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New Year – new fail?

So many of us start off the new year full of burning enthusiasm and desire to become ‘the best version of ourselves’. We set lofty goals, and at the time, we really mean them. However, typically this involves changing some long-standing behaviours which is actually one of the most difficult things to do. This is particularly true for veterinary staff who inevitably work shift patterns that change on a week by week basis.

So, how do we set our New Year’s Resolutions so that we can start the year with a win, instead of crashing out in the first couple of weeks? And if we do go back on them, does that really mean it’s all over? Of course not!

Be realistic

When you set your goals, be realistic about what you can achieve. For example, resolving to join a gym and go every evening after your shift, or every morning before your shift is probably unreasonable. Instead, commit to going three times a week. If you have a regular shift pattern, set yourself certain days you’ll go. If you get into a routine, it will be easier to follow, and you’ll be more likely to stick to it. If your shifts change, at the beginning of each cycle mark the three days you’ll go on the calendar. It helps you to stick to the commitment if you can see it written down!

Consider costs

Whilst permanently giving up smoking or quitting the booze for a while will see a few extra pounds in your purse at the end of the month, many New Year’s resolutions will incur additional expense. Gym memberships, appropriate clothing, even potential transport and parking costs all will be an extra burden on your monthly budget. Changing diets can be expensive too, with certain regimes pushing up the weekly shopping bill. Before committing to anything, be sure you can afford to keep it up.

Enlist support

There are no two ways about it, teamwork helps make goals a reality. Whether it’s Dry January, quitting smoking or going to the gym regularly, you’re more likely to succeed if you have people supporting your goals. So, enlist a friend to embark on your resolution with you. Failing that, tell friends, colleagues and family members what your aim is and get them to check in with you regularly. The more people you have to confess breaking that resolution to, the more likely the thought of it will keep you on track!

Don’t give up

Many New Year’s Resolutions are made in the spirit of doing something that is good for us: more exercise, healthier eating, cutting back on alcohol or cigarettes. There’s a clear benefit, physically and mentally, to achieving these goals. So, you’ve already broken a resolution? So what? Every now and then things happen, and we all have a moment of weakness. Breaking a New Year’s resolution doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means you’ve stumbled. If you ate chocolate cake, didn’t make it to the gym this week, had a sneaky cigarette or enjoyed a glass of wine on a school night, it doesn’t have to mean the end of the resolution. Resolve instead to start again now and give yourself a second chance to achieve your goals.

  • Pet Medic Recruitment is a leading recruiter for the veterinary industry and supplies staff nationwide, including part time, full time, Locum and permanent roles. If your New Year’s Resolution list includes a better work-life balance, new challenges or simply a fresh start, please get in touch with us at