Recently, I was asked my favorite month of the year. When reflecting on this question, October is the best month in my opinion. My explanation for October began with the word “change.” Not only is it a time for change in the seasons, from summer to fall, but it can also be a time to reflect on changes that have occurred in the past year. It’s a time to reflect on my successes and my failures, knowing that there are only two months left in the calendar year. Those final two months of the year can go by extremely fast because of the general hustle and bustle of holidays, family or social gatherings, and other celebrations.
It’s important to be reflective in life to know what you accomplished. You should be proud of the your achievements but you should also set new goals for the next year. New goals can assist you in striving to reach the next level in your personal and professional life. While we thrive on accomplishments and achievements, it is also extremely important to reflect on failures and unsuccessful moments. We are not perfect and therefore, we will not always have the high moments on the mountain, rather we are stuck in the lowest point of the valley. It is important to think about how you could have overcome those failures – was there something that I could have done differently? How could I have better prepared myself? While we may be reflective at certain points of the year, we can talk about change at any point of the year with patients with diabetes. How will they change their eating habits in order to make healthier choices? How will they overcome the barriers to physical activity in order to be more active?
I suppose it is more symbolic to use October due to changing seasons and leaves. We can be reflective with our own lives for personal and professional growth, but we can also be reflective with our patients to assist them in striving to reach the next level in obtaining better glycemic control or whatever their goal is – weight loss, blood pressure control, better adherence with medications, etc.
Writing about reflective thinking and moving forward with changes reminds me about one of the first blogs I wrote for AADE – SMART goals. SMART goals remind us to incorporate this strategy into our personal and professional lives, but with our patients as well, in order to set short-term goals to achieve the long-term goal.
About the Author
Jennifer Clements received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from Campbell University in 2006 and completed a primary care residency at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2007. She is also a certified diabetes educator and board certified in pharmacotherapy. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy.