New Year’s Resolutions for Physicians, Made Easy!

Somewhere along the path of my medical career, I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions. Like all busy doctors in practice, I didn’t have time to put much thought into it. The obvious things that came to mind like “Get more sleep, exercise, spend more time with the kids” had been on my list forever and I hadn’t made progress. Printing those things in black and white just made my failure more obvious and made me feel guilty. Gigantic projects like “find a new career” were daunting. The whole exercise seemed pointless, because deep down I didn’t think any significant life changes would spring forth from a list I jotted down.

Now, after years of studying the secrets of successful people, I know that lists, New Years Resolutions included, are an important tool for implementing change.

The key is to know how to make a list that is do-able and that drives action. Each item on a list should be very detailed and specific.

The big mistake made by most people is to write down ideas that are too grand and that are actually a summary of a multitude of steps.

Assuming you are interested in improving your current career since you are visiting my website, let’s go with an example New Years Resolution List that would apply to any doctor who is just beginning to learn about the career transition process.

First, the WRONG WAY:

  1. Get a new job
  2. Make more money
  3. Spend time with the kids
  4. Exercise

When you read that list, do you really have any idea where to start or what to do? No. Each task is too general and overwhelming.

Action List for Beginning a Career Change

Here is a better list, and one you can feel free to use:

  1. Update CV
  2. Learn how resumes and CVs are different
  3. Create a basic Linked in profile
  4. Obtain a professional head shot
  5. Make a list of skills
  6. Make a list of dislikes about current career
  7. Make a list of goals for future career
  8. Read through Dr. Julia Kinder’s blogs and website for information on career transitioning
  9. Set up a complimentary call with Dr. Kinder to ask burning questions about career transitioning (Insert link to contact page here)
  10. Learn where to look for jobs

A list like this one contains steps you could easily do during your regular, daily routine. Try dictating into your phone a list of dislikes about your current career while driving home after work; I’ll bet ideas will flow freely!

Lists that have very detailed items will give hope that you can make progress, and give a feeling of success when a task is completed. Your mood will improve, and you will have more energy.

It’s like the old saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Do not put “eat an elephant” on your list. Break it down into bite-size pieces.

On your sample list, I have not provided exact steps for the goals of make more money, spend time with the kids, and exercise, because those will all fall easily into place once you have left the shackles of your current career for a non-clinical career. Yes, there are plenty of careers where you can earn more money with free time for life balance. But more on that in another blog.

For now, print the list I provided and get started on your career transition.

Happy New Year!