The first of the year is a natural, normal time to be thinking about writing down and achieving goals. Of course, New Year’s resolutions are infamous for very rarely being reviewed, achieved, or even remembered past the first few weeks of a new calendar. While this year is coming to an end and you’re probably thinking about your plans for next year, goal-setting and achievement should be a regular routine—even a daily activity—as you run your practice.

All successful business and practice owners understand the vital importance of having written goals that are reviewed on a regular basis. But the truly successful ones actually incorporate this into their daily habits and activities. So here are a couple thoughts as we approach a new year:

1. Don’t just set goals because it’s the beginning of the year. Make sure this becomes a regular habit. Do it because goal-setting is the way to move your practice forward and make it into the office you want it to be.

2. Give up the idea of annual goals. One of the biggest problems that business and practice owners have is that we think in terms of what we’re going to accomplish in this year. That’s a long time. The unintended fallout is that we tend not to take achieving these goals very seriously until much later in the year, when the deadline is approaching. In fact, most companies achieve the majority of their goals in their final quarter. This even happens in football: often, more points are scored in the last two minutes than any other period of the game.

3. Instead, think in 12-week periods. Brian Moran, author of The 12-Week Year, recommends you work on executing your goals in cycles of 12-week periods. Focus on two or three main goals each period to be achieved with weekly plans. That way your motivating deadline is much closer. When you do this, you tend to focus on and achieve your goals at much higher levels.

So this year, enjoy New Year’s Eve safely and spend time with your family and friends. But make sure your goals are already well in order and running before you get to popping champagne corks. Check out the Top Practices goal worksheets if you need a starting place—and check out our Mastermind group to help you on your way. You can also contact us for more information by calling (717) 725-2679 or e-mailing [email protected].

Rem Jackson
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Founder and CEO of Top Practices, LLC
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