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New Year's Resolutions - And Other Jokes

I don’t recommend new year’s resolutions; we have enough pressure on us as it is.

So much pressure. I mean that broadly – as members of our profession as well as of our society. Do more. Do it better. Do it faster. Do it for less - or with less. And keep a smile on your face the whole time. (And don’t forget to post about it on social media.) It’s just too much.

I don’t know anyone who made a real, sustained change as a result of a resolution.

In my clinical practice, I work hard to refrain from judging. I don’t shame patients - it’s not constructive. Trying to understand how things came to pass – that’s more my speed. There could be good reasons (or not); having an open mind is the way to find out, and it leads to the path that I have found works to build a reasonable, flexible plan to make change.

After seeing this approach work with my patients, I embraced it for myself – and that includes resolutions. Wouldn’t it be more constructive to look at adjustments that we need to make, instead of punishments? Wouldn’t it be good to not judge ourselves for some perceived shortcoming (which is always in the eye of the beholder, making it impossible to ever achieve any sort of agreement and further invalidating the whole concept), but instead focus on what we WANT?

A few years ago, I made the “resolution” to crack more jokes. Not to laugh more, because that’s too passive; I wanted to be in the driver’s seat. I wanted to make someone laugh, even if it was just me (which it often was, if I’m being honest). I wanted to see the humor in things. And I did. At some point, the “resolution” fell off my radar, and it just became part of my normal day to day.

That’s what worked for me. I’m encouraging you to think about what would work for you in 2023. Or to abandon “resolutions” as a construct entirely. This time of year is an opportunity to assess our needs and make a plan for them – if that is our choice.

Take care,

P.S. If getting through the day in clinic is getting out of hand, let’s talk about how I can help.

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