Goal setting in your eyecare practice is an integral part of making improvements and tracking your progress over time. How many times have you set goals or resolutions, but right after you write them down you forget about it and don't put in more than a week's worth of effort towards achieving them? It happens to everyone.
Today we want to walk you through a few steps that are important in order to set realistic, attainable, and motivating goals for your practice. We're not going to let you put your goals on a post it note, filed away in your desk drawer to forget about!
4 Steps for Achieving Eyecare Practice Goals
Set goals that motivate you.
Whatever goals you set for you and your staff, make sure they are important to you, and that you'll feel achievement once your goals are met. Having no interest in the outcome of the goals won't put you in the position of being successful. For example, setting goals related to profits in your practice is likely going to be a big motivator for someone who owns a practice.
Use the SMART method.
The most popular strategy for setting goals is by using the SMART method. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time.
- Specific. Being specific helps to clearly define the goal at hand. You don't want to have goals that are too general in scope with no clear plan for how to reach them.
- Measurable. Setting a measurable goal helps you know when you have been successful. If you have no means to measure the goal, you'll never know if it's been achieved.
- Attainable. Be realistic. You want to set goals that present a challenge, but they also need to be close enough to attain. Goals that are set too high can be discouraging for your team.
- Relevant. What is it that you want your practice to accomplish this year, and how can specific goals help you get there?
- Time. You should put a deadline on your goals. Perhaps they are quarterly, or yearly. Either way, make sure you set a time frame for success.
Put them in writing and in plain sight.
Putting your goals in writing is important, but putting them somewhere that you will see them on a daily basis is even more important. Perhaps you have a bulletin board in your staff room, or behind your front desk in an area that your entire staff sees daily. This will help keep everyone on the same page towards what you're working for, and keeps everyone updated on the progress. It can also be a great motivator if you're behind schedule on achieving the goal. It's human nature to want to succeed, so making success visible will be a big motivator.
Make a plan, but don't be afraid to veer from it.
Setting a game plan lets everyone on your team know what their role is in achieving the goal, but if you find that halfway through your time frame you aren't any closer to your goal, don't be afraid to switch up the game plan. Recognizing when something isn't working is important so that you have time to make adjustments to get your practice back on track.
What goals are you looking to accomplish this year in your practice? Check out our eBook to get ideas on benchmarks your practice should be aiming to hit.
Originally published in January 2016