Over the years I have made quite a lot of New Year’s Resolutions, but I cannot remember what most of them are and I am really not sure if I achieved any of them.
Apparently, the most popular resolutions relate to being healthier, for example losing weight and stopping, or at least reducing, smoking and drinking habits. Others include being happier, spending more time with friends and family and doing more to help others. These same things are also cited as some of the 88% of resolutions that are most commonly not achieved. I guess all of my previous attempts are in that category somewhere.
Over the Christmas holiday period I read a lovely short book called The Bright Side, written by Kate Granger, and she has changed my thinking on making resolutions. Kate is an English doctor who, in 2011 at the age of 29, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. During her subsequent admissions to hospital she started to use Twitter to share her thoughts, fears and experiences and I started to follow her journey. Her strongest message while in hospital was for all staff to introduce themselves before every interaction. This message spread internationally with thousands of staff supporting a ‘Hello my name is…..’ campaign and soon badges were available. Of course I have one.
Kate turned her reflections about her health care into a short book called The Other Side which I read last year. It’s pretty challenging but it reminds us all about why we need to make every experience a great experience; for staff delivering care and, of course, for patients and their whaanau who receive our care.
The Bright Side is the sequel to The Other Side and it is actually quite different. There are a few insights about her health care but mostly Kate describes her return to work following a decision not to continue with active treatment for her cancer. It also describes how she creates ‘the bucket list’, a list that she never thought would be possible to do or achieve. This list ranged from buying an expensive handbag to a parachute jump and a range of interesting things in between, including raising money for the Yorkshire Cancer Centre. As I read on I felt that I wanted to do some of the things Kate had planned, I wanted to make a bucket list for myself; and I have.
In her book Kate suggests to readers that we should not wait for a critical life event to achieve some of the things we know we would like to do and I think she’s right. Of course being as healthy as possible and spending precious time with friends and family are important but I think these can be included in or be a consequence of ‘The Bucket List’.
I have already accomplished some of the items on my list and it feels good.
Steve, my husband, and I have talked for nearly two years about walking to the top of Mount Maunganui at dawn to watch the sun rise. After just six days on the list we got up at 5am one morning and made it happen. Not only was the view absolutely wonderful but we power walked to the top and this has contributed to our fitness. Special events with friends and family are being arranged and I am strengthening plans to help others in a way that I have not considered before.
So, what’s the difference between a New Year’s Resolution and A Bucket List? I think it’s not about either/or, rather it’s about combining both so that the result feels more achievable, incorporates areas of ambition and feels like fun.
Why don’t you take Kate’s advice too. Don’t wait for a critical life event to achieve some of the things you know you would like to do. Start it NOW!
If you want to read more about Kate, click here
New Year Resolution – a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice for people beginning from New Year’s Day
Bucket list– a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime