Don't Just Make Resolutions; Create an Action Plan!

DECEMBER 15, 2016
Christopher Burton, MD
Practice Management, Columns, Lifestyle, New Year's, Resolution, Goals, Action, Plan

As we approach the end of the year, most people start thinking about the year ahead and what they want to be, do, or have differently.

If you could see into the future, what do you think your life will look like one year from now? If you are like most people, all of that hoping is just wishful thinking. Unfortunately, most people never go beyond that vague wishing stage. They don’t think about the details. As physicians, we know that the details are important.

This year, instead of writing a wish-list of resolutions, why not create a detailed plan for success? This is a must in my coaching program. We go over not only the goals, but also create a strategy for making them happen. There are a few key areas of your life to consider, and I encourage you to take the time right now to write down the biggest change you would like to see in that area for 2017.

Where do you want to be professionally by this time in 2017? What change do you want to see in your career?

What change do you want to see in your personal relationships? Do you want to spend more time with your children or be able to take a special vacation with your spouse? As physicians, we can fall into the trap of taking care of our patients but forgetting to take care of the relationships outside of work.

Where do you want to be financially one year from now? You can consider improving income from your practice or starting to develop your personal investments so you can retire early.

Where do you want to be with your health? Could you start to eat better? Do you want to exercise more? Is there a habit you need to kick?

Writing down specific goals sets those who succeed apart from those “resolution” makers who fail within the first few weeks of every year. Once you know what your one big goal is in each of these areas of your life, you can focus your time, energy and resources toward making it happen. The second part of the process is to identify specific action steps that you need to take in order to make progress toward these goals.

What is the first step you can take now to help you reach your goal? From there outline successive steps that you can take along that process. This makes it much easier to track your progress than just having some vague “resolution” in your head.

Are you ready to create your action plan for 2017? Would like help in reaching your goals? If so, contact me today. Don’t get stuck in the resolution trap ever again.


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