One Microstep that I use to focus and prioritize is to come up with three goals for the day. I usually think of my goals in the morning when I wake up to let my dog out. They can be as small as a reminder to meditate or track my points, but when I limit myself to just three it mentally allows me to do even more. Starting my day with this practice allows me to evaluate my priorities and focus on my goals without adding stress. 

I started doing Microsteps because I find that when I am disciplined in one area, I tend to be naturally focused in another. These small, science-back steps help me to reduce my overall stress and to get more in touch with myself.

To create connections at work, I recently had the team share one thing they were happy or proud about that week. It was a great way to check in with one another before we started a meeting. It’s very important to me that my team knows I care about their well-being. No one wants to report to someone who is more focused on the work than the people performing the work. It is my goal to invest in people and not in tasks, so taking the time to make these connections when the opportunity arises is a priority for me.

If I could give some advice about how to reduce stress it would be this: Do not be overwhelmed by the whole, but take things one slice at a time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we look at the mountain of tasks and responsibilities in front of us, but it only takes one step at a time to make progress. Remember that as long as you keep moving forward, you’re making progress.

My current joy trigger is spending time with my brand new puppy. He is super happy to see me when I get home, and could seemingly care less about the fact that I might have been away from him. For me, he is a reminder that we cannot redo the past, but we can choose to enjoy the moment of our present. And I’ve been enjoying the present with him very much!

I also recently attended Tess Bredesen’s nutrition workshop in an Ask Thrive Live. It reminded me of the importance of being mindful about when and what I eat. What we eat is a reflection of how we want to show up in the world, and what we think we deserve. It also reminded me to savor the experience each time I sit down for a meal, rather than being preoccupied with other things.


  • Patricia Cooper

    Assistant Vice President in the Office of Corporate Compliance

    Northwell Health

    Patricia Cooper is a wife, mother, sibling and mentor. She began her career as a registered nurse at a community hospital in Queens, NY and later became a Nurse Practitioner. While working in the emergency department, she attended law school. Following a career as a litigator, Patricia returned to her first love: Working in health care. Patricia has leveraged her background as a nurse practitioner and lawyer to work in Compliance at Northwell Health. She now serves as an Assistant Vice President in the Office of Corporate Compliance at Northwell Health. In addition to leading her team, she believes in the importance of mutual listening and learning to add value to the workplace. Patricia also maintains active memberships in local civic groups, believing that she has been blessed to be a blessing!