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The holiday season has almost started and there are less than two months left in 2018. This is the time of year when we can get reflective because it’s always surprising how quickly time passes. It seems like only yesterday when we were all formulating our New Year’s Resolutions.

Are you gobsmacked by how many items still remain on your 2018 to-do list?

Nurses are go-getters. They know how to get things done at work. But sometimes they aren’t as diligent about attacking their own personal goals and dreams. There’s no need to despair if you’re not where you want to be with your resolutions, personal to-do’s, or life “bucket list” items. It’s only common sense that nurses have the option of approaching these final weeks in a couple of ways.

One: you can drive on cruise control for the final days of 2018, resigned to the fact that you probably won’t be getting much accomplished after all. You may even be in a holiday mental fog, simply looking forward to enjoying time off from work, as health care environments generally slow down during this season.

Two: you can put the pedal to the metal and accelerate to reach your goals in the final stretch of this year. And if you’ve already reached your targets (good on you!), then you will try to get a jump-start on the coming year.

Six weeks.

That’s not much time, but it can be plenty of time to reach many goals. From buying a new winter scarf to applying for an advanced nursing degree, there’s still an opportunity to take action during November and December.

Still, the temptation is there to take it easy and not push yourself during what is already the most hectic and stressful season, with family gatherings and all the emotional drama that entails for many people.

Another common mistake? Looking to the future and dreaming about how wonderful it’s bound to be—without actually doing what’s necessary now to make it happen.

There is no easy way out, though. As motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

So, take a load off of your shoulders.

Right now, pick up your calendar, a notebook, and a pen. Make a list of what you’re aiming to accomplish. Research proves that lists have power. It can help make you more organized and productive when you “think it and ink it.” Perhaps it’s because writing activates so many different parts of the brain so it’s easier to remember what you want to get done.

Some items on your list are bound to be meaningful while others will be mundane. The biggies on most people’s lists regard daily living (“conquer procrastination”), dream jobs (or how not to go bonkers at work), romantic relationships, health and wellness, family and friends, and the pursuit of happiness.

Some goals are a bit of both—for instance “drink only hot water with lemon or cold water with cucumber slices” could make a major impact on your health if it replaces sugary sodas.

In any case, you’ll feel awesome come January 1st when you’re able to cross off (check off?) your action items, and get a head start on some others for next year. That’s so much better than starting 2019 from a dead stop after six weeks of holiday frenzy or winter hibernation.

See you tomorrow.

Jebra Turner

Jebra Turner

Jebra Turner is a freelance health writer in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at www.jebra.com for more self-care inspiration.
Jebra Turner

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