This week’s edition of the Traveler’s Guide to Nursing and Allied Health gives tips on achieving your New Year goals.
It’s the end of the year, and you’re ready to look ahead to 2023. Whether your goal is to find travel assignments closer to home, take on a new specialty, or earn another degree, your success will depend on the plan of action you take to attain your goals. Get focused, get planning, and get started on your Happy New Year!
Reflect on 2022, Your Wins and Losses
Before marching forward, take a look back. A Harvard Business Review article cited research that found call center employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of their shift reflecting on lessons learned performed 23 percent better after ten days than those who did not. A U.K. study found that commuters who were told to use their time to plan for the day ahead reported being happier, more productive, and less burned out than those who didn’t. There are many ways to reflect. Just make sure to set up a time and do it. Whether you write in a journal, talk to others, focus while you’re working out, or sitting at home alone, there are many ways to reflect. Just make sure to set up a time and do it.
Set Specific, Attainable Goals
You have to know where you’re going to get there, and you may need to hit a few pitstops along the way. Goal setting is an assumed method of getting what we want, and science backs it up. A Dominican University of California study found that participants who wrote down their goal(s) and committed to action, including making a plan and setting concrete steps, were much more likely to achieve their goals. If your goal is to run a 5K next year, start small such as walking/jogging a shorter distance and building up to the five kilometers. Likewise, if your goal is to quit coffee, maybe you start drinking less each day and slowly replace it with another beverage. We rely on maps when we’re traveling to unfamiliar places. We follow directions to assemble items, and follow recipes to cook new dishes. When setting out to attain a goal, you need to provide yourself with a means to get there.
Define Your Motivation
It’s much easier to put forth the effort, time, and endurance required to tackle a goal if you know “Why” you’re doing it. Whether your motivation is intrinsic (an internal reward such as a need to feel competent or autonomous) or extrinsic (an external reward such as money, fame, or power), you need to figure out what is driving your action to enable success.
Why is the goal important?
How will achieving the goal impact or change my life?
How will not achieving the goal impact my life?
Have I achieved a similar goal, and how did it affect me?
Most of us already have experienced that if we tell someone we are going to do something, we are more likely to do it. Science backs up this notion. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) found that people are 65 percent likely to complete a goal after committing to another person. Their success rate jumps to 95 percent if they hold regular accountability appointments to discuss their progress with that person. Meaningful goals take time to achieve, and it’s easy to lose your motivation or get distracted. By regularly checking in, you engage the power of social expectation and keep your goal front and center in your mind.
According to noted author, inventor, and behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner, a person is likelier to engage in an action that is positively received and less likely to take action that is negatively received. The Incentive Theory of Motivation, Action=Reward, is utilized in various areas of life, usually starting at an early age. A child’s good behavior is rewarded with ice cream. An employee who meets specific goals is given a raise. An actor receives praise and recognition for a great performance. Establish a reward for yourself once you complete your goal or intention.
Set yourself up for success in 2023 with the tools proven to help. Happy New Year!
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