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Steeling your resolve

How to give up on giving up

Maryalicia Post

Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2019

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Did you know that the 12th of January is ‘Quitter’s Day’? According to a survey undertaken by Strava, 12 days into the new year is the day most people give up on their new year’s resolutions.

I’ve skirted that disaster by not having started yet. My resolve is to read the Guinness World Records’ longest novel. It’s Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. I downloaded it in its entirety to my Kindle for a mere 42 pence. That was the easy part.

As an ophthalmologist your resolution may focus on achieving a satisfactory work/life balance. A recent edition of EuroTimes Eye Contact took up that question. Sorcha Ní Dhubhghaill talked to Luke Sansom and Joséphine Behaegel about the challenges facing ophthalmologists in finding a work-life balance. They stressed that cooperation and understanding between physicians and their family members was essential to achieving this goal. The Mayo Clinic offers advice too. This article on work/life balance for the physician suggest some practical approaches.

Whatever your resolutions, you’ll go farther if you take small steps. Research (Int J Psychiatry Med 2012;43(2):119-128) suggests a better work/life balance could start with an introduction to mindfulness; first step: to research resources near you. Mindfulness can be learned on your own, through books, apps or YouTube videos but good instruction speeds you on your way.

Don’t insist on going it alone. Ask for support. Just as work/life balance requires the cooperation of family and friends, a resolution to improve the business side of your ophthalmology practice, would involve your co-workers. Patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction often begins at the door with the ophthalmologist’s assistants and receptionists.

No matter what your goal, there’s an app for keeping track of your progress. One of the most popular is HabitBull, which is free for iPhone and Android. Another is Strides, which is free on the web. There’s an interesting discussion of the best of apps here.

And there’s an article on the likelihood of success with one of these apps and how to improve your chances here.

As for my own resolution, estimated reading time for In Search of Lost Time is 80 hours. So 13 minutes a day for the next 365 days should do it. Wish me luck.