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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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New Year Resolutions


by Bethany

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Life Hacks

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Welcome to 2021! We’ve reached a whole new year. Now is the time when people expect change, when people make resolutions to be their own new and improved selves. I wanted to give you some encouragements about making life changes:

Any time is a good time to start — Yes, it’s a new year and a symbol for new beginnings, but January 1st does not have to be the start date of the new you. Sometimes change happens gradually or unexpectedly. Sometimes it starts January 2nd instead, and sometimes it starts in July. And that is okay. For me, I wrote a blog a while ago about tracking my calories for an assignment, and I have been doing so ever since. It may not be January 1st, but October 21st is just as good a day to start a change.

Set attainable goals — I think setting attainable goals is an important skill as a future occupational therapist. We have to know how to give our clients and ourselves something to celebrate. Do the same when you’re making changes for yourself. Putting yourself through a long Chloe Ting challenge? Celebrate the fact that you made time for it just today. If you can’t do a month-long challenge, go for two weeks. But celebrate milestones in the process of change, not just the end goal!

Change can happen slowly — Unfortunately, with the start of 2021, we’ve seen how January 1st is not COVID’s expiration date, but at the same time, we know that vaccines are developed, we are all getting more used to wearing masks and keeping our community safe, and we’re on our way to getting back to “normal” safely. Something similar is true about our own change. We can’t expect ourselves to learn a new instrument in one day, but we can practice. Give yourself some time to learn the sound of the instrument and see how long it takes to change your tone, to build up the endurance to play for longer than three minutes at a time. (Hint: It’s okay if it feels like a long time.) Celebrate that you’ve stuck with it for so long, because sometimes gradual change is more exciting and surprising when you look at how far you’ve come.

This week, I started a new change. I have been placed at my first Level II Fieldwork site! For me, this is an opportunity to build my clinical reasoning skills, to learn to think like an OT as I practice being an OT. I’m excited to apply what we learn to real life. My first couple days have been long. I went from having a winter-break brain to working from 9 to 5! But I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve set my own goals/resolutions for fieldwork, and I hope to be able to make progress towards them over the next twelve weeks:

  1. Be okay with uncomfortable conversations
  2. Initiate a new project
  3. Make time for myself

Let’s work towards new goals together in this new year! We got this!

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