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    4 tips to setting realistic goals for 2016

    What can you do to ensure your dental practice gets the New Year off on the right foot? Our author has some ideas.

    A new year brings fresh promise and, as long as you set realistic goals and have a reasonable plan to implement these specific goals, you are 95% more likely to achieve your goals. There are, of course, reasons people avoid setting goals. The reasons include fear of failure, fear of success, not being clear about what you want, not knowing how, and that goals make life too structured. These are all good reasons, but here are several excellent thoughts to consider as to why you should set goals.

    Goals provide a focal point and a laser-like focus that ensures that the law of attraction will bring you closer to your goals. When we hit goals, our self-esteem increases. We celebrate more often and we are then even further inspired to try setting goals in different areas.

    RELATED: What you need to know about your fees heading into 2016

    Every year at this time, I sit down with my budget, projected income, and develop a plan for building Jamison Consulting. I advise all of my clients to set production (revenue) goals that meet their budgetary needs. Here are a few tips for setting realistic goals for 2016 that will work. 

    1. Create a budget first. Quickbooks allows you to look at your year-long expenses in the format of a spreadsheet so that you can see which months historically require more money in the bank to pay the bills. This is extremely enlightening. I highly recommend this step. To do this, in Quickbooks, Select Company and then select Set up a Budget. It's that easy. Fill in each month with numbers from your plan and use last year's expenses to gauge whether to increase the expense or reduce it if you have paid off a loan. 

    RELATED: One of the biggest mistakes dentists make? Going over budget.

    2. To determine a realistic daily goal for your team, look back at your last 12 months and evaluate what your daily production average per month, per producer was. Next, select the three best average daily production figures and average them. This gives you an idea of what you are capable of doing. It was just done in the last 12 months. I bet you can accomplish that routinely by the end of this year.

    3. In order to make goal setting easiest and assist in monitoring the results of your goal-setting process, I recommend using Revenue Goal Planner, which can be ordered at www.revenuegoalplanner.com.

    4. Engage your team in generating ideas to enable the practice to meet the goals and then ask what type of rewards would be meaningful to them. As ideas are implemented, plan to celebrate. I keep their reward ideas in a jar and pull one at a time as goals are exceeded.

    Lastly, realize that setting goals should be empowering. You now have created a target and missing the target is to be expected. As in any goal-setting system, the monitoring of the goal should lead you to be clearer and clearer about what needs to be done differently to hit the target.

    ADDITIONAL READING: 5 steps to developing your team

    Laura Jamison
    Laura Jamison is celebrating her 30th year as a practice management consultant. Her practice is based in Tampa, Fla., and she has had ...

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