With Christmas over and the festive period of over-indulgence behind us, Claire asks “what’s next?” January - the season for making New Year’s Resolutions.
At this time of year, many of us tell ourselves “this year will be different”; making promises to eat healthily, lose weight and maybe become a better person. The gyms will be full of regulars complaining about the newbies hogging the machines, well aware that things will return to normal in a few short weeks.
I think it is important to make our resolutions achievable and measurable, as opposed to vague aims for the year ahead, and I’ve decided to be more spontaneous and adventurous in 2014. On January 2nd, I woke up with this in mind and decided to go for a walk.
Bet you’re thinking, what’s so exciting about that?
Well, I was going to walk up Pen Y Fan – the highest peak south of the Snowdonia mountain range.
I packed a bag with food, extra layers, fluid, lights and more food, before setting off on my adventure. It was raining, cold and foggy, but I made it to the top of the mountain, making time to take a cheeky ‘selfie’ at the summit.
Getting back to my car should have been straightforward, but not for me. I spotted a family through the fog who appeared to know what they were doing, so decided to follow them. I had a gut feeling that I had made a mistake and, a few hours later, I reached a car park that wasn’t mine.
I asked passers-by where I was, and was informed the only way to get back to my car was by going back up and over the mountain. That wasn’t an option - it was around 4pm and would be getting dark soon.
In the end, a friendly dog walker saved my life and drove me to my car which was 15 miles away!
This botched adventure left me feeling like something of a kumquat.
The moral of the story is: don’t feel pressured into following the crowd. This applies to us in the workplace where it can be easy to fall in with existing practice on a ward. Step off the elevator every now and then and make sure you’re on the right floor and take a minute to check you’re going in the direction you should be.
I am of the opinion that I have been both spontaneous and adventurous enough to last the rest of the year but I think I may make some small and simple resolutions that will be easy to stick to as a student nurse:
- Take an extra two minutes to sit and talk with a patient, cleaner, family member or healthcare assistant. Hopefully, this will lead to achieving my personal goals whilst making those around me feel valued and appreciated.
- Read one extra piece of research each week so that I can expand my knowledge.
- Lastly, I’m going to write down the reasons I decided to become a nurse and resolve to look at it each time I feel pressured or want to give up. With a bit of luck, I will be reminded that I’m here for the right reasons and that it will be worth it in the end.
What are your goals and resolutions for 2014?
Claire Harries is Student Nursing Times’s learning disability branch student editor