What are your expectations for 2022? None? Cool, we’re on the same page.

January 5, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources, ,

We are still in Week 1 of 2022! While the year has changed, some things remain the same: the pandemic is still ongoing and work is constantly changing. 

For almost two years, plans, goals, hopes and dreams were put on hold. Everyone has been trying to “just get by.” 

This is the time of year when new year’s resolutions are created and people dive into them like champion swimmers. Well, what if your new year resolution was to not have any at all? Instead, think about your goals as lifestyle changes. Because without changes to your old way of life, new ones will be nearly impossible to create. 

The work/home life is an ever-changing scale and many resolutions are centered around trying to achieve the perfect balance between the two. There are, in fact, ways to create a lifestyle that supports work/home balance without having either side take over your life. 

With that in mind, here are a few tips and tricks to help you manage what’s ahead in 2022: 

  • Create habits, not resolutions 
    • Instead of trying to keep up with an unrealistic goal, try to recreate old habits or define new small habits. Say you want to eat healthier in 2022. Instead of completely changing your diet in January, start with small changes like eating more fruit for breakfast, removing tempting snacks from your pantry or drinking more water. By creating the smaller habits (and sticking with them) the end result won’t seem overwhelming or unachievable.  
  • Choosing a goal that really means something to you
    • The past two years taught us to be selective about things that are not among our immediate needs. There has been a wave of reflection, purging and problem-solving, which gives power to only choosing things in life that you care about. Take time to assess what really matters to you and go after it! 
  • Plan how to overcome barriers
    • Another lesson learned over the course of the pandemic is intense problem-solving. Virtual learning, remote work, continuous patient care, lockdowns and so much more, forced everyone to make critical decisions within short periods of time. Now that the unexpected is expected, planning for future barriers can reduce stress when the time comes. 
  • Understanding causes and solutions for burnout 
    • Burnout can come in many forms. Each person experiences different levels of burnout, which can range from neglecting personal care and needs, withdrawal, behavioral changes, to mental or physical exhaustion or collapse. Burnout also has an impact on the organization’s culture and can lead to decreased productivity and increased turnover. So what can you do to help? First, understand the causes of burnout from the organizational, work and individual levels. The Burnout Toolkit has research based information and resources for leaders, teams and individuals. Second, support solutions for burnout including — but not limited to — practicing HRO skills to improve team culture, being intentional about your department’s well-being through encouragement of PTO and flexibility and utilizing performance valuations to help further goals. 
  • Giving recognition 
    • Michigan Medicine is lucky to have colleagues who consistently take on additional responsibilities while remaining dedicated to the mission, vision and values of the organization. With the current health crisis causing rapid changes in technology and workflow, many colleagues are working longer hours, stretched thin with work/home flexibility and other circumstances. In this moment, everyone needs to know they are valued by leadership and their peers. Take a minute to send an email, text or visit the recognition site to acknowledge a colleague for their contributions to the organization. Every Michigan Medicine employee is valued. 
    • Family members, spouses, friends and children also need to be recognized. People want to feel seen and validated. They want to feel like you care. A simple “Thank you for doing that” or “I’m so proud of you” can have a significant impact in relationships. A little positive reinforcement goes a long way. 

Moral of the story: Be compassionate with yourself and practice self-care. Plan ahead to the extent possible, and let your best self shine. And collaborate with others — because colleagues need love and support too!

Have you adapted a habit that supports work/home balance or an improved lifestyle? Send it to us at headlines@med.umich.edu!