Happy New Year! This is a time when people make resolutions for the coming year – a tradition that has been happening in various cultures around the world for 4000 years. Of course the major problem with New Years Resolutions is many of them do not last for more than a few weeks.
Personally I feel like making resolutions or goals is important – but there needs to be some foundation for them. Goals should be SMART. If you have not heard the acronym, it means
By planning goals within this framework they are more likely to get done.
An example of a vague New Years resolution is “get fit” – it’s not specific, what do you mean by fitness? Being able to run a marathon, or swim 10 lengths of a pool, or go for a 1 hour walk every day? If you don’t have the specific it is hard to measure whether or not you have achieved it. Also, is there a timeframe – a specific goal would be to walk the Kerikeri Half Marathon – which is in November – so there is a specific goal, it’s measurable – walked or not walked, and it is time bound. To make it achievable you may need to break it into steps for increasing your fitness and how far you can walk.
So here are my work goals for 2023 – and please feel free to ask about them later in the year and hold me accountable.
My first is the same one I made for 2022- to write a post every week. I’m really proud that I made that happen for 2022 and I intend to do the same in 2023. A remedy every month, as well as some therapeutics, and then a couple of other posts each month. If you would like me to write about something in particular please comment and I’ll add it to my list. Some posts light a match and I can write them quickly, others take a long time for me to research and write.
Secondly, my goal is around the research I am undertaking. I want to know who we are as Homeopaths in New Zealand – where are we, how old are we, how much we work, what qualifications we hold. Why do this? For future proofing this profession – I intend to be a Homeopath for at least the next 25-30 years and I want to see this profession thrive and be there to support the general public. This is a specific goal, and measurable, but can be broken down into portions: research proposal, ethics application, the survey itself, analysis and then writing up the results for publication. The time portion of this is hard to quantify, because each stage depends on the previous stage completion – but I want to have my research proposal and questions written by end of February so I can apply for ethics approval in March. Ideally I want to hold the survey mid year so analysis and write up can also take place this year, but that will depend on ethics approval.
My third is more personal, it is about work life balance. Working in 2022 as “just” a Homeopath, not also as a Pharmacist, was a learning experience. In Pharmacy 99% of the time when I walked out the door I left work behind. Now I work from home, and for myself, and I have had to relearn my boundaries. “Work life balance” is not a specific goal, so in order to fit the SMART guideline, I am choosing this year to keep my Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday work days in school term time, and keep my hours reasonable (8 hours) within those days. School holidays will be more flexible on work days but work less each day. To be achievable I will note hours worked in my diary – and if I am not able to keep to an 8 hour work day, will review my schedule. For this I am accountable to myself – it is not going to be a goal that is ever achieved and finished, more an ongoing work in progress, that I will review on a monthly basis. Putting this here as a resolution helps cement its importance, and make sure that Homeopathy doesn’t become all consuming at the expense of my family, friends, hobbies and sanity.
And finally – I have a goal for continuing education. I have a lot of homeopathic books, and many I don’t know well. I would love to have a goal to read one of my homeopathic books a week – but this would not fit the parameters of an achievable goal. Instead my aim is to read and understand one book a month – this may be achieved by reviewing the book, writing about what I have learnt, maybe discussing with colleagues, or just being able to integrate the knowledge into my practice. In addition I aim to attend or watch a reply of one webinar or attend another form of learning each month.
I would love to hear if you have made any goals for this year, and I hope you find the SMART framework useful for your own resolutions, goals and planing.