By Libby Rothschild, CEO of Dietitian Boss; follow on LinkedIn†
At first, setting goals can be daunting. Do you see a colossal to-do list or a marathon that will take you months to complete when you think about goals? Goal setting is a practical step to improve the growth and success of your private dietitian practice. Here are five benefits you can see when you start setting goals, as well as advice on how to do just that.
1. You are more responsible for yourself and your business.
Goal setting is a critical element of business success, and a big part of it is being accountable to yourself and your company. Without accountability, it is easy for dieticians in private practice to let things slip.
A quarterly method of goal setting makes it easier for you to stay on track with your goals because you need to write down what you want to achieve, when you want things done, and how much time (and money) you want to spend on them.
When working on quarterly goals, you can now also set monthly check-ins until the goal’s due date. This way you know where you stand all year round, instead of waiting until mid-year when most people are less motivated.
2. Achieving goals is easier when you break them down.
Shifting your focus from the bigger picture to smaller, more manageable goals can help you stay motivated and achieve your dreams. For example, instead of imagining yourself as a dietitian with a thriving private practice in five years, you might choose to break this goal down into smaller chunks.
Perhaps your first goal is to get 20 new customers within six months. Then the goal for next year could be to have 100 new customers by the end of the year. After that, it can grow to 500 new customers in the third year, and so on.
Taking small steps and not thinking too far ahead can make it easier to stay focused on what needs to be done now rather than getting overwhelmed by how far away “success” seems (and how long it will take). In addition to being more manageable than annual targets, quarterly targets also give you time to reflect on the progress made so far.
3. You better plan.
If a goal is already set in stone, it’s easier to prioritize your tasks, schedule time for them, and see the progress you’re making along the way. Visualize your goals is especially important if your practice needs a task to run smoothly (e.g. training new hires).
Setting quarterly goals can give you a sense of what needs to be done so that when something unexpected happens (as often happens), there are no surprises or setbacks that can derail your plans for success.
4. You become proactive instead of reactive.
In my opinion, being proactive is generally the best way to be. You’re ahead of the curve, so you can deal with things before they happen or keep them from getting out of hand.
Therefore, instead of reacting to everything that happens as it happens, use your quarterly goals to plan everything you want or need to do in your practice. Think of something you’re thinking about that needs to be resolved right now (like billing issues or scheduling patients).
Write down how much work time it would take for one person in your office who has expertise in this area (even if you’re just yourself) and add that to your workload forecasts each quarter. Then factor those hours into the rest of what needs to be done in those weeks until they finish their job so nothing else gets pushed.
5. You begin to focus on the bigger picture.
One of the essential benefits of quarterly goals for dieticians in private practice is achieving a overview in large format† Quarterly goals are an excellent tool to help you let go of what isn’t working or move you toward your more prominent, important goals.
It’s common to lose yourself in the day-to-day details, but don’t let the little things take up too much time or energy. Instead, focus on what can help you achieve the bigger picture. By focusing on the things that are important to you and moving you forward, you can have a clearer picture of who you want to be and what you hope to achieve.
Setting quarterly goals can help you stay on track and achieve your long-term vision of where you want your business and life to go. It can also help you focus on what’s essential and stay motivated when some days aren’t going so well.
There are many benefits to setting quarterly goals for dietitians in private practice. Remember that your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) and don’t forget to celebrate your victories!