If you’re connected to the Dental Hub 360 community, that means you’re well on your way to getting the most out of your dental career. That’s because the Dental Hub 360 community is full of thousands of dentists, dental team members, dental consultants, and others who are all working together to help each other achieve their goals.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you join the Dental Hub 360, Nifty Thrifty Dentists, and Trapped in an OP Facebook groups. In there, you’ll find thousands of other dental professionals working together to help each other crush their goals. You’ll get helpful information, make strategic connections, receive support and encouragement, and more. If you haven’t yet set goals for 2020 and beyond, here’s exactly how to do that.

Use a simple goal-setting framework.

Using a simple goal-setting framework makes setting goals you can attain easy. All you need to do is walk through the framework, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do to turn your goal into your reality.

The simplest framework for setting achievable goals is the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework, which stands for goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant, and
  • Timebound

Together, these five elements help you set a goal that you can break down into steps for you to take to achieve it. For the rest of this post, we’ll use a newer dentist looking to advance in her career as an example and walk through setting and starting to achieve a S.M.A.R.T. goal for her.

Go through each step of the framework.

Let’s assume this newer dentist wants to make more money, have more freedom, and build an asset she can sell when she wants to leave the practice of dentistry someday. What would a S.M.A.R.T. goal look like for her? Owning her own practice could be one option. When done right, owning a practice can help a dentist do all three of those things.

Let’s walk through the S.M.A.R.T. framework with this vision in mind.

Specific

Our dentist has multiple options for owning a dental practice, such as starting her own, buying an existing practice, and even going into partnership with other dentists. So, while practice ownership is specific, she could get even more specific with her goal. For this purpose, we’ll set opening her own solo practice that she will grow into a multi-doctor practice as her goal.

Measurable

Opening a solo practice she can grow is very specific. It’s also measurable. Specifically, she can identify the things she will need to do to understand if she’s on track. She can learn by when she needs funds secured. She will know by when she will need building permits. She can put together a timeline for opening a practice based on the thousands of other dentists who open practices every year.

Achievable

Opening a practice is also very achievable for dentists. Thousands of dentists open practices every year. They have the education they need. All they need to do is put the rest of the finances and pieces together to make it happen.

Relevant

In the beginning, we set money, freedom, and a growing asset as our hypothetical dentist’s vision for her future. Opening a practice that can grow to a multi-doctor practice checks all three boxes. She can make more money. She can get more freedom by eventually not being the only doctor serving patients and by having more authority in the practice than she would as an associate in another practice. And her practice will be an asset she can sell when she’s ready to retire or move on.

Timebound

With her goal taking shape, the final step to making it a S.MA.R.T. goal is to assign a reasonable timeframe. For this purpose, let’s assume she is in the position to open her practice within one year. It won’t be the multi-doctor practice she envisions down the road. But she will open a practice built on growth and expansion principles within one year.

That means it will have systems and processes that other doctors can use, be a brand-name practice rather than a practice with just her name as a brand, and so on. Making her goal timebound makes it much easier to see what she’s building over the next year: What she needs to do is open with a brand name and good systems, processes, and room to grow.

Take action and don’t stop.

The final step to setting a goal is understanding what actions you need to take and then getting to work. In this case, our dentist can hire a consultant, buy books, or get other lists together of what she will need to open her practice. She can get her finances in order, start researching locations, and get her brand together. And she can start posting to social media about what she’s building and why so she can start building buzz about her future practice.

Once she knows the steps she needs to take, she needs to take action and not stop. If something doesn’t go right the first time, she tries again. If something’s not working, she reassesses and chooses a better course of action. She might change her approach, but she must never stop. Otherwise, she will never achieve her goal.

Are you ready to crush 2020 and beyond?

If you’re ready to make the next year your best year yet, set a one-year S.M.A.R.T. goal, share your goal in the Dental Hub 360, Nifty Thrifty Dentists, and Trapped in an OP Facebook communities, and get started! We can’t wait to celebrate with you when you achieve your goal!

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