Accomplishing challenging objectives is a funny thing.
We admire people who do it – those that display a dogged determination to stick with their plans or goals and finally bring them off. Whether it’s an historical leader guiding their country through troubles times, a successful businessperson that defied the odds, rising from penniless and no prospects to a roaring success, or that individual who turns their life and health around after losing 200 plus pounds.
As a society we find these individuals and their stories engrossing and inspirational. We read books and watch movies about them, see “inspirational quotes” from one or more of them on Social Media platforms or watch highly viewed videos sharing their tales on YouTube.
Maybe we get momentarily inspired by a quote or decide that we now have the courage to make a change as a result of this individual’s story.
Whether it’s a personal or business change or plan you’ve made, nine times out of ten, what happens?
Or your start off strong, and slowly but surely stop.
And truthfully, I’m not aware of any reliable numbers that measure percentage of follow through, but I’d put money on that it’s worse than 9 out of 10 who don’t.
If you belong to a gym, and exercise regularly you’ve seen this in action.
I hate going to the gym in January. Why? The multitude of people that made New Years resolutions about getting in shape all show up. And while I’m happy that they are focusing on getting healthy, as a gym consumer it creates a lot of waiting, for a treadmill a bench, a machine or squat rack to become available.
And what does this look like by February.
Back to normal – where did everybody go?
If you were to look at the number of people who show up at the gym or health club regularly, you’d wonder how these companies makes ends meet. And then you realize that the people who aren’t showing up are still paying, and it all makes sense. Health clubs depend on this. I often wonder that if they were at 100% utilization if they would be able to accommodate all their members! Probably not.
Let’s move this concept into the subject of “New Year’s Resolutions” or planning for your practice for 2019. How can you avoid the inevitable sag as time goes on? What would it take for to you become like one of these people you read about? Or at least someone that is achieving their goals/resolutions at a satisfactory speed?
Well, with that in mind, here are three ways to make your plans for your practice (or New Year’s Resolutions), a reality for 2019.
1. Inspire yourself.
Inspiration is vastly misunderstood.
Well, we often assign this inspiration to the wrong source.
Sure, you might become inspired by someone’s story or a quote or whatever. But what makes the difference between someone who makes (and sticks with) a change and someone who doesn’t?
The ones who change, inspire or motivate themselves. Maybe they use that initial inspiration as a catalyst – but what fuels their ongoing motivation comes from within.
I can attest to this personally and as an executive.
I’ve helped, taught, trained many people on their jobs and the how-to’s of “executiving.” And while I might inspire someone to act or work harder, etc. It’s only their own demand that KEEPS them at it. You can’t motivate someone into success. They must want to be successful and drive themselves into accomplishing it. So, while you can “light the fire” with an employee or team member, the fire stays fed from within.
If you want to make a change this year, accomplish specific production objectives, etc, then YOU must drive yourself to it. A nice quote on Facebook isn’t going to cut it. And keep in mind in the process of what you are trying to accomplish you are going to run into barriers. You’re going to have setbacks. There will be times it will not be fun. Well, that’s when we dig deep and remember why we are doing whatever it is in the first place and continue. Again – inspire ourselves. No one can do it better than you. And no one other than you can sustain it.
And another point. Don’t trash what you have accomplished.
Let’s say your practice did $500,000 in 2017 and you made a goal for $750,000 in 2018.
By the end of 2018 you end up at $600,00.
So, you beat yourself up – you’re no good, you didn’t accomplish your goals, etc.
Well, maybe we look at this another way. Your office grew. Maybe you didn’t hit the target right on the head – but you improved. Well, that’s good – it’s a heck of a lot better than doing $400,000!
When you plan for 2019, start off by looking at what you did accomplish in 2018 – not at what you didn’t. Take time to recognize where you were successful.
If you have a staff meeting to start off the year, that’s how I’d start it, with what was accomplished – not by focusing on what didn’t happen (we can do that later as we plan for the New Year).
2. Focus on what’s important.
This is a point where planning in general, whether it’s an organizational plan or a New Year’s Resolution can fall flat.
You make an exhaustive list of what you plan to accomplish for 2019. Maybe you get overwhelmed or you find yourself focusing on something that isn’t really all that critical.
I’ve often felt that I’d rather be great at three things than mediocre at ten. And this sentiment can be found in many sayings or proverbs – all of which escape me right now.
The point it, focus your determination and drive on what you view as actually important.
Whether it’s your overall production goal, expanding your facility (to achieve expansion), training your staff, learning a new clinical skill or procedure, whatever.
Try this: Imagine you’re at the end of 2019. What would you regret not having done? What would you be unhappy about not having accomplished?
Well, focus on that for the year then. And organizationally, get everyone on board. And more importantly, stay focused on it to keep everyone on board.
3. Be willing to confront reality and the effort involved with reaching your goals.
Ah, plans. They’re so easy to think up.
Then you have to do actually do something. Which, in some cases, is not all that easy.
In point “2” above, I wrote about plans failing to due to lack or prioritization or potential overwhelm.
Here we have a different kettle of fish. (Sorry, haven’t used that saying in a long time…I quite like it even though I have never actually seen a kettle full of fish).
We have plans failing due to:
a) Unwillingness or difficulty to face the efforts and actions involved in accomplishing the plan, or more often we have
b) Uncertainty or a lack of understanding of how to actually pull off the goal or objective.
I see “b” far more than I see “a.”
For example: you decide that one of your goals for 2019 is to collect $1 Million.
Analyzing your statistics, you decide that the route to this goal is to double your new patients. You saw an average of 50 new patients a month in 2018 and collected $650,000.
In a case like this, you could go “new patient” crazy and still not pull off the $1 Million. Why? Well, unless you’re involved with a ton of low-paying PPOs or HMOs, you should easily be able to produce and collect more than a million with 50 new patients a month.
This is really a case of solving the incorrect problem.
In a situation like this, case acceptance is most often the problem (again, assuming the doctor isn’t accepting a ton of low-reimbursing plans).
If I come in with pain in #14 and you do a root canal on #19, I’ll still be in pain. And while I know this sounds stupid – it’s a pretty good comparison.
In any event, you wouldn’t treat #19 to solve a problem with #14 because you know what you are doing. Well, many management errors derive from NOT knowing what you are doing. And why? It’s not due to lack of ability. I can answer this question with a question: What training have you have on the subject of management? Probably little to none – so don’t be shocked that you have trouble with the subject.
In any event, if you want to pull off an audacious set of goals for your office in 2019, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ensure you are focusing your efforts on things that will actually make them materialize. If you want help with this, feel free to give us a call at (800) 640-1140. You can also meet with one of our consultants at any of our Free Seminars across the US and Canada. Or, you can subscribe to our online training platform DDS Success! (www.ddssuccess.com) to get a head start.
Well there you have it. Few things approach the satisfaction associated with accomplishing a goal. And that is my hope for you in 2019 – be one of the 10%! May all your goals become a reality!