Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Closing One Year and Starting Another (a Three-Part Series)

In the first part of my blog post series, I focused on practice evaluation. My post provided ideas and methods that you can quickly and simply implement to evaluate your progress at the end of the business year. 

This blog post will be about direction. Direction is simply the creation of new goals while also staying in line toward the completion of goals that are already in motion.

Part 2: Direction

Taking an introspective look at what you want personally. 
Believe it or not, it all starts with you. We have only one life, and each and every one of us deserves happiness. With that being said, happiness should come from you. It is nobody else’s responsibility to make you feel good. If you are not happy with yourself, does anything else matter? How you feel reflects in every interaction you have and everything you do.

Try this exercise: Grab a piece of paper and a pen, and take a moment to write down answers to these questions: What are five things I do on a daily basis that make me happy? What are five things that frustrate me daily? What’s one thing I can do or change on a daily basis to make my day better?

Keep up the things that improve your days. Appreciate them, and don’t lose grasp of those things. Try to figure out why you’re frustrated by certain things that you’ve listed as upsetting. Perhaps there are simple changes you can make to prevent frustration. Try not to change too much at once. Making one change to your day could have a positive impact that is both realistic and easy to commit to. If you continuously make small but positive changes, over time, the quality of your life can become so much better.

Taking an introspective look at what you want professionally.
If you know what makes you happy on personal level, it will be easier to filter what is professionally working for you and what is not. Are there members of your team who don’t fall in line with your practice mission statement? I realize nobody likes going through the process of terminating, hiring, and training a new team member, but having a person who doesn’t belong on the team can bring down everyone in the office and create mental clutter for you.

Are you doing the dentistry you want to be doing? If there are procedures that you don’t enjoy doing, then stop doing them. Put your energy into things that you enjoy doing, because as you gain experience, you likely will become an expert and develop a niche in your practice that your team and community will be able to recognize — and then you will be doing even more of what you enjoy and likely will become more profitable.

Revisiting goals you have previously established.
When you create goals, write them down and date them. Goals must have deadlines that can be either firm or flexible, and these deadlines must be written. If you have done this, then make sure to revisit your goals on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Are you achieving these goals? If so, acknowledge your work and celebrate your success; if not, figure out the obstacles that prevented your success and create a new plan.

People don’t typically hop in the car and drive aimlessly without a destination. We all need direction, and this comes from gaining an understanding of yourself, making goals, and honoring your commitments. Next month, I will discuss how to implement your goals. Until then, be well and happy.

Pamela Marzban, DDS, FAGD

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