Happy New Year to you all!
January is traditionally a time for making resolutions and plans to make changes in our lives. We are surrounded by articles and advertisements telling us the best and easiest ways to get lean and fit after the over indulgence of the festive season. These are generally accompanied by money off offers and discounts to join a gym or sign up to diet programmes. However by the time we turn the calendar to February many of our ‘good intentions’ have gone astray and we are back to where we started with our resolutions forgotten until the 1st January next year!
Making changes can be difficult in fact some people believe we all find it hard to do and so avoid it. In reality we are all making changes each and every day as we adapt to what is going on around us.
We tend to consider change to be difficult because we overestimate the value of what we have and underestimate the value of what we could have if we made that change. Think about a change you made recently. Does this saying apply? Often when people think about change they think about what they are losing e.g. losing weight or stopping something. We find it easier to change if we focus on what we would gain or achieve e.g. being able to enjoy physical activities more.
As a health and social care worker you will be involved in supporting individuals to make both small and large changes in their lives and so having a positive attitude to change will be a significant factor in encouraging them to achieve a successful outcome. You can help by maintaining their focus on their goals. You can further motivate and encourage by helping them to set small, realistic and achievable steps and by celebrating each and every one achieved along the way.
The start of a new year is also a time for reflection and for you to think about what you want to achieve in terms of your own professional development. You are likely to find it easier if you set yourself short, medium and long term development goals. Achieving short term goals will keep you motivated and help you to monitor your progress as well as allowing you to make adjustments as you learn. It is worth remembering that not all changes have to be huge. It is often the small changes to how you do things, the way you say things that make the most significant difference to the individuals’ life and to the quality of what you do.
Until next time….