Plan, if You Want to Achieve Your Goals

Planning for the new year is a tradition.

And once again, it’s that time; it’s time to plan.

But before you look toward the future, stop and look in the rear mirror.

1. Review

Before going on to plan for next year, review the current one.

Take stock of what you’ve accomplished in your business and personal life.

  • What worked and what didn’t?
  • Which goals did you accomplish?
  • Which fell by the wayside?
  • What will you carry into the new year?

Celebrate your wins!

Most of us tend to glance over our accomplishments.

But that’s a mistake! Don’t do that.

Pat yourself on the back for everything you’ve accomplished.

Write everything down; once you start looking, you realize just how much you’ve done.

Acknowledge all learning opportunities!

Were there any failures, aka learning opportunities?

Probably… and that’s ok.

Acknowledge them, learn from them, and move on!

We all make mistakes; that’s how we learn. What’s important is that you’re moving in the right direction and on the right track.

There’s no sense in doing something perfectly if you’re heading in the wrong direction!

2. Start Planning

The best-laid plans…

Sometimes, they get derailed.

Should you stop planning?

No, of course not.

Let’s acknowledge that things won’t always turn out as planned—no need to panic, however.

If anything, use setbacks as opportunities to reassess and refine your plans. Ask yourself what went wrong, how similar mistakes can be prevented in the future, and if they can be prevented.

Outside your Control

Because sometimes, things are entirely outside your control, regardless of your plans.

You may have to live with:

  • Inflation that leads to higher expenses and lower profits
  • High cost of housing and office space
  • A looming recession
  • Legislative changes affecting your industry negatively
  • Technological advancements affecting your practice
  • And the list goes on…

Even though there are things you can’t control, plenty are entirely within your control.

And this is where planning comes into the picture.

Because these are the things, you want to get right. And the chance of getting them right increases exponentially with planning.

Planning is your superpower. It’s your GPS, your North Star.

And if things don’t turn out as you had envisioned, at least you’re going in the right direction!

Planning is essential

Planning is the answer… from personal to professional objectives, if you want a reliable and effective method to achieve your goals.

And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep your approach to planning simple because if it is too complex, it tends to fall by the wayside.

Most effective planning techniques are simple, practical, and won’t eat up too much time.

It can be as simple as:

1. Identify your goals. What do you want to achieve and why?

A goal is analogous to a target. Without it, you’re drifting, hoping for things to “somehow” change and improve.

But when you have a clear goal, you can go after it and have a definite direction and purpose.

Knowing your “why” and why you want to achieve a particular goal will go a long way toward making your plans come true.

2. Break down your goals. What smaller steps will lead you toward your larger goal? 

Be specific here. What actions do you have to take to make progress?

Starting a practice is a goal, but it needs to be more specific to be achieved. Starting a single provider practice in XYZ city by October is more detailed, even though it could be broken down much further.

Be as specific as you need to be, but don’t go overboard. A clear target is essential, but too much specificity may limit your options. Stick to the important characteristics.

3. Create a timeline and stick to it as best you can. When do you want to achieve each step? What is the target date for your end goal? Without a timeline, you might find yourself waiting for a long time because you’ll be unlikely ever to get started

Deciding on a target date creates focus and urgency and gives you motivation. Consider your other obligations and develop target dates you can achieve within a reasonable time.

Don’t set target dates too far out… it’s far too easy to procrastinate with goals set too far in the future.

4. Decide how you will measure your progress. How will you know if you’ve achieved a goal if you don’t know how or can’t measure it?

How will you know if you’re making progress?

For example, goals that deal with money or body weight are easy to quantify. A goal to take a trip to Rome can also easily be measured because you either did or did not travel to Rome.

However, goals that deal with less quantifiable characteristics, like” I want to grow my practice,” can be a little more challenging. You will have to develop your own measuring scale, i.e., revenue, added services, number of patients seen per week, etc., so you can measure your progress. Ensure your goal can be measured before you get started.

5. Monitor your progress; adjust if necessary. Regularly revisit your plan and check your progress toward your goals.

One of the most effective ways to successfully work toward your goals is to review them regularly. Some swear by a daily review; others review their goals at different intervals.

You need to review your goals and plans regularly. Depending on your plans and the type of goals you’re tracking, decide when and how often you will check in with yourself. When it’s time for your review, take a few minutes and read over, write, or visualize your goals.

In Conclusion…

Planning and setting goals are essential to achieving anything in life. It’s been said that those with goals regularly outperform those without.

But planning isn’t just about building a map for success.

It’s also about getting clarity about what you want and why you want it. It’s about breaking down large, overwhelming goals into manageable steps and staying focused on the big picture while navigating the daily grind.

And remember that planning isn’t just a one-time event; it’s an ongoing process.

As circumstances change or new information becomes available, you want to adjust your plans accordingly. This keeps you on track even when unexpected problems come up.

Planning is a powerful tool for achieving your goals, so start today if you’re not yet planning, setting goals, and writing them down.

Put your plans on paper and write down your goals. Decide which ones matter most to you, and plan how to make them come true.

Do you have a process for reviewing and planning at year-end, and are you willing to share it with us? We’d love to know; please share and leave your comment below.

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  1. Hi!

    Thank you for such an informative and useful blog post. What I enjoyed the most was your suggestion to celebrate your accomplishments. I think that idea is often overlooked in favor of finding aspects of your day to improve. However, you really need both to create balance.

    One tactic I would like to suggest to further the idea of celebrating accomplishments is a daily "got done" list. Instead of just looking at your to-do list and only taking note of what you didn't finish, you would write down everything you did get done, big and small, on a separate sheet of paper. If you commit to doing that every day you'll feel inspired to get more done. If you only ever take note of what you did not finish throughout the day or week you'll begin to feel demotivated.

    Happy New Year.

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