THE BEGINNING OF the year is a great
time to reflect on the previous year’s events
and to work on setting New Year’s resolu-
tions—personal goals that will improve our
lives or careers. It’s a good idea to contem-
plate what we might need to do differently
in order to make these goals a reality.
It’s also a great time to hit the restart
button. I personally prefer the idea of
a “restart button” over a New Year’s
resolution because it means you are
refocusing while acknowledging what
you’ve already accomplished. Everyone owes it to themselves and their
team to reflect on their accomplishments and their personal/professional
goals. Be completely honest with yourself, but at the same time give yourself
a break if you didn’t accomplish everything. No excuses allowed, it is what it
is and life happens to all of us.
Where most of us fail is when we start
a new goal with a bang but quickly fizzle because we are focused on a quick
fix—hoping to reach the goal as fast
as we can. For example, I find January
challenging because the fitness center
becomes crowded with a lot of new
people working as hard as they can.
However, I know if I hang in there until
February most of the people that made
resolutions to get fit will be gone within
three to four weeks. You see, we sometimes expect to see immediate results
and when we don’t succeed, we quit.
While I wish everyone success, I know
we sometimes are not focused on the
This year, I encourage each of you
to try something different in your per-
sonal and professional lives. Decide
what you want to improve, change,
or learn and focus on the process to
produce the result you want. Don’t fo-
cus on the goal. Transformation hap-
pens because we develop better habits
through the right process. Your habits
will produce the results you see for your
team and yourself. Proper habits hap-
pen when we change our thinking, learn
something new, apply new skills, and
influence change around us.
Simply changing how we think about
our future can mean the difference between success and failure. Making
small changes each day a little at a time
makes it easier to hardwire new behaviors that are more likely to be sustained
over time. A bonus is that we are less
likely to become overwhelmed when we
stay focused on smaller tasks that produce transformation and success.
Take a moment to establish small incremental changes and calculate what a
one percent difference will make to produce the desired outcome. Then focus
on the quality of the process to attain
that one percent difference from wherever you are today. Daily incremental
habits produce changes that are sustainable in the long run. Next, make a
commitment to focus on a quality process each day, a little at a time. Before
you know it, you will have gained new
knowledge, developed new skills, and
improved your performance.
Wishing you a transformative 2018! ¢
Diann H. Smith ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is vice
president of health information management services and clinical documentation improvement at
Texas Health Resources.
Resolution ≠ Transformation
By Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA
Decide what you want
to improve, change, or
learn and focus on the
process to produce the
result you want.