Be The Me I Want To Be

We all want to improve. In my experience, nurses and complacency do not mix well. But what happens when we set our goals too high? If you are like me, you fail at New Year resolutions annually. It's time to try something different. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

Be The Me I Want To Be

Every holiday season, we find ourselves cramming pies and pudding into our gobs in preparation of our upcoming new year's resolution. Likewise, come new years, we cram as many New Year resolutions into our busy schedules as we can muster. We do this only to fall short of our lofty goals more often than not. I will quit smoking this year. I will lose 40 lbs this year. I will take up hiking this year. We find ourselves, myself included, year after year looking to move the mountains that are preventing us from our true happiness... our self actualization.

This year, I did the same thing once again. Without fail, I committed to losing 20 lbs. and exercising regularly. I looked through Men's Health magazine at the rock solid Photoshop abs and gave myself that goal. Now, I am not the most out-of-shape person in the world, but far from calling myself in good health. I am 6'2, 220 lbs, and have some putty in places that I would like to have stone.

Are these bad things to want to achieve? No, not at all, but perhaps they are bad goals. If you are the type of person that can do 100 sit up's a day until we can wash our cloths on your abs, then great! If you are like the rest of us who too often come up short on our goals, then pay close attention to the next few sentences.

We have all read the self help articles or "be a better you" ads. But I am doing something different. I am starting over and making my February 16th resolution. I am taking control of my life by thinking small. I am laying the foundation for the me that I want to be and I challenge you to do the same.

Whether you want to be a better parent, a better nurse, or a better spouse, let's start over. If you came up short on your resolution, let's turn back the clock and take control. I have made a list of 10 things that I will do daily for the next 21 days. These are small things that require little effort. I have printed 22 copies of these items and cut them small enough to fold up in my wallet. I put one of them on my desk at work under my computer monitor. Each day, I will grab a new copy and mark off the items as I complete them. For the open ended items that are less quantifiable, I will mark them off when I feel good about the effort that I have made. I will place the completed papers in a stack and at the end of 21 days, I will review my success. At the end of 21 days, maybe I will up the ante and lay out ten more goals.

I am calling it "The be-a-better-me Challenge". Rather than focusing on my abs, I will focus on the small steps toward the lifestyle that will give me those abs, that career that I want, that relationship with my wife and son, that outgoing personality that I once had.... I Challenge you.

Top 10 Be-A-Better-Me Challenge:

  1. Give a stronger handshake
  2. Actively play with my son at least 10 minutes everyday
  3. Compliment my wife every morning and every night
  4. Get up and move more
  5. At least 10 minutes of cardio every day
  6. Be more considerate of my co-workers
  7. Make someone else laugh each day
  8. Talk to strangers
  9. Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
  10. Eat a piece of fruit daily

What are your ten?

Rbeck911 is an Occupational Health Nurse with 3 years in the field. He comes from an EMS background, is a proud father and husband, and strives for knowledge. He will continue to develop himself until the day he retires.

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Specializes in MED-SURG Certified.

Good challenge, Rbeck911. I encourage you in your endeavor. Keep it up (especially #2, #3, #5 and #9).


1. Move (doing that soon)

2. Take up crossfit (I have not done it. It seems in-line with my current physical goals)

3. Cut expenses (stop buying crap I don't need...)

4. Be less critical of others, and myself.

5. Further explore the concept of a higher power/God/whatever you choose to label that concept.

6. Learn a new skillset (something, anything, whatever. We are dead if we are not learning!)

7. Change someone's life for the better.

8. Do something for someone with ZERO expectation for ANYTHING positive as a return, except satisfaction and doing good at least once a week, more if possible.

9. Have plans and means to build a house by this date next year.

10. Realize and ACT on the realization that life is a continuum---not a series of "points", and to enjoy the dashes connecting the points, rather than just trudge through from dot-to-dot.

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care.

So I started taking my health more seriously this year. I actually switched jobs in November and my new job is 8 hr shifts which I swore I would hate, but I love because it gives me the time I need to get healthy. I have fitness goals but not scale goals. I would get obsessed with a number and give up when things didn't change.

i want to do a pull up, by the end of this year.

i figure in order to make that happen, I need to be lean/strong so working towards that goal with weights and exercise.

i want to have better control over IbS. My diet has changed dramatically for the better.

i want to keep up with my son at the park.

I accomplished professional goals last year so this is the year of me.

Specializes in ICU, ER, PACU.

Wonderful insight on resolutions! I'll share mine:

1. Build a better relationship with Christ.

2. Becoming a more organized person.

3. Setting boundaries on how much I socialize to focus on work.

4. Improving my nursing and teaching skills (IV insertion and not taking things personal to name a few

5. Setting boundaries with people and how I let them "in" to my personal life.

6. Traveling (whether it be for work or just for leisure....or both mixed together).

7. Not taking the world and it's issues on my shoulders.

8. Apologizing when needed, not "just because".

9. Becoming more health conscious as a lifestyle.

10. Overall being a better communicator.

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN.

