Sabrina L. Reilly: Rethinking Resolutions

Happy New Year! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? If not, consider a new approach for 2016.

New Year’s resolutions frequently lack introspection and are grounded in a problem-oriented mindset—lose weight, work harder, spend less, get organized … the message is BE BETTER. Resolution making is inherently an exercise in shaming ourselves to do better. No wonder a mere 8% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions are successful in achieving them, according to the Statistics Brain Research Institute.

I think we can all do better by getting in touch with what inspires us, motivates us, and makes us happy. Try a new way of thinking about resolutions by using what’s called an appreciative inquiry (AI) framework.

AI was made popular by David L. Cooperrider, PhD, and is a form of inquiry that seeks to transform your untapped and unrealized skills and capacities into an actionable mission for your life, one filled with positive energy and passion.

Taking time to ask and answer fundamental questions about what has made you feel fulfilled and happy in prior personal and professional experiences can open you up to more of them in the future.

First, start by identifying and appreciating the best of “what is” by thinking of a time in your career when you felt motivated, empowered, and inspired by your work. What was happening in the environment to make you feel that way? Did you solve a problem that saved a lot of money? Were you part of a team of smart and supportive coworkers? Maybe you were leading that team? Did you have a lot of responsibility you’d never had before? Were you given opportunities to speak before large groups to share your knowledge?

Next, start dreaming about “what might be.” This is your chance to think big by envisioning the results you want for yourself.

Then, start designing the ideal future state, the “what should be.” This is where you can set short- and long-term goals. Finish up with a plan to sustain that ideal state.

Perhaps you’ve realized that managing people is strength of yours and gives you enjoyment. Then consider getting certified so you can lead your HTM department.

Remember that time when you had a great interaction with the nursing staff in your hospital about ways to improve use of a device? Consider initiating quarterly meetings with the clinical staff to share ideas on safe and effective device use.

Do you want to meet more HTM professionals outside your company to share your best practices and hear their ideas? Then commit to being more intentional about networking by attending the AAMI Annual Conference or joining your local biomed society.

Do you like sharing your knowledge with others? Then consider becoming an instructor or write an article for an AAMI publication.

If you like to help others in the field chart their career, become a mentor.

The important thing is to be positive. Think big. Start small. And always measure your successes, even the little ones, and spend time to celebrate them.

Make 2016 the year you resolve to invest in you and your future by committing to positive thinking and appreciative inquiry.

Try this new approach to resolution making, and let me know me if it makes a positive difference in your career.

Sabrina L. Reilly, MA, is vice president of membership and marketing at AAMI.

One thought on “Sabrina L. Reilly: Rethinking Resolutions

  1. One of the best resolutions any true HTM professional can make is to never allow an equipment salesman to have a “demo” sticker for a piece of medical equipment without first providing you with a .pdf copy of the full factory service manual for the device he intends to demo. First off, this is the only time in the device life cycle when you have leverage to get the real, NFPA-99 complaint factory service manual. Second, without said manual, one can’t actually do a competent job of vetting or testing the device without reading thru the manual. And third, own the responsibility one has to the hospital and future biomeds that will have to service the device. For every biomed who does not have a service manual they need, an HTM professional failed in their duty at the time a salesman presented the device in the CE dept for a “demo” sticker. So here is a great resolution to make: Don’t be part of the service manual problem. Be part of the solution.
    Happy Biomedical New Year!

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