If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes – Andrew Carnegie

It’s a fresh year, filled with possibility and promise. Now’s the time when we naturally think about the future and setting new goals for our practice and our lives. Want to launch the new year with focus and direction? Ready to stop treading water in your business and start making forward progress? Well-set goals are your ticket.

Goals are essential. But not all goals are created equal. Off-target goals set you up for frustration and failure. Too big? They’re impossible to achieve, and lead to discouragement. Too small? They don’t deliver enough to be difference-makers, and to keep us engaged.

At Practice Freedom U, we approach goals differently. We think of goals as milestones. That’s because running and growing a successful business is a journey. There are always new corners to turn, new road to travel, as our abilities—and our dreams—evolve. The journey is where all the action and opportunity are.

Setting the right milestones gives you a roadmap and fuel for the drive. With a right-fit milestone, you can break things down into an actionable, step-by-step plan that has you working every day to achieve your big-picture goal. And you give yourself—and your team—an inspiring, concrete challenge to work toward.

4 signs the milestone you’re setting is right for you:

It’s challenging—but not impossible

Challenging but do-able is the sweet spot for goal setting. We do our best work, and feel most fulfilled, when we’re working toward reaching a milestone that’s difficult, but ultimately achievable. Why? Setting challenging but do-able goals helps to put us in a state of flow, which brings out our highest levels of drive, focus, creativity, performance—and happiness.  

It feels a little scary

Does your goal for this year make you feel a little nervous? Good! That’s a sign you’re thinking big. I’m a strong believer in BHAGs: big, hairy, audacious goals. These are the goals that take us outside our comfort zone, where real growth happens. BHAGs feel a little scary: they also energize, inspire, and move us to take bold, deliberate, sustained action.

No matter the size of your practice today or where you are in your business lifecycle, there’s a milestone that feels thrilling to contemplate. Say it out loud to yourself. Now go after it.

It gets your heart racing

There are lot of worthy endeavors out there. Not all of them are a right-fit for your practice or your life. You get to decide what success looks like for you. When you connect your goals to your most authentic desires, you’re much more likely to follow through and succeed. Don’t follow someone else’s dream. Realize your own.

It supports your mission

Your practice vision unites you and your team around a purpose. It also provides you with an invaluable filter. Staying focused on your practice vision helps keep you from being distracted. It steers your time and energy where it matters most. The right goal for you is one that aligns with that vision. On the flipside, if your wish list of goals doesn’t match your mission, it may be time to take a fresh look at the vision you have for your practice and your life.

Is getting more patients one of your goals this year?   

Get your FREE copy of my guide, the Patient Visit Multiplier, which delivers the most tested, proven strategies for increasing referrals and visits, and reducing cancellations and drop outs.