Last time we spoke about goal setting. I want to take the time and show you a very simple tool that I have used for 30 years to guide, motivate, and elevate my vision of what is possible. I use it every year with my Sunday school class of 300 high school students, with my kids, and personally to make sure I follow a lifestyle of striving for excellence and balance.
Before starting any trip or project, you would be well served to make some plans. Without a plan or a strategy, there is a good chance you will end up somewhere you never intended. These unintended detours in life eat up our energy and create doubt in our ability while creating a culture and sense of mediocrity and helplessness with those who surround us (family and staff). In business and in life, you can be a thermometer that measures what’s going on (not me) or you can be a thermostat that controls what’s going on (YES!).
Before you march off to make some grandiose plans with no basis in fact or foundation of logic, let’s consider that it would be good to know where we are right now. It would be important to know how we feel about where were are right now, and super important to take a long view of where we would like to be in the next 10 years. I can always tell the ”life challenged”. They tend to worry about today and yesterday, and are clueless about where they will end up in ten years. In a sense, we want to begin with the end in mind. The hurdle here has always been our preoccupation with what’s happening right now. Today’s problems occupy so much energy and attention, few of us ever have the opportunity or time to sit down and really look at our history and our future. I am going to give you a tool that I have used for over 35 years. This will be the most important thing you will do this year. I guarantee that it will change your practice, home life, and attitude 180 degrees. Take an hour to do this and you will never be the same.
It’s called the Ten Year Planner. Just click on this link (Ten Year Plan) and download the text. You will notice that it is divided into four areas: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual. Before the next time we get together, you need to down load the planner and set aside about 45-60 minutes to fill it in. Don’t shortcut this. Take the time to print it and then save the template for next year. You will quickly get into the habit of using this every year. Be honest and complete in your answers. I want you to be able to re-read this later and understand your thought process at the time you filled it out.
The first time I did this was 1978. I made predictions on the number of kids I would have, income, practice type, etc. Ten years later, every goal and prediction had come true. It’s like magic. The next installment will deal with the actual goals you will be making and the tools you need to do it. Don’t wait. Put this on your calendar. You have about ten days to get it done. See you next time.
Michael Abernathy, DDS