a new approach to new year resolutions

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For many, a new year means a fresh start. Setting new goals and new resolutions. You may have set a few of your own. You definitely saw your fair share of other people’s on social media. Working to better yourself is a worthy endeavor, whether you’re inspired by the new year or not. But the important thing is not setting the goals, it’s if you follow through and complete them.

Jen Miller at the New York Times says, “A lot of these resolutions fail because they’re not the right resolutions. And a resolution may be wrong for one of three main reasons: 1. It’s a resolution created based on what someone else (or society) is telling you to change. 2. It’s too vague. 3. You don’t have a realistic plan for achieving your resolution.”

When setting a goal for yourself, think about if it hits any of those three points above. If it does, it might be a good idea to take a step back and rethink things.

Why set resolutions you won’t keep? Set practical goals that you are able to keep and focus on achieving them daily.” – A.C. Green

Let’s apply this to popular resolutions like going to the gym or quitting smoking. These start out with good intentions but typically fizzle out by the time February comes around. It’s all about setting actual goals. “Going to the gym” should be “I will attend Hot Pole Pilates twice a week”. “I will quit smoking” should be “I will cut back one cigarette each week”. See the difference?

A.C. Green, Ambulnz Brand Ambassador and Master of Motivation, has dedicated most of his life helping others set goals and achieving them. His work, mainly through his foundation, has helped hundreds and hundreds of underserved youths in the LA area set goals to break the cycle of poverty many are stuck in. When it comes to new year’s resolutions, Green gave us this piece of wisdom, “Why set resolutions you won’t keep? Set practical goals that you are able to keep and focus on achieving them daily.”

Start the year off by requesting a sit down with your supervisor and have a discussion about your performance and see if there are any areas or skills they think you can work on. No one is perfect. But working together on a plan that would get you to the level you would like to be at shows you’re looking to improve.

If your goal is to go for a new job at a higher level of service, talk with EMTs or Paramedics who have made this change and get their thoughts. They could have great advice on hurdles you’ll face, helpful shortcuts you can take, or just general encouragement. If your goal is to find a company whose mission is more aligned with your personal goals, look into making a change. There’s no reason you should take such a big step without utilizing all the resources and people around you.

One resolution that applies to most people, but also EMTs, is to increase your income. This has been the goal of Ambulnz from the beginning, increasing compensation for EMTs in an industry that’s been stuck with the term “minimum wage”. Try talking with your supervisor about picking up more shifts each week. Maybe it’s even with a different partner. You could track the number of calls you make each day in a week, and look for ways to improves in the route you take and at the different pick up and drop off locations you frequent. Maximizing your time means more money for you.

Don’t get us wrong. Resolutions are great tools for self improvement, whether it’s starting a new habit or breaking an old one. What’s important is that they need to be reasonable and achievable. If you’re looking to make a change, big or small, really consider the steps you will need to take, the obstacles you will face so you’re that much closer to making them a reality.  

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