In December 2019 I read article after article about setting goals with intention which said 2020 was going to be the year to set our sights with 20/20 precision vision to lead us into the new decade. That certainly didn’t work out as planned did it? Let’s take a look at methods to setting goals, so that we find success in our goals instead of feeling like goal setting is a waste of time.
Goal setting is successful when you follow the right steps to get yourself there. A goal set in your head will be achieved 5% of the time. A goal written down will be achieved 20% of the time. A goal shared with others will be achieved 80% of the time and a goal with accountability attached to it will be achieved 95% of the time. Which option are you going to choose for 2021?
Goals can’t be achieved in huge leaps, there needs to be a steady plan to get you and your business there. Think of climbing a mountain, what is easier, two steps along the way and the rest of the time you figure out places to put your feet or an evenly built staircase?
Our goals need to be SMART. They need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive. What this means is that if you say you have a goal of, I want to make more money that is just a thought without an action plan. A better stated goal is: My office production has increased 10% by July 1, 2021 at 9am. This second statement fits the parameters for a SMART goal.
To set a goal into motion you have to think about the small steps to get yourself there. I will use the 10% increase goal above as an example:
Step 1 – Figure out the number, what actually is a 10% increase. Know this number and have it directly affect all your further steps. What increase do you need on a monthly basis or even a daily basis to achieve 10% growth?
Step 2 – Look at all systems and team in your office and see if they are already in a good state to support change or should there be changes made to give you and the team tools to get there. If you don’t know the answer to this then have a practice management expert advise you in this area.
Step 3 – Determine if your team has the right tools to achieve the goal and fill in with online education or in-house support in areas where they may be lacking. This could be in the form of support from your software company, developing a mastermind group with other dentists or any other professional support you may need. You can’t be an expert in everything, admit where you may need support to reach your goals.
Step 4 – Provide your management team with your goal and the plan to get there. Listen to their feedback to ensure that they have “buy-in” for your plan. Your management team should know the numbers you are trying to achieve. The rest of your team will need to know a plan without having to know the detail of the numbers. An example of this would be telling the team that you are looking for a 10% increase in treatment acceptance by having 80% of all major treatment accepted at the first appointment, a decrease in hygiene open time by having two less openings a day or an increase in new patient flow by five extra new patients a month will be enough for them.
Step 5– Develop a system of measurement for the goals you give the team. Whether you develop an electronic monitor, a white board in your team room or an announcement at your morning huddle once a week, figure out what works best for your team.
Step 6– Celebrate the small wins along the way, whether it is verbal acknowledgement, pizza at lunch or gift cards for a local store, let the team know you are paying attention to the progress.
Achieving your goals takes constant focus, a well thought out plan and lots of support. Put yourself in the best position to get ready for 2021.