1. Donnelly, Gloria Ferraro PhD, RN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

Article Content

At the start of the New Year, 2008, an Internet site called http://Mygoals.com1 published the top categories of New Year's Resolutions. The top 5 categories had to do with (1) improving health and fitness; (2) enhancing one's career through either starting a new business or finding a new more satisfying position; (3) focusing on personal growth through a change in attitude, motivation, or state of mind; (4) improving one's finances through debt reduction; and (5) pursuing education and the completion of a degree. There was not much change from the previous year in resolutions made by individuals to improve their lives and health. In fact, losing weight was the number 1 resolution in all categories.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

In a few weeks, the year 2009 will be upon us and we can look to the top resolutions from 2008 for inspiration. Or should we take a different tack? Instead of framing our resolutions around a result, we can frame them around more specific positive actions. For example, instead of resolving to lose weight, we can resolve "to walk for 30 minutes every day or eliminate one or two foods that may be contributing to our problem."


To enhance one's career, one might engage in a bit of self-reflection instead of the monumental task of starting a new business or changing positions. I must admit, however, that the nursing shortage is presenting so many new employment opportunities that nurses, unfulfilled in their current positions, would be remiss in not investigating options. So let us resolve to "investigate career options in 2009." Realizing that we have options and exploring them carefully can be very motivating and can result in a positive change in one's career trajectory or in the realization that the grass is not that much greener in the next pasture.


Perhaps a good resolution for all of us in 2009 would be to "manage our own morale." That means focusing on the privilege of serving patients and families, of making a difference in people's lives, of having a positive outlook, and not whining our way through life. Now there is a resolution that would uplift all of those with whom we live and work!! The improvement of one's finances can be a direct result of option exploration and a more positive approach to life. Less retail therapy can lead to improved finances.


About getting that degree-I cannot imagine a time in my life when I was not in pursuit of learning, even if the course I was taking was art making or yoga. We have an obligation to ourselves as professionals and to our patients as caregivers to know as much as we can not only about the healthcare system in which we work but also about the advances in practice that are improving care.


It is a new year with new opportunities that can be pursued with new behaviors that we chose to use in our quest for health and self-actualization. We can all be better and do better. Happy New Year to all of our readers!!


Gloria Ferraro Donnelly PhD, RN, FAAN






1. 2007 New Years resolutions at Accessed August 17, 2008. [Context Link]