Tracy Lee, OMS II
A.T. Still University-SOMA
AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee
Welcome to the New Year! This means a new you, right? I know many have New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, stay fit, or be healthy. How about we start off the New Year on a good foot? One thing I read recently said to make it GOALS instead of a resolution. A goal is something we can work towards that will not necessarily “resolve” by the end of the year.
According the American Psychological Association (APA), many people have a laundry list of goals they want to accomplish by the end of the year, but remember to take it one-step at a time. Here are some quick tips by APA to help accomplish your goals.
- Start small: Make reasonable goals —ones that you think you can accomplish rather than pushing yourself to make goals that may be a stretch for you personally.
- Change one behavior at a time: Behaviors are developed over time, thus, changing many behaviors at once can be overwhelming. Changing behaviors will require time. For example, I had a patient who was a heavy alcoholic and a minimal smoker. Since she already had end-organ failure from alcoholism, we suggested that she should stop the alcohol and continue smoking because it would be easier to quit alcohol while continuing smoking.
- Talk about it: Share your experiences with your friends and family. They can help you reach your goals. Sharing your successes will make you more motivated to work harder towards achieving your goal. Sharing your failures will help your support network to help lift you up and gain confidence in achieving your goal.
- Don’t beat yourself up: No one can be perfect. I feel like as medical students, we are expected to try to achieve perfection and if we don’t, we are really upset. However, as we go through medical school, we learn that perfection is not attainable. The same goes with sticking to your goal. It’s ok if you skip the gym one day, as long as you can get back to it the next day. With trying to achieve goals, there will ups and downs. It will be fine just as long as you can deal with the mistakes and get back on the road to achieving your goal.
- Ask for support: If you are having a hard time trying to achieve your goal, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, family, or even a professional. Asking for help will provide a strong support network that will benefit you in attaining your goal.
Take a moment to reflect on what your new year’s resolution was last year and how you did with it throughout the year. Reflect on what worked for you and what didn’t work for you. Use that and the above advice from the APA to help set new goals this year. We can all work together to achieve our goals this year!
In the next post, I will give some specific exercises to help kick start the year!