As we start the new year, many people have already set new goals and some have already stopped pursuing them. Have you ever wondered why? The most common illustration of this is gym attendance. The first 2-3 weeks the gyms are flooded with people and by mid-February it is usually back to pre-resolution attendance. Have you ever experienced this?

When you study human behavior, you start to see trends that are really interesting. We all know what to do to accomplish our goals and yet many of us, year after year, have the same goals and still haven’t accomplished them. I myself still want to get into better shape – GUILTY!

The challenge is that too many of us overcomplicate the process to be successful.  Weight loss is a great one. The diets and exercises often feel way too complicated and overwhelming, but we still try for a few weeks and then our willpower runs out. Willpower is much like a muscle: it fatigues and thus you can’t rely on it. The better way is to rely on programming − or habit. Here are 4 tips to help you achieve your goals this year in either your dental practice or personal goals:

1. Create measurable goals

For example, my goal above to get into better shape can’t really be measured and thus it makes it easy to let it slip past me. When making goals for your practice, skip the ambiguity and try to quantify your success. It will keep you and your team motivated.

2. Put deadlines on your goals − short ones

Often we set goals that might take months or years to achieve and that would require an abundance of willpower. For example, if you want to lose 100 lbs, set a goal to lose 10 lbs by March, and once you succeed, repeat it! Similarly, if you set a goal to increase revenue by 10 percent, try to break that down into a monthly goal that you can use to check in with your team.

3. Write out the exact steps you need to take to accomplish your goals

It is great to have a goal, but without the daily steps clearly written out, it probably won’t happen.

4. Review your goals and steps daily!

If you simply write them and then lose the goals and steps in the pile of papers on your desk, they probably won’t happen. If, on the other hand, you sit down and review them daily, you are far more likely to be compliant with them. There is some great science to explain why this works; it’s called cognitive dissonance. When you review them and they become programmed, the first time you deviate from the plan, you will feel very uncomfortable.

If you follow the above simple steps for business goals or personal goals, you will find you start to achieve far more often. Success begets success! Here’s to your better future – I need to go for a run 🙂

To learn even more, watch this video.

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