1-10 = Not giving up on myself.( I tend to think, 'what's the point? My follow-through lasts may be three days...)

I KNOW what to do, but I just. don't. do. it. I used to, once, but I don't anymore, and haven't for years.

Trying to get past the ingrained idea that I am 'too much trouble'. All through my childhood I received the message that I was complicated and impossible to deal with. Fortunately through all that I kind of liked myself anyway.

Get rid of all the exercise and diet books that proclaim they have the 'secrets' and 'easy' and 'magic' answers; the books that I read possibly 1/4 of and put down and never picked up again.

I could start slowly, with baby-steps: do some stretching every day. I used to do it because it felt so good. It may take a little longer to reach that point again, but I think it is doable.

Stop sabotaging the good, balanced eating I do by scarfing down ice cream and cake/cookies I use for comfort foods.

I think that's about all I can begin with to avoid overloading myself with unrealistic expectations.

I hate admitting all this about myself, and I feel quite vulnerable for posting this.

I have a tendency to ignore and discount 'cheer-leading' for my efforts; I don't know why it seems to have the opposite of the intended effect on me.

Just so you know:

I am under a physician's care for Clinical Depression, and take two medications which really do help keeping me on an even keel.

I have never felt suicidal, since I was ten years old.

I am cheerful, upbeat, funny, compassionate , empathetic and excellent at taking care of my elderly Private Duty patients, having a natural ability to connect with them and providing them with the acceptance and loving consideration, patience and a genuine appreciation for who they are as persons, that I am unable to give to myself.

I will probably have poster's remorse for clicking the "Post Comment" bar.

Specializes in CVICU CCRN.

No follow through blows. Always has. I have no idea why, other than life seems to get in the way chronically for me. But I can only use that as a lame excuse; I'm not a victim of my circumstances. of my small goals in life is to just me more consistent...even in my daily responsibilities like laundry!! While I was successful professionally, I would always stop just short of....whatever. Planning for nursing school, generally achieving the grade goals I set for myself, graduating and passing the NCLEX are my best examples of follow through....I'm 42 years old and still sometimes wonder how I pulled it off. (And boy did I get sick of all that consistency!!) :)

That said, I was very consistent when providing patient care during school; the "rights" of med administration, the procedures...I'm great with all that and somehow the variety of nursing combined with the value of reliable processes has helped me grow a little bit. (Sorry if that makes no sense!) I'm really loving the OR for similar reasons.

I'm working on small steps also, every day. I have an autoimmune thing, and while my initial goal was to beat it in to submission, my new goal is to just make small changes consistently. It's still hard. But for some reason, I'm getting a little better at it; mindfulness helps me, so learning to meditate has been great. Now I just need to keep incorporating those practices into my daily life. Baby steps. :) anyway, your post resonated with me when you said your average follow through was three days....I think you still have me beat!! I found your post transparent, genuine and very inspiring, so no "poster's remorse"!

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN.

Thank you, kalycat.

I DO know just what you mean about "the variety in nursing combined with the reliable processes," My nursing career is probably the only part of my life in which I shine, and I never dread going to work, because it makes me feel so good about myself and my abilities.

I don't really feel like a victim of my circumstances, I have learned through therapy, however, that emotional impact ingrained in your very being at an extremely young age, is one of the most difficult things to overcome/retrain. Bah! Hate undermining myself without realizing that is what is going on. Maybe incorporating mindfulness/meditation would, in fact, be helpful.

Jeez, if 'beating it into submission' was successful, I'd be the hands-down champ! :lol2:

Specializes in Medical/Oncology.

Great article Rbeck911! Very inspirational, for sure. Here are my 10 challenges:

1. Stop being hard on myself

2. Forgive and forget

3. Being more open

4. Staying active

5. Having patience

6. Being more assertive

7. Setting realistic goals

8. Enjoying the simple things in life

9. Quit overanalyzing

10. Say "thanks" instead of "sorry"

Specializes in Occupational Health/Legal Nurse Consulting.
Great article Rbeck911! Very inspirational, for sure. Here are my 10 challenges:

1. Stop being hard on myself

2. Forgive and forget

3. Being more open

4. Staying active

5. Having patience

6. Being more assertive

7. Setting realistic goals

8. Enjoying the simple things in life

9. Quit overanalyzing

10. Say "thanks" instead of "sorry"

I really like your number 10. I have been working on something similar. When people thank me for something, I always respond by saying "no, thank you". I am starting to say "You're welcome" in order to self acknowledge that I did something to help someone else. Weird, I know, but in trying to advance careers, this type of thing seems important.