As the rush of the holidays begins to wane, many of us will take a deep sigh of relief and start planning a fresh start for the new year. That is to say, the new year is an ideal time to come up with a few New Year’s resolutions that you know you can stick to. If you are a nurse and work in healthcare, preparing professional nursing goals can set you up for success. Moreover, setting up lifestyle goals which may include a new exercise routine or better eating habits, can also lead to an optimal work-life balance in a nursing career.
But how do you plan and set new nurse goals for the new year? It all comes down to being specific. In other words, it’s better to set up a few focused goals instead of a long list of vague goals. Therefore, the more clear and intentional you are about your career goals as a nurse or certain lifestyle changes, the higher chance you have of achieving your goals. With this in mind, keep reading to learn how to create realistic goals and make your New Year’s resolutions stick.
What Is a Good Goal for a Nurse
Defining nurse professional goals can be anything from choosing to be a better advocate for your patients to making sure you show up ten minutes before your nursing shift alert and ready to work. Essentially, setting small but realistic objectives in nursing is the key to achieving bigger goals in the future. For example, if you want to provide a higher level of care for your patients, you could set a new nurse goal to establish authentic rapport with patients to help take their minds off medical issues. This effort could include a nurse spending extra time with a patient and learning about their patient’s emotional and physical needs. Furthermore, a nursing career goal could mean that a nurse invests in their professional development, such as attending a workshop or brushing up on certain nursing skills. Below is a list of examples of nursing goals and how they can be measured:
- Efficiency: Showing up early for your nursing shift and setting a good example for your nursing colleagues
- Accuracy: Making sure you chart all patient notes accurately and clearly for an easy handoff for the next nurse on shift
- Professional development: Attending workshops relevant to your nursing specialty or completing continuing education (CE) courses to stay current on the latest evidence-based learning for clinical practice
- Safety: Staying educated and up to date on your place of employment’s protocols for patient safety and possible workplace hazards
- Patient care: Showing respect and empathy to patients and making sure that all patient details are handed off to the next shift nurse on time
Lifestyle Goals as a Nurse
Alongside setting professional nursing goals, it’s important that nurses also strive to find a good work-life balance. Therefore, coming up with a few lifestyle goals, such as establishing better eating habits or starting to exercise, are both great examples of New Year’s resolutions for nurses. At the same time, lifestyle goals should be just as specific as nursing career goals. For example, as a nurse, you may want to outline clear lifestyle goals such as “Next year, I will jog outside for twenty minutes before each shift.” Other examples of well-defined lifestyle goals could look like the following:
- Incorporating a fifteen-minute meditation at the beginning or end of your day
- Exercising twenty minutes a day, three times per week
- Preparing healthy snacks before the start of each nursing shift
- Going to bed a half hour earlier than your usual bedtime
- Planning two social outings with your friends each month
Ultimately, lifestyle goals are equally important as professional nursing goals. In fact, making small tweaks in both your professional and recreational life as a nurse can help you avoid nurse burnout and keep you motivated to go to work each day.
Good Long-Term Goals as a Nurse
As the year comes to an end, it can be helpful to look back at your achievements as a nurse and understand what kept you energized and motivated in your career. Moreover, taking inventory of your lifestyle habits and how they affect you professionally can help you create new nursing goals. Whether it's making sure you get enough exercise every day or taking more initiative at work, setting intentional nurse New Year’s resolutions can kick off the new year in an empowering and positive way. Here's to a Happy New Year!