11 New Year Resolutions for the Social Worker & Therapist

Before diving into my New Year Resolutions, let’s remind ourselves what effective goals look like. Creating SMART goals can hold us accountable, and describe goals in more realistic ways. It means our goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Oriented. With this magic formula in mind, you can be sure to create goals that you CAN and WILL achieve. I’ve listed ten professional resolutions for myself in this upcoming year, to spark inspiration for your own social work journey.

  1. I will be more intentional with time management in order to get my documentation done on time 4/5 days of the week.
  2. I will be actively engage in daily anti-racist practice through trainings, direct practice feedback, advocacy work, education, collaboration, and supervision in order to hold myself and other practitioners accountable, and to create a wholly healing environment.
  3. I will start each day with a positive affirmation on my practice and abilities.
  4. I will continue to maintain daily boundaries with clients to ensure I have time to myself – Meaning, I will shut my work email and work phone off when I’m done, and I will make these boundaries clear to my clients.
  5. I will do at least 1 exercise a day in the office to help me stay energized, healthy, and attentive.
  6. I will drink 3 glasses of water for every 1 cup of coffee or tea.
  7. I will take a new training or certification at least once a month.
  8. I will read a new (peer-reviewed, evidence-based) research study on practice, clinical interventions, populations, etc. at least once a week to ensure I maintain awareness of ongoing progressions in the field.
  9. I will attend supervision for at least 1 hour weekly. During this time, I will be more vulnerable and open about my thoughts and feelings.
  10. I will participate in one micro self care activity daily (painting nails, listening to music, walking, yoga).
  11. I will participate in one macro self care activity weekly (visiting NYC attractions, going to the park, driving around/road trip, deep cleaning/organizing, therapy, pamper day).

These goals will get me started on having a phenomenal year as a therapist, but also as a human. Resolutions are not simply to be a better social worker, but to ensure we’re maintaining our boundaries and actively and intentionally engaging in self care. Burnout is real. If we’re not intentional about our work/life balance, we will end up drowning in the work. 2021 is a fresh start to be the social worker you’ve dreamed of being. Don’t let 2020 discourage you. Social work is a unique and specialized profession that no other can replicate, as are you. You have everything you are capable of being already inside you.

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