5 New Year’s Resolutions for Deathcare Professionals
Do you make personal resolutions at the dawn of every new year? Lose weight, spend less, yadda, yadda, yadda. The goal of a resolution is to improve yourself in some way, or at least do a little better than you did the previous year. While those are all well and good (if you actually stick to them), it’s probably less likely that you make resolutions for your professional life as well. It’s not a terrible idea when you think about it, though, especially as the personal and professional lives of people in deathcare are so inextricably intertwined. If you’re game for the challenge, here are a few resolutions you might consider for 2021.
“I will make a real effort to embrace technology.”
It was bound to happen, but social distancing just accelerated it — more and more people expect you (and pretty much every other product or service provider) to offer convenient and remote options. From digital signatures to Zoom arrangement meetings to live-streamed funerals, there are plenty of ways funeral homes and cemeteries can deliver from afar. Make the investments today to ensure you’re equipped for tomorrow’s new normal.
“I will accept that cremation is not going away.”
The numbers don’t lie. Cremation is growing at an exponential rate. It’s not a fad, nor is it just for a “certain type” of family. It’s not just for the more progressive areas of the country, either. In a six-month study in the summer of 2020, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) found that next to New Jersey, Arkansas — yes, Arkansas — had the highest increase in cremations from the previous year at 3.55%. If you’ve been thinking of installing a retort or building or partnering with a crematorium, 2021 might be the year to get it done.
“I will stop saying, ‘Because we’ve always done it this way.’”
Despite the groundbreaking innovation happening right now in the field (looking at you, Parting Stone), deathcare is still viewed as a profession that’s antiquated and behind the times in everything from technology to marketing. Traditions, especially within generational organizations, should be honored, but they don’t have to dictate your future. Take a chance this year and do something that makes you a little uncomfortable.
“I will do something new to engage my community.”
Even in 2020, deathcare professionals found new and extraordinary ways to give back to the communities they serve. From driving elderly residents to voting stations to lighting up cemeteries for drive-through holiday memorials, you engaged people of all ages. You showed them you are people they can count on as they live their lives, and not just after their deaths. Do more of that in 2021.
“I will practice self-care.”
Yes, this one veers into the personal resolution category, but your professional self can’t function well if your personal self is suffering … which often happens because of your professional workload. It’s a vicious cycle, but with proper care, you can manage it. Compassion fatigue is real and as Connecting Directors contributor Emily Gehman writes, “self-care steps may prevent your own mental health from becoming a statistic.”