Start the New Year by Challenging Yourself

Published Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Start the New Year by Challenging Yourself

Hospital Staff Feature: Shannon McKitrick, RN, Intensive Care Unit

Shannon has always been involved with sports and fitness, and she recently completed her first half marathon! “Signing up for the half marathon gave me a new fitness goal. I often enjoy going for runs after shifts to clear my head, to get some fresh air and to help boost my mood after a stressful day,” she said.

By Vanessa Masters, Prevention and Screening Services, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Do you want to achieve your goals this year but you’re not sure where to start? Set a couple of big goals for the year, and then set smaller monthly and weekly goals to work toward achieving your larger goal. Setting small, realistic and specific goals helps to keep motivation high. They can be related to health, family, finance, or anything else that you want to improve. An example of a big goal is ‘eating healthy’, and the smaller steps working toward this goal might include making a weekly meal plan and grocery list.

Achieving goals can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. Here are a few tips on how to stick with your goals:

  1. Put the focus on yourself. Many people have a hard time saying ‘no’ to loved ones and tend to put others first, whether that be family, friends or children. Knowing when to say no and focusing on yourself is okay at times, especially when trying to achieve your health goals. An example would be declining an offer to going for dinner with a friend when you have already committed to a workout class.

  2. Bring a buddy. Working toward goals with friends or family can help you stay on track. Invite a friend or family member to join you with your health goals this year. You are more likely to stick to your goals if there is someone holding you accountable and you can hold your buddy accountable as well. Try inviting a friend to cook a healthy meal with you or going for a walk together in the evening.
  3. Be committed. It’s easy to set goals, but it’s often hard to stay committed to them. Make sure that your goals are attainable for you at the time. One idea is to make a list of potential excuses or barriers that may come up and then have a plan on how to overcome them. For example, if your goal is to go to bed earlier and a barrier is your phone, try setting an alarm clock and leaving your phone in another room while it’s charging.
  4. Be specific. Make sure your goals are specific and measurable. It is one thing to say that you want to spend less money or eat healthier, but it is better to have more explicit goals. For example, it’s a good idea to have a budget that you want to follow or a list of food guidelines that you want to follow.

Track your progress! Whether you are trying to eat healthy, exercise more or sleep better, it is important to measure your progress. Use a calendar to check off the days that you meet your goals or a journal to write down your progress and how you feel each day. If you see your progress and how far you have come, there is a better chance that you will continue with your goals throughout the year.


Hummus Pinwheels

Recipe submitted by: Kerri Hnatiw, Donor Relations Specialist, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation


3/4 cup garlic hummus

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1/2English cucumber, cut into matchsticks

Small handful of baby spinach

4 medium whole grain tortillas


  1. Place the tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel; microwave for 20 seconds, to soften the tortilla and prevent them from tearing. Keep the tortillas under the damp cloth until ready to use, microwaving again if they get cold.
  2. Assemble the pinwheel; remove one tortilla from the plate and place it on the cutting board. Spread ¼ cup of hummus across the surface of the tortilla, leaving some room along the edges. Form two “lines” of cucumber strips and baby spinach in the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle some chopped sundried tomato over the entire tortilla. Lift the lower portion of the tortilla and firmly roll it towards the top to create a pinwheel shape; repeat with the remaining tortillas and ingredients.
  3. Cut each tortilla roll into ½” – 1” strips using a sharp or serrated knife then serve.

Tip: You can try homemade hummus too!

*All content from this article can be found in our Hospital’s 2020 Staff Health and Wellness Calendar. To date, the Calendar has featured over 300 staff members from all areas and disciplines of our Hospital, capturing the many ways they choose to stay healthy.


Back to Latest News