Most people spend more time planning their vacations than they do planning their lives. If you asked my husband about his golf vacation, he would tell you every explicit detail about the trip; however, if you ask him when he is going to retire he will reply, “I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it.” He is 63 so retirement is definitely something he should be thinking about!
I know many people like my husband that drift along in life without actually knowing where they want to go. They work hard but have no particular destination in mind. That may be an acceptable way to get through life for some people but history has shown that goal setters accomplish twice as much as those who don’t. While my husband reminds me that life isn’t all about “accomplishing things”, I have found that setting goals has definitely helped drive my practice to a new level of success. If you don’t know where you are going, chances are you may not actually get there.
A key reason many people don’t set goals is that they don’t spend enough time thinking about what they really want out of life. Goal setting can serve as a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can easily lead you off on a tangent that wastes time and money.
At its simplest, a goal is just a target to aim for but goals can also be powerful motivators that contribute to personal or professional growth. The process of goal setting can force us to think through our desires and motivate us to work harder to get what we really want out of life. The key to goal setting is that the goals should be specific and measureable. I have had a goal for at least ten years to “lose some weight”. I’ve lost “some” alright – the same five over and over again. You can’t measure what isn’t specific.
It’s nice to reach a goal and some people have a tendency to set a pretty low goal just so they can actually achieve it. Keep in mind however, that there is nothing wrong with shooting for the stars! My Mother used to say that I was the girl who wanted it all! She was right and I always believed that any star was reachable if you worked hard enough and believed you could get there. If you dream it, you can achieve it.
Goal setting is also important when it comes to business. Of course the goal of any business is to be profitable. Most audiologists in private practice have lots of jobs to do and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of the key aspects that contribute to profitability. This has happened to me many times. My written goals help me get back on track. At the end of each month, I review my numbers and compare where I wanted to be with where I am. If business is off track, I dig in and determine what I need to do differently to reach my goals.
We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives. Perhaps it’s getting into better
shape, building a successful business, raising a wonderful family, writing a best-selling book, or winning a sports challenge. There are people like me that set goals for everything. I look at my watch before I enter the grocery store and set a goal for how fast I can get my shopping done. Anyone who knows me knows I overdo everything! While you don’t have to overdo, goals certainly give direction and assist with focus and follow-through. If you never set goals, you will shortchange yourself in terms of what you could have accomplished.
Personally, I enjoy setting goals because I like working for something specific and I delight in the sense of accomplishment when I reach one. We can let life happen, or we can make life happen. I prefer the latter. Don’t let life just happen this year. Take some time and write down three personal and three professional goals for the rest of 2014. Share at least one of your goals with us on this blog post in the reply section! You’ll be glad that you did!
Dr. Gyl Kasewurm started her practice Professional Hearing Services in St. Joseph, MI immediately following graduation from Western Michigan University and that was thirty years ago. She then went on to earn her Doctor of Audiology Degree from Central Michigan University. Despite being located in a rural community of only 10,000 people, the single office generates 10 times the gross revenue of the average practice in this country. Dr. Kasewurm is a well known author and sought after speaker and prides herself on her advice on taking a practice from Fine to Fabulous! She is one of the founding “sisters” of Women Unite, a Facebook community page formed to discuss and provide information regarding what women face in balancing life and work. Be sure to check out her Practice Success Blog and follow her on Twitter at @gylkasewurm.