Though it comes the same time every year, the New Year's holiday evokes anxiety in people who feel the need to "make resolutions" as they approach the new year.  I take a different approach.  Think of your resolution as a suggestion.  Don't put so much pressure on yourself.

For those of us working in the world of patient advocacy, please consider these 'suggestions' as you enter the New Year.

1.  Stay true to who you are.  As a comedian whose name escapes me once said, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken."

2.  Know what you're good at. 

3.  Be compassionate.  In our job, it always helps.

4.  Take time for yourself.  Or you won't be much help for anyone else.

5.  Seek help from others, even if you have to pay for it.  You can't know everything about your business, or about that new patient's diagnosis. Reach out for help when you need it.

6.  Maintain good relationships.  Never burn any bridges because healthcare (and the world) is small.  You don't want to be dealing next year with someone you pissed off this year. 

7.  Keep current and up to date.  Healthcare is a vibrant, ever-changing business.  You can't know everything (back to #5) but you should be up-to-date on trends, news-related issues, etc. 

8.  Focus. Know where you want to go and never give up. Never.

9.   In keeping with that focus, and never giving up, don't be afraid to reevaluate your game plan from time to time. 

10.  Have fun!  You're working hard, make sure you take time to enjoy yourself.  Otherwise, what's the point?  Work to live, not live to work!