Don’t even think about reading this without taking the time to fill out the Ten Year Planner. We are going to take the strategy and apply it to your life and to your practice. If you have stayed with me this long, you should already have your Ten Year Planner filled out. Just doing this helps you to begin to think in the future. Review your Ten Year Plan and then come back and let’s start the process of creating goals that will transform your life and practice. Below you will find a simple but well thought out goal sheet that can be use not just to order your life, but to introduce goal setting to your staff.
Area of Life ___________ Today’s Date _____________ Target Date ____________
Action Plan: Target Date:
1. Goal: Be very specific and make sure that it is important to you to accomplish. Don’t waste a goal and the effort it takes to make it come true on trivial things. Challenge yourself and the process and be amazed at the results.
2. WIIFM: What’s in it for me? Human beings don’t do anything unless it benefits them, and that’s OK. The reason you find your practice and life such a challenge lies in not investigating the “why”. Once you know how this action and goal will benefit you, a transformation takes place. You are actually creating a word picture of the benefits you will have if you obtain this goal. This will become your motivation when it gets tough to work on the goal. Take your time and do a great job of doing this.
3. Obstacles: There are always challenges in all we do, but most of them “appear” greater than they are. A limiting belief is an idea that you have held so long that it becomes truth to you. Most have no basis in truth, but fear is a huge hurdle if you believe you cannot do something. Spelling this out is paramount to turning on the light in a dark room. Most of the shadows that you feared were nothing but imagination and supposition and held no power over you. I hope you can see how patient I am about this. Spell it out and do away with those obstacles. They cannot hold you back.
4. Solutions: Go at this for several days. Allow your mind to come up with novel ideas that are out of the box. The most difficult thing is not letting your past dictate the future. Over the course of several days you will be surprised at the wealth of solutions your mind will come up with.
5. Action Plan and Due Dates: This also may take a few visits to get it right. We want to break up the goal into bite-sized bits that allow you to tackle doable actions. Don’t skimp here either. Each goal may take dozens of steps to achieve. Taken in small logical steps we can do anything.
6. Affirmations: This is just a sentence that captures what it will feel like to obtain the goal and realize the success of success.
Goals are fundamental in making business and life move in a direction, with a trajectory and momentum that fulfills your dreams. Everyone graduated from dental school never expecting to be average, but most fall far short of their abilities because they never take time to be intentional about their planning. That’s why at age sixty-five, 97% of those reading this will be dead or dead broke. Start the habit of goal setting and become the person you always thought you would be. In the next installment, I want to give you perspective on how you might use this new habit to make your practice change for the better.
Michael Abernathy, DDS