New Year, New Career, New Life | The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 188

(Note: This post originally appeared in its entirety on my blog, Digital Doorway.)

As we launch into a new year, we have the opportunity to review our lives, look closely at our careers, and decide what changes might be efficacious for us to undertake. From defining your nursing career on your own terms to looking deeply at yourself and who you are, there’s plenty of grist for the mill. Are you ready?

Your New Year


Your new year may not actually begin on January 1st. Maybe you recognize the Jewish New Year or Chinese New Year as your time for new beginnings. Or maybe it’s your birthday, the spring equinox, or some other day on the calendar.

These recommendations apply at any time of year, and we need to recognize that we all need to find the moment when we feel ready to move forward. Our lives don’t always fit into neat little calendar boxes, so please take my new year idea with a grain of salt.

Your Feet on the Floor

Think about it: every morning we have the chance to put our feet on the floor and decide what we want our day to be like. And what about the bigger picture? Do we also have the chance to decide what the rest of our lives will be like?

Of course, we don’t have a crystal ball (or do you?) and we can’t foresee accidents, trauma, deaths, disease, and other vicissitudes of life, but we can choose paths of action and thought that take us closer to the direction we really want to pursue.

Your SWOT Analysis

We’ve visited the SWOT Analysis idea on episode 57, and this is still a very powerful tool for assessing any aspect of your life that you care to. Elucidating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can be very revealing, and just because you conducted a SWOT a few years ago doesn’t mean you can’t do another one now; after all, we change and grow every day, and who you were 2 years ago may be very different from your current reality.

Your Inner Life

“Know thyself” isn’t just for mystics; knowing yourself deeply can be a lifelong pursuit for any of us who are committed to personal growth and wish to stave off stagnation, either personal or professional, and episode 186 will guide you on examining my 10 strategies for feeding your inner life.

The steps to strengthening your inner life are:

  • Remembering your spiritual life
  • Getting your body moving regularly
  • Increasing creativity
  • Engaging in therapy or counseling
  • Increasing your share of pleasure and leisure
  • Using nature as a source of healing
  • Hiring a coach
  • Getting sufficient rest and sleep
  • Being a polymath (listen to episode 76 for more on that)
  • Honoring yourself

Your Own Self

Oscar Wilde famously said, "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
Oscar Wilde famously said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

When Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken,” he wasn’t kidding. If you haven’t read any Wilde since high school, you might want to revisit his work or find one of the many movies or books about his life. Failing that, simply taking this excellent advice to heart will be enough to potentially imbue your life and nursing career with a more solid sense of self a la Wilde.

Your Own Terms

Going back to episode 187, here are the questions that I put forward for you to ponder:

  • What kind of career do you truly want? 
  • What type of work environment suits you best? 
  • Are you an introvert or an extrovert? 
  • Do you prefer large institutions or small, intimate ones? 
  • Do you have particular clinical or non-clinical interests?
  • What kind of hours and schedule do you want and need? 
  • What kind of lifestyle and workstyle are most comfortable for you? 
  • If you have a family, how will your career choices impact them? 
  • Are you making career and life choices based on potentially false or misleading messages from your parents or other figures in your life?
  • Do you make career choices based on fear? If so, what are you afraid of? 

There’s so much more that you can do and explore for creating the year that you want; these are just a taste of strategies and techniques for getting the ball rolling in various aspects of your life.

If you have other strategies, secrets, or techniques not covered on this episode, please email me and let me know what they are and how they help you grow the life and career you truly want.

Here’s to your next 12 months!

This episode of The Nurse Keith Show is brought to you by Rasmussen College and their online RN to BSN nursing program, which is designed for working registered nurses who want to earn their BSN while balancing family, work, and school.

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Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC

In case you didn’t already know, Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, keynote and motivational speaker, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses.

From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast.

Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—as well as at

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