I have mixed feelings about January. It can be a tough time: the middle of winter, the ED is always super busy, and as the Christmas lights come down, we put parties and family time behind us and we get back to what can seem like our mundane routines. At the same time, it’s a fresh start – and we can often feel full of hope for the new year and what we hope to achieve. Let’s not kid ourselves: the EDs aren’t going get quieter and the NHS isn’t on a trajectory to utopia any time soon.
But there’s so much that is within our control, and that’s what we’re going to start the year by focusing on. Our team has made some excellent new year resolutions for 2023 – both personal and professional – and we’d like to share them with you. New Year resolutions are great – they’re always so positive. Hopefully they’ll give you some ideas for what you’d like to achieve. And, if you’d value a few expert tips on how to keep them, Liz Crowe and Jesse Spur have produced a podcast on just that – link at the end of the blog.
So, here we go with the team’s resolutions for 2023:
RICK BODY: Professionally, my resolution is to be more proactive. Sometimes, with all the busy-ness, we can become forever reactive – just getting the shifts done, replying to emails, and I can spend all my time looking at work that other people have written. All of that is so important, but you also have to reserve some time for being proactive – doing new things that you feel passionately about. That might mean having a new idea and seeing it through. For me, that might be grant applications or blog posts or podcasts – or maybe something entirely different.
Personally, I have to admit that I’ve let my mind get a bit preoccupied lately, and I’d like to sort that out. So my resolution is to stop worrying about making plans for the long term but rather to live for the moment, have more fun and in doing so help others to have more fun. Life’s short – we all need to make the most of it.
NICK SMITH: I have two: (1) Stop procastinating for so long; and JFDI (Just F**king Do It). And (2) Stop saying yes to everyone!
RICH CARDEN: Professional: Get through my PhD viva and FRCEM exams. Personal: Make clearer boundaries between work and family time
ANISA JAFAR: Personal: Hmmm, this is hard. Probably to absorb as much of my children as they are in their current state because for some reason they keep growing.
Professional: If the interest/importance level of the activity is persistently low, re-evaluate, detach and move on quicker.
LAURA HOWARD: Professional: Submit my CESR application. Personal: Have a family summer holiday this year to thank them for the help and support they gave me while studying for exams over the last few years.
LIZ CROWE: Personal: My word for the year is ’space’. I had been aiming for more sleep but it is midnight and I always get up at 5am, so on the 4th of Jan I am abandoning sleep and going for creating space to do things I want rather than have to do. I have gone to yoga three times this year and am trying to learn how to be still and quiet as part of ’space’.
Professional: I want to get formal qualifications in mediation and continue to be challenged!
SIMON CARLEY: Professional: Find time by letting some jobs pass to other (arguably more competent) colleagues to make space for new projects.
Personal: I’m looking forward to being able to ride on the road again [Ed – that means a return to the wonderful cycling – Simon has always been a keen cyclist] and to go back to slightly dangerous sports! [Ed – 😬]
JANOS BAOMBE: Professional: Continue on delivering my non-clinical/managerial role despite the hospital and world burning down around me. Personal: Love him even more and make more sweet memories together [Ed – Aaah 😍]
DAN HORNER: Professional: Make more time in between grant applications and paper writing for my own continuing professional development (CPD). I always think writing a paper is kind of CPD anyway. It is not.
Personal: We are getting a puppy on Sunday. My life goals for 2023 with four kids and a puppy????… Survival…
[Ed – Here’s a mandatory interlude to look at Dan’s new puppy. I mean how could we not?]
CHRIS GRAY: Professional: Finish training and try to survive as a new consultant without saying yes to too many things. Personal: Improve my time management to make the most of my free hours, keep running and get a sub 2–hour half marathon time (the goals!).
STEVAN BRUIJNS: I will be reducing my hours and making up the different through locum shifts. We’ll see how that goes!
NAT MAY: Personal: Get back to half marathon fitness by the end of the year (that’s SMART, right). Professional: I want to work out how best to disseminate the human factors training I’ve been doing with aviation crews (which may mean publication, but I’m not entirely sure how that’ll work). If not then blog/podcast/videos!…
ASHLEY LEIBIG: Personal: Not to build any more houses! Two in two years was enough. I would like to see friends again… Spend time with the people I’ve missed while in crisis mode. [Ed: Ash has built her own house in the last year. Please be seriously impressed]
Professional: Complete my certification as a sexual assault nurse examiner/forensics nurse. This is already well underway, and so it is attainable in the next several months.
ZAF QASIM: Professional: Develop my mentoring skills to give a little back to those now climbing the professional ladder. Also, push the (US) envelope and develop a prehospital physician response team.
Personal: Re-“kindle” (perhaps pun intended) my previous love of non-medical reading. It’s been too long since I’ve become lost in a good book.
So that’s it, from across our team. What are yours? Let’s see if we’ve all kept them come 31st December 2023 when corridor medicine will be a luxury of yesteryear and we’ll be looking at the intricacies of pavement medicine. Actually let’s hope not. Let’s hope for a great, fulfilling, happy and fun year. You do important work. You’re amazing. Always remember that.
Oh, and before we go, I promised you some expert tips on how to keep your New Year Resolutions. Well, here are Liz and Jesse talking about how to be SMART about your New Year resolutions. Check it out right here!