A Personal Plan For Success I often wondered how people succeeded in balancing their personal lives and maintaining a career at the same time. “One has to take a backseat,” I thought. Through the years, I have come to realize that it is not necessarily the case. When I came here to this country to work, I got to meet many people who I have come to admire in their pursuit and success in living a well-balanced family and professional life. Then I said to myself, “It is not easy but very possible. ” Growing up, I always have been a planner. I want to know how things will transpire and when they will be accomplished.
I do this to a fault at times but so far it has guided me through life. At this point in my life, I can truly say that I have accomplished most of what I have set out to attain. I am married to a great man and I have a good career as a critical care registered nurse. This time I have decided to take another big step in my life; I decided to continue my education and go for my master’s degree. Time to make another plan for success. Many people have asked me why I finally decided to go to graduate school after all these years of working as a registered nurse.
My answer would always be, “It’s time. ” Before I reached the decision to go back to school, I have put a lot of thought into it because I know it will not be an easy road to travel but my decision felt right. Getting my master’s degree will help me define a career path that will allow me to branch out to another field of nursing that has interested me. It will open up new opportunities to use my acquired nursing skills and knowledge. Acquiring a graduate degree will allow me to advance professionally and will help me become more marketable in the competitive healthcare job market.
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To succeed in something, I must set goals both short-term and long-term. These goals serve as a guide so that I may keep focus on what I want to accomplish at the end. I am a realistic person so I want to have goals that are reasonable. My long-term goal is to find a job that would allow me to spend more time with my family and at the same time be professionally and financially satisfying. For my short-term goals, I know that I will have to succeed in several of them before I reach the fulfillment of my long-term goal. At this time my short-term goals are to learn how to be a student again, to learn how to avigate through my online school and to be able learn how to fulfill my assignments and readings required to pass my courses in school. There are challenges that present themselves to me at this time. (Nellen, 2000), “To be able to have control over your time, don’t let it manage you! ” (para. 2). This is probably the most difficult challenge I have. Coming home from a full 12-hour shift, I am just too tired to do any schoolwork. Attending on an online program helps because I can do things at my own pace. To manage my time, I try to keep a schedule and follow it as strictly as I can.
It is my way of developing a new habit so that school will not be so much of a stressor. I rely a on my calendar to guide me on what to do daily. I find this very helpful, especially in making sure I do not miss any deadlines, meetings or other things that I need to do. Another challenge is the financial aspect of going back to school. In the kind of economy we are in, I sometimes need to work some overtime to make ends meet but being in school takes my time away from that. To tackle this situation, my husband and I decided to change our working situation a bit.
He started a part- time job to augment our budgetary needs while I am in school. I also decided to take out a student loan to take off the burden of paying for school at this time. This may sound confusing to some people but just getting back to the student mindset is a challenge too. It has been quite a long time since I had study and do assignments and projects. I have to remind myself that I am back in school and that there are things that I need to do . To overcome this, I have set aside two hours a day for me to be a student. At this time I do my readings and other schoolwork.
I am hoping that by doing this I will be able to include it in my daily routine so that I can budget my time better. When a person has goals, it is important to set milestones that would mark the achievement of these goals. These help in encouraging one to persevere toward the fulfillment of his ultimate goal. My first milestone would be when I successfully pass my first course of my master’s program. This is important because this tells me that I can do it. This conveys to me that the adjustments that I have made to meet my challenges work.
A second milestone would be when the time comes that I can navigate through the different applications in the online learning system with ease and comfort. The final milestone would be passing that final course to complete my master’s program. This would validate that all my hard work was worth it. For a good plan to work, it is important that everybody involved in it fully understand what is going on. Effective communication plays a fundamental and essential part in this. Every day and every minute we communicate whether it may be verbally or non-verbally.
Martha Graham, an American modern dancer and choreographer, once said, “The body says what the words cannot” (Lewis, 2012, para. 2). As a person, I am very expressive. Aside from verbally communicating my thoughts, I am very transparent in my body language too. I have no problem saying what I have in my mind but there are times when I cannot fully state what I have to say in the fear that I may offend somebody or say the wrong thing. This fear sometimes hinders me from effectively saying what needs to be said. I have found myself being overly cautious in the words that I use and sometimes that comes across as me being unsure of what to say.
In contrast to this, there are times when I find myself talking too fast and not allowing time to let the person I am talking to respond. Another weakness that I have is that I fail to read the non-verbal cues. I tend to get so engrossed in the conversation that I look past the body language. Looking back at my communication strengths and weaknesses, I have come up with some strategies that I can use to improve my communication skills. I have to learn to listen attentively. There is a big difference between simply hearing what the other person is saying and listening to what he is trying to say.
Hearing is simply receiving sound from somewhere whereas listening is being able to absorb and understand what is being said. By using this method, I can take a step back and process the conversation better so I can respond better. Another strategy that I can use is to hear the words behind the actions. I have to use the non-verbal cues sent my way to understand better what the message is. This way, it is easier to respond appropriately. If I understand better, I can avoid that fear of being offensive and I can be more eloquent in my choice of words to use.
The last and final strategy that I have come up with is the use of feedback. Feedback allows for effective communication to exist. Here the flow of ideas takes place. With feedback, it is easy to clarify certain points of the conversation that were unclear. Feedback allows for open communication and active learning. Writing this paper has made me think and summarize what has been happening the last couple of months. It has been a long journey for me to reach this point of my career. I know I will be facing challenges in the next couple of years but having goals and strategies to help me go through them will help me persevere.
Knowing my strengths and weaknesses and having a plan to improve them will guide me to succeed. During my undergraduate years, I took the first step in developing a career. I learned what I needed to function as a good nurse. With this new endeavor I have, I believe I will learn to be the best nurse I can be. Bibliography Lewis, J. J. (2012). Martha Graham quotes. Retrieved from http://womenshistory. about. com/cs/quotes/a/qu_graham_m. htm Nellen, A. (2000). Manage work, don't let it manage you: Tips for managing your time and getting ahead. Retrieved from http://www. cob. sjsu. edu/nellen_a/time_management. htm
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