Helping Nurses "Live Smarter Not Harder" by Balancing the Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

Posts tagged ‘Mental Health’

2014 Resolutions – Really?

????????????????????????????????????????It seems like only yesterday we were anticipating 2014 as a New Year. We made resolutions and desired new beginnings like we always do. Well, March is here and I am here to remind you that your goals are NOT unreachable, and there’s no better time than the present to start transforming your life! Forget Resolutions! Make your New Year’s start today.

2014 is the year of Transcendence. This is the year to take your life and career to the next level. To transcend is to rise above, outdo or exceed in excellence.

Before you can transcend you need to begin with transformation.  As you transform (undergo a change in form, appearance or character) and grow internally, you must value that change.  Allow it to motivate and inspire you to take your game to the next level. As we take this time to reflect on 2013 and plan for new things to come, let me share with you how to identify and reach your goals for 2014.

Mind, body, soul and spirit. The four aspects that direct every phase of our lives. Everything begins with a thought. Mindfulness is the place to begin your transformation. Think about your future.  I mean really THINK about it.  Take time to look at how, who, what and where you spend your time.  This will allow you to assess and understand how certain things fit into your life purpose and what doesn’t.  Taking an assessment of your life is the first step in developing the mindfulness necessary to begin the process of transformation.

As a life coach, I help many nursing leaders begin their transformation and begin to reach their goals by asking these few questions.

  • Where have I been?

Many times we don’t ask this question. Sometimes we want to forget our past. If you don’t know and understand your past, you will repeat it over and over again.  This may be okay for the good things you’ve done, although there is no benefit in repeating those choices that have a negative impact in our lives. Insanity is repeating things that have a proven negative outcome and expecting a positive result.

  • Where am I at in my life right now?

Are you growing in your career or as an individual? Are you experiencing satisfaction, fulfillment? Do you even think it is possible? Assessing your potential for fulfillment will help propel you toward your purpose.  Change isn’t easy; it may even be scary or painful and, believe me, it’s rarely comfortable. If you are very comfortable where you are, it may be an indication that it’s time to make a change.

  • Who is in my life right now?

We need to look at the people in our lives. Are they promoting or hindering our goals? When we are growing personally and/or professionally, everyone will not, or cannot, support you. In order to move forward you may have to leave some people behind. By letting go, you make room for new relationships and experiences. The saying goes: “if you are the smartest person in the room you need to change the room.”

  • Why am I doing what I’m doing?

What challenges you? What motivates you, inspires you or brings you joy (an inside job)? These are very deep questions and you really need some time to focus on them.

  • Do I have a specific goal?

This is actually a question that will begin to lead you on the path toward your purpose. Without specific goals we wander aimlessly. There are so many paths to choose in life and our careers.  Sometimes we don’t make a choice for fear of choosing the wrong thing.  Without purposeful decision-making, you open the door for others to decide for you.  Your children, spouses, parents, bosses and peers will choose for you according to their own agendas or else outside circumstances will dictate your path.  “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” *

As nursing leaders we often feel we are last on the list of priorities.  I believe this leads to frustration, overwhelm and disappointment in our careers and personal lives. When will you begin to implement an assessment on your life?  Here are a few tips to get you started:

In order to transform your mind, you must make time to spend with yourself.  Put the children to bed early for a few evenings. Take yourself to dinner alone.

Have a spa day. For those who can’t see themselves doing this, you can think about it before work or after work on the bus or in your car before you go home.

If you really want something bad enough, you WILL make time for it.

Transcendence. 2014 is the year of transcendence. The year to take action and have your life and career exceed your expectations. Transform, then Transcend! Aligning your mind, body, soul and spirit to discover your purpose. It’s about your legacy.

What will you do to make 2014 your year of transformation into transcendence?

*― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern

Gentleman, 1955-1967

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

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I’m Banking on Nursing Leaders

ImageRecently I went to a bank to make some changes to my accounts. My banker, Jonathan, set out to help me. It was such a pleasure to be able to explain my needs and have him translate the vision of what I wanted my money to do for me. What was really obvious to me was that Jonathan knew what he was doing. He was well versed in the products that the bank offered. He used some critical thinking to determine what products would work for me and he was adept in applying that knowledge. He helped me set up my phone so I could bank by phone. He even went the extra mile to test the apps to make sure they worked before I left the bank.

This experience had me think about healthcare and nursing today. Many nurses, especially the “boomer” nurses, don’t like it, but healthcare is changing to a customer satisfaction, cost containment driven business.

Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and home cares are now going to have their patient satisfaction surveys published. Poor scores will no doubt lead to difficulty developing healthcare partner relationships and may lead to decreased reimbursement and loss of revenue.

As nursing leaders, today we have to accept that things are changing. As leaders within healthcare organizations, we are becoming responsible for those patient satisfaction surveys along with patient outcomes. First, we need to understand what’s happening in healthcare today and what the trends are. Secondly, we need to understand the products. Affordable Care Act, Medicare/Medicaid/ insurance regulations, evidence based practice and your Nurse Practice Act, to name a few.

Lastly, like my banker Jonathan, nursing leaders need to be adept in applying the knowledge they have. Some long for the days when “Nursing was Nursing” but those times had their challenges also. I remember medications had to be copied each week by hand onto a Kardex (dating myself), now we have electronic medical records that can be shared across the continuum.

Nostalgia has its place. Today we need to operate in the style of servant leadership, where you are the facilitator and translator of the vision.

Mastering balance between your mind, body, soul and spirit is the key to effective leadership. Get the tools, understand the mindset of the big picture, and apply the knowledge with confidence and finesse. This will allow you to do your job well. Your staff, patients and organizations will experience the best nursing has to offer, YOU, the nursing leader. To remain successful and find joy in your work you must secure resources, find a mentor and have a safe place where you can be renewed and find support. This is essential in mastering your legacy of leadership. After all, you can’t give what you don’t have!

How are you navigating the changing world of managing staff in the quickly changing healthcare scene?

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

Does The End Justify The Means?

The_End_iStock_000011280905Small (2)As parents, we can often become defined by our children and family life. Empty nest syndrome is when some parents go into depression after their kids leave home. At some point those parents identified the tasks associated with raising a family and related those tasks to who they were as individuals.

As nurse’s leaders, at times, we see our jobs as sets of tasks. We begin to believe we are not just judged by our tasks but feel we personally defined by the  outcomes of those tasks. Some even say they don’t want to retire because they feel they’ll die if they’re not working – mostly because they don’t have anything to look forward to (Empty nest working syndrome).

Nursing leaders are sometimes  fooled into thinking they are defined by the outcomes of certain tasks. In nursing management, we are expected to “produce” good patient outcomes, keep staff motivated and focused on the mission of the organization. What we often don’t remember, is that we are dealing with a variable product… People.

People come in all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds cultures and issues. This is true of our patients, our staff and yes, even you. This is why you can’t be defined by the outcomes. I am not talking about accountability. For instance, Mr. A needs a certain medication. It’s your job to see that he takes that medication. If you are tied to that outcome, that he MUST take that medication, you may consider forcing him to take it (before you say “unbelievable”, look at the history before patient’s rights came into being). The belief becomes, “It will reflect badly on me if he doesn’t take the pill.” Whose decision and whose outcome is it really?

If as a nursing leader you are tasked with productivity of staff (and you are tied to the outcome), you may inadvertently put them in a position of working under dangerous conditions. The leader that needs to exert high levels of control and does not allow much input from anyone else is a leader who is trying to control the outcome. These leaders usually feel the need to penalize when errors are made instead of teaching because they feel defined by the outcome. They see problems and solutions as their own. These leaders perpetuate the mantra, “nurses eat their young.”

Your priority, as a nursing leader, needs to focus on the process not the outcome. As a leader, we are responsible to define the process. The process is what anyone with the basic skills could follow and keep them on the path to be successful. If you focus on the process, you won’t focus so much on the individual tasks at hand. You can help find the solution and embrace the outcome. It doesn’t become all about you.

An effective leader will strive for the expected positive outcome always keeping the variables in mind, “the people factor” and the process. Learning and growing is a process. Mistakes are inevitable. We can teach other how to minimize mistakes and learn from them through analyzing, implementing and adhering to processes. On the practical level, when things go wrong, following the process will help you identify gaps in learning and practice of your staff. It will eliminate the need for you to be right.

When nursing leaders remain personally detached from the outcome and focus on the process they become better able to help other nurses without being emotional or reactive. When we do this we will all be less judgmental and provide consistency for those we lead.

What situations have you dealt with where the means did or did not justify the end result?

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. Her nursing practice includes bedside nursing, Hospital, SNF, Homecare and other areas of healthcare. Credentials include a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration, several certifications, military service and work with several community and professional organizations. For more information about coaching with Naomi visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com

Live Smarter Not Harder in 2012

2011 was a difficult year to say the least. Oprah left the air.  Regimes that have stood for over 40 years toppled.  Many of our own leaders were involved in scandals as they attempted to legislate morality to the rest of us.  We continue to be in the worst recession ever and people are hurting everywhere. People need answers! What are you going to do in 2012 to make your life better and influence the lives of others?

Here are 3 tips to help you “live smarter not harder” in 2012.

1. Clear the clutter out of your environment. – Clutter leads to confusion and indecisiveness. Are you looking for things and can’t find them or finding things you forgot you had?  Organizing your physical environment is a great beginning to help you get and keep your mind clear and your thoughts in order.

2. Take time for reflection. –  All too often we are sooo… busy.  We move from one task to another quickly without even thinking.   How can you figure out where you’re going if you never take time to think about where you’ve been or better yet, where you are?   In order to determine your path in this journey of life, and make things happen, take some time to reflect.

3. Take action! – Procrastination is the major killer of potential.  We are all born with the potential to be great at something.  By staying in situations where we are comfortable and not challenged, we slow our personal growth and end up not living the life we were meant to live.  Take action!  Stretch out. Start small but stay persistent.  When one goal is accomplished, take time to assess, reflect and evaluate it’s impact on your overall life as you prepare to move to the next goal.  Don’t stop!   See how your life will blossom and living life becomes easier and more enjoyable .

There are many more tips to living ” smarter not harder” which I will share throughout 2012. Subscribe to my blog and join the journey of transformation and live the BEST LIFE EVER.

Please share your tips on what you do to grow and make life fabulous.  Respond @LifeCoachRN.wordpress.com

“Your Journey…It’s All Connected!”

Naomi D. Jones – LifeCoachRN

Find me on: www.LifeCoachRN.com www.twitter.com/lifecoachrn Like my fb fan page @ http://www.facebook.com/LifeCoachRN

Stress

Our jobs as nurses lead to a lot of stress.    Stress affects our emotions which affects how we learn and behave.   We think we manage it well because we get the job done. (and well I might add). But what do we do with those emotions?  Most times we turn them inward.   If we can’t learn about ourselves and our staff, (due to stress)  we can’t move ahead.   If we can’t move ahead we will not feel a sense of accomplishment or fulfillment.  Without those feelings we get burnt out.  Burnout is well-known to lead to an increase medical errors affecting our patients and also  it leads to health issues for nurses, apathy and irritation with each other.  If we do not learn how to handle stress, we nurses, as a profession are in deep trouble. 

We need to take charge of our lives!  We need to recognize and deal with stress.   Excercise, yoga and  meditation are some well-known ways to decrease stress.  I like to travel and read to relieve stress in my life.  If you want to live a more peaceful and contented life, make changes in your life.  Become aware of and manage those things  that “stress” you out.  Sometimes it may just to “forget about it” 

How do you handle stress?