No matter which type of goal you choose, make a realistic timeline for yourself. Perhaps you are working towards a raise this year, which requires specific milestones on your annual review. Now is the time to map out which action steps you will need to take to achieve that stellar review. Are there scheduled committee meetings you will need to attend? Will you need to complete charge nurse training? Before scheduling your nursing shifts, take the time to write these items into your planner.
Having a written timeline will keep you accountable for any goal you choose. When you open your planner and see “finish novel” on a specific date, you’re giving yourself a gentle reminder to continue working toward your growth.
If you have been putting off a specific goal for a while, ask yourself what has held you back. Career advancements like pursuing higher education may require adjustments in childcare and budget, so begin problem-solving by writing out your obstacles for each milestone. You may find that you have more resources available to help you meet your personal goals than you thought.
Say It Out Loud
Nurses can be elusive about their plans because we are afraid of being judged if they don’t come to fruition. But consider this: The best way to turn a goal into reality is by speaking it into existence. For example, if you are thinking about studying for the CCRN, let it come out in conversation rather than keeping your plans secret.
The more you talk about your goal, the more you will believe that you’re worthy of success and keep yourself accountable. If the worst-case scenario happens and you fail the exam, try again! Be proud that you set a goal for yourself and have a plan to work toward it.
Now that you have made a realistic goals, what are some action steps you can take today to make it happen? Perhaps you can begin identifying coworkers you can use as a reference when applying for new opportunities. Maybe today, you will take a break from social media and pick up a library card. Whether you are working on personal or professional development, now is a good time to write out your timeline and begin problem-solving any barriers you may anticipate.
As a nurse, you’ve seen firsthand just how short life is —so what are you waiting for? Let Vivian be a part of your year-long goals by viewing all of our career opportunities.