You're already dealing with the daily challenges of being a doctor, and when you have to take extra stress on at work and in your personal life, how can you be expected to work on your goals?
Increased stress can turn our lives completely upside-down. And if you're struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or if dreaming up new goals feels less and less motivating, you're not alone. Here are 8 tips for keep your goals in view (and motivation high!).
Adopt a Growth Mindset
Your mindset is all your core beliefs that guide critical decisions in your life. They prevent you from—or allow you to—take on challenges.
The funny thing about your mindsets is that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your actions will follow whichever mindset you adopt! These beliefs are habitual ways of thinking that can be changed with a consistent effort. It's important to realize that a growth mindset is possible and that choosing it helps you achieve the big (and little) goals in your life.
Focus on Solution-Oriented Behaviors
Solution-oriented behaviors focus on problem solving and getting things done, rather than attributing your lack of productivity to another person or thing. Example: “I don’t have enough time.”
Try not to think that, much less dwell on it. Simply figure out what you must do to get the necessary time, given that you’ve committed to the task.
Defend Your Time
Focus on Your Mental and Physical Health
On the physical side, watch what you eat, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly. Sufficient sleep is crucial for decreasing stress and for optimizing the encoding and consolidation processes.
Aim for 7–8 hours per night, and avoid alcohol before bedtime—it disrupts normal sleep cycles by decreasing your amount of REM sleep and by decreasing deep sleep (a.k.a. stage 3 sleep, slow-wave sleep, delta wave sleep), which is the restorative part of the sleep cycle thought to be important for memory consolidation.
Manage Stress With Meditation and Mindfulness
Managing stress is a key necessity for any physician. We’ve seen a few good trials on mindfulness meditation that show a benefit for stress reduction and for decreasing anxiety and depression. Regular practice also appears to help with maintaining focus and staying on task.
Scientific evidence indicates that mindfulness—being fully present in the moment—is a powerful practice. Mindfulness alleviates stress, improves health, and contributes to emotional well-being. It increases your engagement with patients and coworkers.
Use High-Yield Study Tools
Using focused study materials and optimal study methods accelerates your progress toward the goal of becoming an expert physician or studying for an exam. MedStudy’s tools are built from the ground up to fill this need. Plus, the high-yield information will save you time!
Reward Yourself, Often
When you have achieved a goal or milestone, (no matter how small) give yourself a reward. It should be something that you find pleasant. Maybe eating at your favorite restaurant, an afternoon off, a movie night, or a morning sleeping in. You know what external rewards motivate you best.
Let Go of Perfectionism
As you work on making your goals a reality for the rest of 2020, don’t forget to let go of perfectionism! You will make some missteps along the way. You may even need to adjust your goals, and that is ok! Learn from your mistakes and use them to inform your choices moving forward. Stay focused on making a little progress every day.
If you haven't checked out our StudyWise guide, it goes further into detail about keeping motivation high and achieving your goals. And oh yeah, it's completely free!