New Years Resolutions For The Recreation Therapist

12 Jan

“All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives.”
Steven Spielberg

Often when we think of New Years Resolutions we think of the things we need to change or improve in our lives. As a Recreation Therapist we need to set New Years Resolutions not only to improve ourselves but also our departments and the outcomes we provide for out clients. Here are a few tips to help you with your New Years Resolutions:

  • Write done your Resolutions. Write your Resolutions up on paper and post where you and others can see it EVERYDAY!  Think of this as a care plan…  If it is documented then it will get done, right?  Write your Resolution in one column, your approach in another with deadline and the last column write who is responsible for that approach. 
  • Be accountable.  Give a copy to your administrator to let them know you have set up goals for your department.  In doing this your letting your administrator know you want to achieve these things.  As you complete each resolution follow up with your administrator so they will know how your doing too.
  • Set your Resolutions for success not failure.  Instead of thinking of them as “Resolutions”, think of them as “Goals For The Year”.  When setting your goals make sure they are obtainable for yourself.  Give yourself a time frame you know you can reach, if you can’t reach your goals then you are more easily to give up. 
  • Team work your resolutions. Don’t think your resolutions need to be done all by you!  Get your staff involved and ask them for ideas and a team plan.  If your the only one in your department then get with your volunteers to help you.  Everything doesn’t need to be done by you, it’s okay to delegate projects out.
  • Check it off when your done. When you have completed the Resolution check it off or highlight it out so you know it is completed and your staff knows.  You may also want to have a little celebration you completed that resolution.
  • Regroup and re-plan.  As Recreation Therapists we get business and things don’t always go the way we plan.  One thing we are good at is thinking on our feet and re-planning.  Same concept here, if it is pass your deadline and it is not completed then it’s okay to stretch it out further.

So now what?  If you have not already written down your resolutions then do so now, it’s never too late.  Here are a few starters for you:

  • Organize yourself.  Some of the best Recreation Therapists are those who are organized.  Start with your desk.  Clear off all those papers on your desk by putting them in file folders.  Get yourself a binder and place all your every day papers/documentation sheet in the binder so you have a “walking desk”.  This binder should also include your monthly activity calendar and staff/volunteer schedules, audit sheets, daily planner sheets  and any other papers you need on hand.  Everything else just file away.
  • Clean. Next goal would be to clean and organize your office and supply cabinets.  Ask central supply for their extra boxes, label and box your decorations.  If it is decorations you don’t use every day ask maintenance if they have somewhere you can place these boxes until that holiday comes around.  The dollar stores have those nice shoe box storage containers, I love using these for arts and crafts projects.  Place all your glues, pom poms, glitter, crayons ect… in separate storage containers.   If you have not used something for over a year either USE IT or throw it out.
  • Client interest sheets.  When was the last time you did a client interest sheet on your whole building?  I am not talking about the one’s we do on admission, annual or for SCOC but one that is broken down into specific activities or groups you offer in your building.  If you haven’t done one do one.  This an excellent idea if your wanting to revamp your program because it will let you know what activities the residents are interested in and which one’s they are not.  A little word of advice on revamping your program, don’t do it ALL in one month.  This is an overwhelming task for yourself and your clients won’t be very excited with you either.  If you work in geriatrics you will know they do not do will with changes so change two or three activities a month and make sure the are aware of the changes in resident council.  Make them a part of the process and your program will be successful!
  • Take time for yourself.  You are a caregiver and sometimes we don’t realize we are burnt out till it is too late.  Make sure you are taking days off when you need to or leaving work on time and not taking work home.   Remember your own well-being is important too!

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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in Articles


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