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New Year and all those resolutions!

As I am writing this on the 1st January 2012 I would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year for 2012.

No doubt like me you were out celebrating last night with friends and family and probably had a conversation about making those New Year resolutions at some point in the evening. You may have talked about giving up something such as smoking, chocolate or alcohol or decided to be more cautious with money, given the current financial climate and continuing news that there will be more job losses and businesses failing. Many of you will be supporting patients and their families in the community struggling with these issues as well as health problems and the impact this has upon everyday life.

But how easy is it to commit and be motivated to keep some of these resolutions, and why do we feel the need to do this every year knowing that most of us will fail to maintain that change? You only have to go to the gym in January to find it is packed with excited, enthusiastic people all eager to start on that healthy regime after the Christmas over-indulgence to find by the end of February you are one of the few still going. As health care professionals your role is often to motivate people to make some of these changes to improve their health and wellbeing and this can be a challenge especially if you are asking people to make changes they are not ready to make. We also know that just telling people to make changes because it is bad for them doesn't make them adopt such changes.

In busy clinics it is often difficult to ask people what they want rather than what you think they need, but perhaps if every healthcare professional made a resolution to ask patients what is most important for them in relation to their health and wellbeing, change may be more successful but more importantly maintained. Give it a try and see what happens and share your successes on the Nursing in Practice (NIP) Forum in 2012.

I have made a resolution to make more time for myself as a busy working mum. Rather than bemoan that I never have any time for me I am going to make sure I do have some time at least once a week even if that means just going for a walk or meeting up with a friend for coffee. I know that if I do this I will be much happier and better able to cope with the demands of everyday life and ultimately this will have an impact upon my physical and mental health and wellbeing. So here's to hoping your personal resolutions as well as those of your patients and families bring the desired rewards and can be maintained for life and not just for a few weeks.