Goal-setting for the New Year

Goal-setting for the New Year

by Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA

Happy New Year! We’re well into the first month of this new year and what a different year this is – at least for the HIM profession! This year there’s no ICD-10 implementation hanging over our heads; no major projects to conquer and no deadlines to meet. On the personal side of things, many of us marked 2015 with an achievement such as earning a degree, completing a training certificate, or achieving a credential or trainer designation.

Whew! 2015 was so busy that it must be time to chill for a while, right?

It can be tempting to pronounce a moratorium on any new projects after a year like 2015, but I suggest that we should not. In fact, just the opposite is warranted. Now is the PERFECT time to take stock of what we accomplished in the previous year and set some goals for ourselves to accomplish in 2016.

While I am NOT suggesting that we jump back into school or immediately search for our next credential, setting a few moderate goals to work toward after a period of intense goal-achievement makes more sense now than ever, and here’s why.

  1. We have already proved that we are capable, so we won’t need to give ourselves the pep talk that is sometimes necessary before undertaking a new journey. Our ability to face that challenge and overcome it is a fresh memory. We can easily recall how we solved the problems related to the ICD-10 implementation in our facilities, or learning ICD-10 to pass a required test, or teaching ICD-10 to our students. Capitalize on our confidence and find a new goal – even if it’s a smaller one – to keep this image of success fresh in our minds.
  2. We are already “in-motion.” Newton’s 1st Law of Motion tells us that an object at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by some external force, while an object in motion will remain in motion at the same speed and will continue moving in the same direction, unless interrupted by an external force. Setting new goals for ourselves keeps our momentum moving forward. It also helps to boost our career growth and expansion.
  3. We’re also already in the groove: we have been studying, reading, stretching our minds and adding knowledge to our brains. We can’t stop now! Let’s make it a habit – even if it is a habit on a smaller scale.
  4. Healthcare isn’t standing still and neither should we! There is always something new coming down the road: new technologies, new legislation, new modalities for treatment, etc. We never want to position ourselves to be the expert on the previous decade. If we are already a coding expert, let’s make sure we also have MS Office software skills that are in line with the needs in a 21st century environment. If we are already both of those, maybe it is time to learn about data analytics and how our jobs can support the growing appetite for more and more data (databases anyone?).

Let’s welcome 2016 with a plan for success. Whether large or small, the things we achieve this year build a foundation for our success in the years to come!

About the Author

Rebecca Harmon, MPM, RHIA, CCA
Rebecca Harmon returned to HIM practice in a leadership role after spending many years as an HIM educator. Tapping her broad history of diverse healthcare experience that began with a tour of duty in the US Navy, Rebecca writes regularly and speaks on education, workforce issues, management and life. An energetic and engaging speaker, Ms. Harmon enjoys sharing her unique perspective with student, faculty, professional and community groups.

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