Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year, New You!

Come Jan.1, unlike many people I know, I hide as far away as possible from my local gym. It’s maybe a bit counterintuitive, but gosh I hate waiting among the masses for a bench or rack or—gasp—elliptical machine. Yes, men can use the elliptical, too! Don’t get me wrong—it’s nice to see the hope and determination of those newbies who have made it their goal to get in shape, change their ways, and reclaim that mid-30s body!

{insert bicep flex here}

All fine and dandy, but you know what’s even cooler? Walking into the gym in June and seeing the remaining 10 percent of those same people, still pushing, driving, and grinding to meet that goal. This is what I enjoy most about New Year’s resolutions!

So, I ask all of you, what are your dental resolutions for 2015? The ones you’ll keep working at for the entire year? Put a gym in your break room? (Man, wouldn’t that be sweet?) Go chartless? Learn to place implants? Pick up the latest and greatest CAD/CAM scanner/milling unit? Open a new office location? Hire an associate? Lots of options—and lots of opportunity.

I challenge you this though—make yourself a better dentist. Plain and simple. We’re all at different points in our careers, but I think we can all agree there’s something—or some things—we can better ourselves at. May it be clinical skills, treatment planning, or staff management, no one is perfect. We hear it from the day we graduate dental school, but it’s true: keep learning.

Even more importantly, outside the doors to that spiffy new (gym in the break room) dental office, are the resolutions you have for yourself and your family. I know I devote way too much valuable energy and time to dentistry, even outside of my 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily schedule. I love it, can’t get enough of it—but it comes at a cost.

Family must be your priority, and this never rings truer as my wife and I just welcomed a baby boy into our lives a few months ago. I’ve got the sleeping, diaper changing, and daycare drop-offing down, but I’m still learning this whole balancing work vs. family thing. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Balance in our lives makes us better able to treat our patients appropriately, smile at our staff sincerely, and accomplish our tasks more effectively. Slow down, take things in stride. Rinse and repeat. I say this not to lecture, but to remind myself. It’s one of my resolutions.

So, go ahead and set some lofty goals. Ones you know you’ll still be grinding at come summer time. They’re the only ones worth making. But remember to keep it manageable and never forget your support system. You can’t do it without them.

See you ’round the gym…in March!

Donald Murray III, DMD

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