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How to set goals for your practice

An oral surgeon defining practice goals

Most accomplished people get to where they are by setting goals. While laying out concrete and measurable numbers to hit is key, successfully setting goals for your practice is more complex than just identifying the benchmarks you would like to achieve.

Understanding your motivations

Money is important, but financial success alone is rarely a strong enough motivator to power you forward to achieve your goals. Dig deeper to understand yourself better and identify your “why”. The most powerful motivator is one that’s personal to you.

Write goals down

While it may sound like a no-brainer to write your goals down, it’s important to take this advice literally. The act of writing down your goals helps you remember them, both consciously and subconsciously.

Set goals you can believe in

When setting goals, a sweet spot exists where what you’re hoping to accomplish is achievable while also pushing you and your team outside of your comfort zone. Set a goal too lofty and motivation will wane as success begins to appear impossible. Set a goal too easy and you’ll become complacent and fail to think outside the box. It’s good practice to tweak your goals to be impressive while also believable.

Create value for others

Goals that are 100% self-serving are more difficult to achieve than goals designed to serve others. Making a positive impact provides the most valuable ROI of all, positive personal growth.

Set a deadline

Knowing when you’d like to achieve something is just as important as the what and the why. Some people shy away from hard deadlines because they don’t want to put themselves under pressure, but if you only set goals you truly want to accomplish, this pressure can present itself as motivation instead of stress.

Take one small action every day

Goals only work if you take action on them. Break down your action plan into bite-sized chunks. The smaller and shorter the tasks the better. The difference between people who make things happen and those who watch things happen is often as simple as taking one small action every day that moves you towards your goals.