Insights From Our Editors

How to Set & Achieve Goals for the New Year

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

Jan. 10, 2018

It’s a new year, which, for many of us, means new goals. What goals would you like to achieve in your practice this year? Here are some things to keep in mind to increase your chances of reaching your goals.

Identify Your Values
Often people start goal-setting in the wrong place. They go straight to the numbers. Before you go there, you should start by identifying your values. Your values should determine your priorities. Your values are what you use to determine if your practice is moving in the right direction.

What’s Your Top Priority?
Let’s start by identifying your top values. Do that by looking at the chart below and identifying at least 10 values that mean the most to you. Once you’ve done that, from those top 10, choose your top 3-5 values. From those values, ask the question, “If I could only choose one, which one would it be?”

That one value is your top-priority value. It is the value that you must use in every practice decision. Repeat this process with each member of the practice leadership, then spend the time necessary to come to consensus on the most important values for the practice.

This chart was modified from the one found at https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm

Life in the practice is much easier when you embrace your values and make practice decisions based on your values. This is also a good activity to revisit when you find yourself unhappy with your practice. Most probably your practice has drifted away from your top values.

Now that you know what your most important values are, you are ready to set your goals. The goals that line up with your values will be the goals that mean the most to you when you achieve them.

Be sure to share your most important values with your practice team. Everyone in the practice should be in alignment with the values of the practice leadership.

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