Welcome, 2024!

Source: CMSA Today

BY JANET COULTER, MSN, MS, RN, CCM, FCM

I hope everyone rang in the new year with great expectations and realistic resolutions! A new year presents a new beginning and the possibility of exciting adventures and boundless opportunities. Making new year resolutions is a tradition for many people. It is like a promise you make to yourself to improve your life, accomplish a goal or make changes in your circumstances. This tradition has been around for many years. The first new year celebration took place over four thousand years ago in ancient Babylonia. The Romans continued the tradition and added a moral focus, and the tradition has evolved throughout the years. According to recent research, while as many as 45% of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% are successful in achieving their goals.

Did you make a new year resolution? My resolution is to follow my passions, which include writing, practicing transplant case management and becoming more involved with CMSA.

Research shows that having a plan and setting achievable goals can increase the likelihood of success. What are your plans for 2024? My plans include recharging and rechanneling my inner compass to support my passions, priorities and goals. My 2024 mantra is: “Make today better than yesterday.” Do you have a mantra for 2024?

As we enter a new year, here are a few ideas to help guide you. Each day pause on purpose and take a moment to reflect, take a few deep breaths, stretch or go outside for a walk. Recognize what you can and cannot control. Try to let go of things that are out of your control and focus on what you can change. Be aware of how you react to stressors and negative situations. Develop a list of self-care activities and routinely practice them. Consider writing a daily gratitude journal. You may be surprised at all the things we should be grateful for but don’t acknowledge very often. End your day by reflecting on the positive and the impact you had that day. You might consider writing down three things you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be a major event. Focus on the small things. Strive to do a daily act of kindness. You can start by complimenting someone, holding the door for someone, letting someone in line in front of you, smiling at strangers or being patient with others. Enjoy and appreciate your food. Sit down and relax when eating and be aware of what you eat and when you eat it. Mindful eating can also assist with weight reduction.

Strive for work-life balance. This starts with the three basics: sleep, nutrition and exercise. Seven to eight hours of sleep a night, healthy food choices and regular exercise are essential. Be sure to take breaks throughout your workday to rest and recharge. Working from home has many benefits. However, sometimes it is difficult to break away from the office and leave work at work. Work-life balance can increase job satisfaction and increase productivity. Setting boundaries is important. Balancing your professional obligations and life can be difficult, but it is essential for physical, mental and emotional well-being. Be more aware of how you spend your time. Set limits and say “no” when you must. Set time limits on social media and your phone. Power down electronic devices before bedtime to make it easier to fall asleep.

Most of all—keep learning! Our organization continues to thrive and provide exciting educational opportunities. Many of these opportunities are right in front of us. This edition of CMSA Today focuses on workers compensation and the issues facing injured workers and their case managers. The CMSA Today editorial board has selected a wide variety of very engaging topics for 2024. The topics include emerging technologies, AI, advocacy, post-acute care, VA/military, quality improvement, accreditation, social worker, leadership and healthcare equity. There are also recurring columns on wellness, compassionate care, stress, work-life balance, yoga, meditation and the case manager as patient. Be sure to read them. Learn something new every day.

As I look back on 2023, I am so proud and deeply thankful to be a member of CMSA. Because of the effort and dedication of our members, board of directors and staff, we have seen exceptional results. Many educational opportunities were available for all of us life-long learners! Networking opportunities have been abundant. Our leadership, headed by President Dr. Colleen Morley, has given us the vision to work together to accomplish much. Our position paper “Communicating Your Value: The Case Manager’s Guide” is one-of-a-kind and was developed in collaboration with The Center for Case Management. As a group, we have accomplished so much. We have a vision and leadership to guide us into the new year.

Each year CMSA recognizes case managers for exceptional service to the practice of case management. The time is now to apply for the Case Management Fellow, Chapter Excellence Awards, Case Manager of the Year award, Award of Service Excellence and Lifetime Achievement Award. You can also share your knowledge and lessons learned with other case managers by writing an article for CMSA Today or a blog! And – you will not want to miss the 2024 CMSA Annual Conference June 4-7, 2024, in historic Providence, Rhode Island, at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Make plans to attend today! After attending all the educational opportunities, set aside time at the annual conference to network with case managers from all over the country and several foreign countries! You will leave the conference energized, full of ideas to improve your case management practice and armed with lots of information to share with your local chapter. I hope to see you there! When you se me, say hello and maybe we’ll have some time to sit down and network!

Our story continues to be written. 2023 was over in an instant. Now it’s time to turn the page to 2024, where there is a new chapter waiting to be penned. I hope you set big goals for 2024 – you never know where they will lead you! You are amazing. Always remember that!

I wish you all a very healthy, happy and productive 2024!

Happy New Year!

Janet Coulter
President-Elect
CMSA

Janet Coulter, MSN, MS, RN, CCM, FCM, is a transplant case manager with a wide variety of experiences including educator, administrator, team leader, and director of case management. Janet holds a Master of Science in Nursing from West Virginia University and a Master of Science in adult education from Marshall University. She has published many articles in CMSA Today and the Professional Case Management Journal and served as a reviewer for the Core Curriculum for Case Management Third Edition. She currently serves as president-elect of CMSA, chair of the CMSA Today editorial board, chair of the nominations committee, and vice president of the CMSA Foundation board. Janet was the recipient of the CMSA National Award of Service Excellence and Southern Ohio Valley CMSA Case Management Leadership award and was recently inducted as a Case Management Fellow from CMSA.

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