This is the time of year for resolutions. I always dread heading to the gym during January because it seems everyone has made a resolution to get back in shape and suddenly there’s a crowd competing for space and equipment. This too shall pass. How do I know? Because it happens every year. Well-meaning individuals pledge to get fit and start the year out with a bang, but by March 1st the resolution has pretty much fizzled and I get the gym back to myself. Well, me and the other regulars.
That’s the thing about resolutions. Not everyone will stick to them. But there is some real science behind forming and sustaining new habits. It’s not enough to wish for success, you need to plan for it. And part of that plan needs to be creating a solid support system. Having a buddy helps you stick to your resolution by holding you accountable and supporting you when you get discouraged. A buddy can be your ticket to success.
There are so many situations in life, beyond New Year’s resolutions, where a buddy can help you stay the course. During several of our workshops, we encourage attendees to pair up with a learning partner to test ideas and practice new skills. Having that learning partner or buddy is pivotal to shaping new habits.
It’s my sincere hope that many of you will be making resolutions to improve the patient experience in some way in 2016. Maybe it’s to be more present for your patients. Maybe it’s to become a more active listener or more conscious of hand offs. Whatever it is, find someone who will support you, remind you, and even challenge you when you fall short. Change is hard but the journey will be much more enjoyable with a buddy.