Making the World a Little Safer: My New Year’s Resolution


Here’s why we need to do the hard work of making changes that help achieve our goals.

earth, world



In this series, Resolutions, we asked clinicians about their New Year’s resolutions. What are our contributors resolving to do in 2023? Here’s how they answered.

Many people have resolutions for the upcoming year, but only a few will follow through with their plans. I am not sure why that is the case, but we do need more than wishful thinking to find what the new year might bring. We need to do the hard work of making changes that help achieve our goals.

I hear all the time that “the system” is what hinders our growth and causes dysfunctions, but aren’t systems made of humans? We are the system. We are capable of hurting or healing each other. We can make or break another human. We, not the intervention, are the healing tools.

I am not big on making resolutions, but I am a fan of celebrating small victories, so here is what I plan to work on in the year 2023. I have shared some of this before in my Psychiatric Times™ article about proposing a new physician oath, “A New Physician Oath for Addressing Systemic Problems in Medicine.”

One of my goals is to be a better physician. That means I will spend more time listening to the unspoken words of my clients and will empower them through focusing on, and engaging, their capacity for healing and beauty.

Another goal of mine is to heal “the system.” That means challenging outdated and toxic cultures and practices, and building safe and healing spaces.

I want also to be more available for my loved ones. That means I will be more intentional to spend quality time with my wife and children.

And to do that I need to fill my own cup, so I can have more capacity for compassion to continue to be able to authentically serve. I will view my self-care as a responsibility, not as a luxury.

If I have it my way, I will spend most of 2023 working with trauma survivors in the United States and globally, so that I may continue to be a source of light and healing. I want to contribute to making the world a little safer and more beautiful for my children and yours.

I am a dreamer, so why not dream big? Dreams do come true when we truly believe and invest in them.

Dr Reda is a psychiatrist in Colorado. He is the author of The Wounded Healer: The Pain and Joy of Caregiving.

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