It’s the start of another New Year and everyone, including me, is making New Year resolutions.
But is it worth doing this? Will making resolutions lead to disappointment when I fail to keep to them for more than a few days? Or will I feel elated and happy that I’ve managed to change some habits which need to be changed?
What I’ve learned over many years of making resolutions at this time of the year is as follows:
- It’s useful to make resolutions even if I don’t stick to them.
- Resolutions indicate that I am aware that something in my life is making me unhappy, frustrated or angry and I realise the need for change. When I make a resolution what I’m saying to myself is that I recognise the problem and know things could be different. I may not have actually worked out how they could be different but at least I’ve taken a step forward, by being more aware.
- I need to be more specific in the resolutions I make.
- A resolution is just that: a statement that I’ve resolved to make a change in my life, hopefully for the better. I know I want something different and I’m stating this by making a resolution.
- But a resolution is just that: a statement of intent – it doesn’t necessarily identify the steps I will need to take to achieve what I want. It doesn’t specify how long it will take me to achieve, so possibly leading to me giving up after a few days when I haven’t achieved something which might take months rather than days to happen.
- Nor does it say how I can identify exactly what success at getting that resolution completed will actually mean in practical terms.
- If I say I want to get fitter, for example, how exactly do I plan to do this? What does the term ‘fitter’ actually mean to me? If I want to lose weight, how much weight will it take to satisfy myself that I’ve achieved what I resolved?
What I’ve learned is that it’s a great exercise to make resolutions so long as I am very clear what I want and how I’ll get to it and be able to congratulate myself for any changes I make however small and however short lived. Some changes need to be attempted many times before they become permanent , so it’s important that I don’t give up yet!
What are you resolving to do to improve your work life balance so that you can be a doctor and have a life? Please put your comments in the box below!
PS Booking for Connect and Change must close at end of January 2014 or sooner when last 3 places filled. Don’t miss this opportunity!!