How to Set Realistic New Year’s Resolutions as a Busy Travel Nurse

By Leslie Brown, Nursing Regional Branch Manager, Aureus Medical

As the year comes to an end, it’s good to reflect on the past successes, mistakes, and changes we made in 2021. Now, as we look onward to 2022, we can re-commit to being our best selves. While you’re brainstorming your new year’s resolutions, try to set yourself up for success by creating attainable, actionable goals. Setting measurable resolutions is more likely to lead to success in achieving them! Read on for five goal-setting tips as we near the beginning of 2022.

When you sit down to write your new year goals, just think of the acronym S.M.A.R.T.!


Too often, we make vague resolutions like saving money, getting out more, and losing weight. These are great starting points but are missing specific details that will keep you focused and realistic. Without room to stray off the path, you can avoid those feelings of frustration and failure when you start to see that steady progress!

For example, instead of saying, “I want to save more money this year” try framing your resolution to say something like “I want to save an extra $1000 from travel nursing by June.”


To measure your success, it’s all about the baby steps! Make sure to set a date to accomplish your new year goals by, and then write down the necessary steps you’ll need to turn that into a reality! For example, maybe you’d like to spend your free time from travel nursing reading more books. To set measurable steps, you could set yourself a mini goal of reading 100 pages per month. Your written steps would look like this:

  1. Choose a book you’d like to read
  2. Purchase or lend the book from a library
  3. Check the number of pages the book has
  4. Calculate how many pages you should read each day to meet your 100-page goal by the end of the month.


Sometimes we don’t even take the first step to accomplishing our resolutions because they seem so overwhelming and unachievable. Luckily, there’s a way or two around this. One is to keep your goals attainable by breaking them down into bite-sized chunks. This will give you clear steps to take you all the way to the end! Before you know it, you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come, motivating you to take on bigger and bigger goals.

Another way to keep your resolutions attainable is to remember to enjoy the process! If we already dread the commitment, we’re already at a disadvantage. For example, you may have set the goal of losing 10 pounds over the course of your next travel assignment. You could break this down into bite-sized chunks by committing to four workouts a week. For some, that still doesn’t sound like fun. So, pick up an activity that you would look forward to, like disc golf or a 30-minute virtual dance workout. These little adjustments make all the difference!


It’s hard not to compare your success to others, especially with everyone’s best face forward on social media. To keep your resolutions relevant to you and continue your upward trajectory, try to avoid comparisons to others. Focus on goals that will challenge or benefit you in your work or personal life, and then do your best!


Work-life and personal life can get so busy and chaotic, so it’s vital to consider the timing when setting your new year’s resolutions. Set yourself up for success by giving yourself enough time to accomplish your goals. And if you need a time extension, that’s okay! Give yourself some grace!

For example, say your professional goal as a travel nurse is to achieve one certification or learn one new skill on the job, but you missed the deadline for a course or run into unforeseen circumstances. Don’t give up! Find the next deadline or try again on a new assignment. You’re in the driver’s seat!

Remember to Stay S.M.A.R.T.!

Cheers to the new year and setting yourself up for success by using these goal-setting tips! Try to embrace the successes and failures of your past resolutions and use them to drive your new year, actionable goals. Choose two or three starting-points and make them specific. Then break them down into bite-sized chunks by adding measurable, attainable steps. Remember to keep these relevant to you and consider time-sensitivities. Then celebrate each mini-victory and watch yourself propel to the finish line!

Are you ready to kick-start the new year with fresh resolutions and a fresh travel assignment? Connect with your recruiter or contact Aureus Medical to join the traveler family today!

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