1. Wright, Kathy B. PhD (c), RN, CGRN, CS

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I've just finished a wonderful holiday season, enjoying a rare opportunity of time for reflective thinking and planning. I'll admit, I had to struggle for a few days to let go of the "need to do" in order to just focus on rest, relaxation, and reflection. But those first few days of effort were worth the struggle. The time was well spent and gave me inspiration for the new year.


It seems for the past few weeks, four short words from the biblical account of the birth of Jesus, fresh on my mind from the Christmas holiday, have been haunting me. I've heard the story time and time again, read the words, pictured the event in my mind. But those words, "it came to pass," were mentioned over and over again in Luke's account. They seem so powerful to me as I look at this fresh, new year. "It came to pass...;" in other words, things happened! Wow, there are certainly some things I would like to see happen in my world this next year. What about you?


Personally, I'd like to follow through on that weight-loss and exercise plan I've been talking about for months now. I'd like to spend more time with my girls; dinner together more than one night a week would be divine. I'd like to read more for pleasure, work on my house, take the girls on a special trip, focus more on my spiritual growth. Does your list look similar?


Professionally, I'd like to write more, develop more comfort and intrigue as a public speaker, get to know my university students in a more personal way, study more and retain what I study. I think this will finally be the year I complete my doctorate (boy, will that be a celebration)! I'd also like to make more of an impact directly on nursing by having a part in successfully recruiting bright, enthusiastic individuals into our profession. I'd like to be a more positive role model in practice, research, and education.


It seems so daunting when I look at the lists. What can I do so that at the end of 2002, when I reread this editorial and my goals, I can say, "It came to pass"? What can any of us do?


I think the most obvious first step is to make the list. Write down your goals. Seeing them in black and white makes them real. It's easier to periodically review written goals and actually implement strategies to reach them when they are made concrete through documentation. When you write your goals, be even more specific than I have been in this editorial. What is your time frame? What specifics do you hope to accomplish? For instance, I am setting a goal of successfully recruiting five individuals into the nursing profession. I talk to people I meet standing in line at the store, people at my church, people on the airplane...anyone who asks me what I do for a living gets my enthusiastic endorsement of nursing! Five people doesn't really seem so impossible when I write down the goal and focus on a realistic outcome.


I would also encourage you to be sure to set balanced goals for your life in 2002. Don't just emphasize the personal or professional, social or spiritual. Set goals in all areas of your life. Look at where you've been and where you want to go. What's realistic? What's a reach?


Now, don't resist including goals that may stretch you a bit! Just be sure most of your goals are realistic and attainable. And find an accountability partner. I've just shared my goals with our readership of 7000+; I'm really on the hot seat! You don't have to be so bold. One close colleague or friend that will hold you accountable, cheerlead you as you work towards those goals, and celebrate when "it comes to pass"-that's what you need!


We are so blessed to live at a time when we have amazing resources and opportunities to live life to the fullest. Look at the gifts in your life-people, places, opportunities, even material things. How can you enjoy those blessings to the fullest? And how can you be a blessing to others, making a difference, even changing the world? It's not so far-fetched. Ordinary people often do the most extraordinary things, many times without even trying; they are just true to who they are and use what they have.


Just think what you could do this year with a good plan! Set your goals, write your list, recruit an accountability partner, and plan to celebrate with me at the end of 2002 all the things that "came to pass"! I love new beginnings; don't you?