Choices and Voices



I welcome the year 2021 with a renewed focus on my personal and professional choices, and a re-commitment to finding my voice. Choice is typically defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. Many people use this time of year to develop new goals or resolutions for the next 12 months, myself included. But this year, I will strip my goal-setting and resolution-making to its most basic “cellular level” … choice. Following a year of unprecedented events, moments, tragedies, stressors, triumphs and conflicts, I plan to restore my soul, body, mind, and spirit with basic choices, then say them out loud to hold myself accountable.

The year 2021, a decade akin to the Roaring 20s of the 20th century, will be my decade of Resolute 20s for the 21st century. To be resolute is to be purposeful, deliberate, determined, unwavering. As possibilities and choices present themselves, I will think about 2020 from an analytical position and posture myself for a resolute position for the “goodness sake” of my whole being. For one idea, I will probe and remember how I felt when I mourned the loss of family and friends. But I will choose to honor their memory by re-connecting with family and friends who may have become distant over time. I will make one call or text per week on “Tuesday Touch Day” to revive relationships and friendships. This one purposeful act will restore my soul.

Proceeding with my whole person transaction, I will choose one new exercise activity or one new food source per month that will add to my physical (body) health equation in a positive way. For me, this is different from “I will eat better” or “I will exercise more” this year. Resolute 20s will be a decade of specific, purposeful choices that are basic and sustainable.

The next two aspects of my being are mind and spirit. My mind (mental state) is refreshed when I choose to fill my television time with programs about history, nature, discoveries or performing arts, rather than hours of news or shows with violence and pain. My spirit is revived and soars when I choose to act upon my passion for helping others. My specific choice this year will be coaching, mentoring and creating opportunities for emerging leaders.

The choices I have described take flight when the decisions are said “out loud.” I love vision boards, and they have always been inspirational. But this decade, I will give goals and inspiration a voice, as a way to transform my vision board into purposeful action. I will launch the Resolute 20s with an unwavering display of commitment by voicing my intentions to family, friends and colleagues…indeed all who reads this letter! Further, I will encourage other voices to hold me accountable to the choices I have made. Let me share a funny example of how I know that other voices can hold one accountable. Last year, I made one resolution: to call each of my sisters weekly as a way to make up for the time I missed while working overtime hours during my military career. Each sister had a day: “What’s up Wednesday; Talk to you Thursday; Fill me in Friday.” The calls became routine and expected. Then my career changed and my military-retired status transformed to full-time volunteer status with the Case Management Society of America (CMSA). I missed a couple of days in July, then a few more in August. In September, my sisters staged an intervention, via a group conference call to make sure I was mentally and physically healthy. Because only a mental or physical reason would suffice as an explanation for missing the weekly calls. Little did they know that my mental and physical health transformed because of their intervention, and my soul and spirit were reset in the most beautiful and LOUD way. They held me accountable to the goals I voiced last year and would not allow the unprecedented events, moments, tragedies, stressors, triumphs and conflicts of 2020 deter me from being my best whole self! This is my basic, purposeful, Resolute 20s plan…what will yours be, for thy whole self?

melanie a. prince

Melanie A. Prince, MSN, BSN, NE-BC, CCM, FAAN, President of the Case Management Society of America


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