1. Flippin, Candise MS, RN, CNOR

Article Content

Beginning with the Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago, people from all cultures have been making New Year's resolutions (Dassrath, 2007). The Babylonians believed that what one did or ate on New Year's Day could affect his or her luck during the coming year. These traditions have continued over thousands of years and become an important part of many cultures despite a fairly high failure rate. Is it hope for the future that causes people to reflect on the previous year and resolve to make things better? Or is it habit, peer pressure, or just wishful thinking that fuels this tradition? Some take this tradition seriously and make tremendous efforts to make substantial changes in their lives, whereas others make resolutions that they know will be broken sooner or later.

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

Assuming a desire to be a part of the former group, how does one make a resolution successful? Nurses should be great at making resolutions. After all, a resolution is a goal or, in nursing process language, an outcome. An outcome is a statement of the desired result of interventions. Many know that there are some keys to making achieving outcomes successful.


1. Plan them well in advance.


2. Make them realistic with a reasonable time frame.


3. Look at the outcome as a process.


4. Formulate outcomes with confidence and commitment.


5. Break them into small interim outcomes.


6. Write them down and track progress in writing.


7. Involve others for support and motivation.


8. Meet challenges by reviewing outcomes and making revisions to the plan.


9. Celebrate meeting interim outcomes and resolutions with rewards.


10. Do not get discouraged should the first, second, or even sixth attempt falls short, try again.



There are many resources available to help individuals succeed in their resolutions. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides tools that help family and friends encourage their loved ones to keep healthy resolutions such as smoke-free living, weight management, fitness, and more. The CDC's (2007) Health-e-Cards are available at


In addition to the valuable keys to setting and attaining outcomes, it might be helpful to look at a strategy for success. Blair (2002) is president of GoalsGuy Learning Systems, Inc. He proposes a 1-3-5 system of developing goals (Blair, 2000). The "what" is the goal or outcome. For each outcome, there should be three "whys" identifying the reasons the outcome is desirable and five "hows" describing the interventions needed to achieve the outcome.


Now that the plastic surgical nurse has a strategy for success, what are some resolutions they could consider? The plastic surgical nurse might choose an outcome related to reducing their stress, furthering their education, volunteering their time for a worthy cause or a personal favorite, writing an article for Plastic Surgical Nursing. Using Blair's model, here is what that might look like.


What: Write and submit an article to Plastic Surgical Nursing during 2009.




1. Improve the care of plastic surgical patients.


2. Build on the knowledge base of plastic surgical nursing.


3. Enhance your career as a plastic surgical nurse.




1. Attend the Publish Your Practice educational round table at the National Convention on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. (Note: If not able to attend this session, review the Information for Authors in the journal and/or on the Web site at


2. Identify a topic for an article by January 1, 2009.


3. Create an outline for the article by February 1, 2009.


4. Start writing the article by March 1, 2009.


5. Complete the article and submit to Plastic Surgical Nursing via the Editorial Manager online submission system at by May 1, 2009.



For further inspiration, just look at the great articles within this issue of the journal. Among the topics are a study on breast augmentation patient motivation and satisfaction, a review of the literature regarding the motivations of patients seeking cosmetic surgery, the second in a series of photography articles, and a follow-up article about the nursing care of children who undergo endoscopic surgery for craniosynostosis. In addition, there is updated information about The Joint Commission update, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, surgical-site infections, and disruptive behavior. If that were not enough, a new column is making its debut, Practice Guidelines. If you are still concerned about where to start or have other questions, I am available to answer your questions and I am very happy to mentor authors.


Please feel free to forward your comments to me and the editorial board by writing us at Plastic Surgical Nursing, American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses, 7794 Grow Drive, Pensacola, FL 32514-7072 or send an e-mail to Candise Flippin at




Blair, G. R. (2000). Goal setting 101: An easy, step-by-step guide to setting and achieving a goal. Syracuse, NY: Author. [Context Link]


Blair, G. R. (2002, September 23). Gary Ryan Blair. Retrieved September 20, 2008, from[Context Link]


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007, December 26). Encourage a new year's resolution: Send a CDC health-e-card!!. Retrieved September 20, 2008, from Department of Health and Human Services Web Site:


Dassrath, M. (2007, December 30). New year, new resolutions[horizontal ellipsis] Retrieved September 2, 2008, from,70593.html[Context Link]