New Career. New You. Set Goals for Success

Set and Achieve Goals in NursingThis time of year has us do one of two things (or both). We reflect back on the past. You know, how far we’ve come. What’s working (and what’s not). Which leads us to do the second. Think about what needs to change.

As the New Year sets in, we realize that there are areas where we would welcome a shift. Whether it is a new nursing career, going back to school for more education, or simply setting a goal for a healthier lifestyle- we are continuously setting targets.

So let me ask you- did you set any resolutions at the start of the year? If so, how are they going? If it’s going well.. then, by all means, keep it up! If not, no worries. Let me help you out with an easy solution.

Here Is a Five Step Process to Successful Goal Setting

  1. List Out Your Don’t Wants. I know it sounds backwards, but when we are asked about what we want often we have no clue! I have seen it before. I sat in a focus group room full of nurses and asked them what they wanted their workplace to look like. You know what I received? Blank stares. Now when I started asking them what they didn’t want in a job… boy, the responses came in. The flood gates opened up and I heard it all! So, to set a goal- take out a piece of paper. List out everything you don’t want to have happen with respect to the target on hand. Do this first. And then…
  2. Flip the Switch to Do Wants. Take those don’t want statements and turn them into what you are going for. Say to yourself, ‘If I don’t want X, then what I do want is Y‘. Avoid filtering. Go with your gut. What’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Write that down!
  3. Visualize the New You. When you have your list of want statements, you can create intentional affirmations out of them. Write down in the present tense what you want to see, hear, and feel yourself doing. This is the vision of yourself achieving the new goal. It is so important that you believe you can make it happen- and see yourself doing so!
  4. Be Specific and Set a Date. OK, so it’s all well and good that you’re sitting there with this pretty vision of yourself in success. And now you have to take action. Be extremely specific when you set a goal and declare a due date. Sure, you may miss it by a day or two (or you may achieve it early). It’s important to have a specific target with an end date in mind. This will push you to take the action steps to get you there.
  5. Open Up to Receive. Finally, you have to turn some of this over. By taking the action steps, the wheels are in motion. A power greater than any of us out there is supporting you along. And it may send you things you never even dreamed of. This happened to me when I was looking for a new job. I kept asking for a nursing career in wellness and prevention. I never imagined that I would find myself working as a nurse at a gym running an exercise program. Had I not been open to possibilities, I might have missed the greatest opportunity of my life!

Do you currently use a process to set goals? Do you have strategies that help you? Be sure to tweet me @ElizabethScala on Twitter to tell me how you successfully set and achieve goals.

Elizabeth Scala

Keynote speaker and bestselling author, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Nurse’s Week ‘Art of Nursing’ program, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and a playful pit bull.