In the first half of this series, we discussed the importance of creating SMART goals that are grounded in data. But goal setting isn’t a “set it and forget it” situation. There are four additional steps: planning, tracking, pivoting, and (our favorite) celebrating.
“Accidentally” meeting your goals isn’t a likely scenario. Instead, you have to create a plan to achieve them.
Put on Your Shoes
What is the simplest first step you can take toward your goal? If your goal is to run a marathon, there are many steps and individual runs to take. But the first step? Putting on your shoes. What’s the equivalent action for your goal?
Break it Down
Then, break down your goal into measurable steps or mini-goals. Set milestones for how you’ll know when the goal is 50% complete vs. 100% complete. If your goal is a specific number of new patients the answer is more intuitive than if your goal is about improved patient satisfaction scores.
Resource Your Practice
Do you have what you need to tackle your goals? Whether it’s software, supplies, or even time… you can’t achieve your goals without the right resources. If you don’t have what you need, add getting resourced to the plan.
You know how much we love data! Use the data to help you track your goal and evaluate how you’re doing. Decide what metrics need to be tracked, and where you’ll either enter in or pull out that information.
Then, be sure to create a plan for checking in. Think about things like:
- Who needs to be involved?
- How frequently will it happen?
- Is it a meeting or an email?
You know what makes the most sense for your practice. Remember to carve out the time for accountability and evaluating progress.
What happens when things aren’t going according to plan? You pivot.
This could mean changing your actions. For instance, doing something more or less frequently, adding another layer of accountability, or incorporating a new mini-habit.
But it might also mean re-evaluating the goal. After all, there is such a thing as the right goal at the wrong time.
We recently worked with a company that had a huge revenue milestone within their sights. Exciting, right? Well, they were also down a key player, training new employees, and experiencing the (normal) growing pains of a thriving business.
While other practices might have chosen to double down on that revenue milestone, this company knew it would rob their joy and go against their value of work-life balance. So they are pressing pause on that goal until the timing makes more sense for their team.
As we have said before, what gets celebrated gets repeated. So celebrate – even the small wins. Take the time to recognize when your team hits mini-milestones. Celebrations keep morale and motivation high.
A friend of mine coaches baseball, and he gives out two awards each game. The hardest-working player gets the Hard Hat award (just an old helmet that gets signed by each winner). The biggest playmaker of the game receives a ball. And you’d be amazed by how excited and motivated and honored the kids are to receive it. How could that translate at your practice?
When you hit the big goal? Be sure to celebrate again! Keep it in line with the magnitude of the goal, and make sure it’s something your team will appreciate. Some will appreciate coffee and donuts on a Monday morning, while others would prefer to leave early on a Friday afternoon. A handwritten note of appreciation goes far as well.
What has your practice done that has helped you achieve your goals? We’d love to hear! Or if you need some help setting your SMART goals and creating a plan to achieve them, set up a call.