Bust of the god Janus, Vatican museum, Rome

Bust of the god Janus, Vatican museum, Rome. Image via Wikipedia

By Peggy McDaniel, BSN, RN, infusion practice manager

I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions. I guess it’s because I know I won’t keep them—or at least recognize that my track record has been less than stellar. I’ve made the usual promises to myself: eat less, exercise more, learn a new craft, spend more time reading and less time on the Internet . . . and so on.

It seems as if such promises are made with tongue in cheek—even, possibly, made to be broken. So many resolutions are about self-improvement; I suppose that’s a good thing, except we don’t tend to follow through. The yoga classes I attend are always packed from January 2 through approximately March 15, then attendance slowly tapers back to the usual attendees. Do we feel we’ve been successful if we hang in there for a month, two or three months?

I’m not sure I’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution I really planned on keeping.

According to Wikipedia, the Roman ruler Julius Caesar changed the celebration for New Year’s from March to January 1 in 46 B.C. The day was “dedicated to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings,” who happened to have a face on both sides of his head. This signified the ability to look back and forward at the same time.

That’s something worthwhile—looking back at what we can and should change while looking forward in expectation and taking the opportunity do so. Other cultures celebrate New Year’s on different dates, based on their own calendars. No matter where or when, the idea of a new year, or a new beginning, is celebrated in a variety of ways around the world and has been for thousands of years.

As a nurse, what does the start of a New Year mean to you? This year will find me fulfilling a long-time dream to work in another country. Will it be my best job ever, although I have experienced so many exciting opportunities as a nurse? Only time will tell, but it is exciting just the same. Are you looking to make changes relating to your nursing career? A move to a new facility, or a new position? Will you make a move to management or back to the bedside? Is anyone starting school? What other resolutions are you considering, and how will you hold yourself accountable so you will be successful? Doesn’t a resolution start with the dream of becoming a little different, making some changes to enhance your life?

May your 2011 be the year of resolutions not only made, but kept. Happy New Year!

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