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John Marvin

If You Are Determined to Grow Your Practice And Build On the Work You Did In 2021, Then This Column Is For You

If you want nothing to change in 2022, then stop reading and have a nice year.

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“I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters.” – Dominic Toretto, The Fast and the Furious

NOTHING SAYS FRESH start like the first of every year when we make resolutions and set goals.According to the u.s. News & World Report though, up to 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February. But if nothing changes, then nothing changes. Do you want nothing to change in 2022? If so, then stop reading here and have a nice year. However, if you are determined to move your practice forward, then good for you. Just making that decision, you’ve made the first and most important step.

The reason most resolutions fail is that people don’t understand living a quarter mile at a time. If you focus on the small steps necessary to reach your goals, you’ll find that anything is possible. Whether it is relocation, better staff management or doubling your number of patients, it can all be accomplished by living a quarter mile at a time. Here are three simple disciplines to employ in reaching whatever goal you set for the new year:

1. Be clear about the big picture. Write down the overall objective you want to achieve. It is important to write it down and keep it in plain sight. Be specific, not general. Instead of a “I want to grow my business,” decide how much you want it to grow, how, and in what timeline.

Be honest with yourself. Make sure your goal is important to you. It must be your goal or objective, not your spouse’s, employees’, colleagues’ or business associates’. It must be important to you.
Keep it in plain sight so every day you remind yourself what you promised to achieve. This repeated reminder helps narrow your focus.

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2. Break it down. This is a critical step. Do you think Elon Musk woke up one day and said, “I’m going to launch a spaceship”? No, he broke down this massive accomplishment into steps to launch his spaceship.

Think through what you have to do in order to finish the year having achieved your plans and goals. At first, these steps don’t need to be organized, just put down on paper what is necessary, some steps will be easy and others more complex, but all are important. Then organize them into what needs to be first in order to reach the next step. When you have this list of steps defined, you can start, in the words of Dominic Toretto, “living one quarter mile at a time.” You don’t have to accomplish everything at once, you just have to move forward one step. Each task you complete, moves you closer to accomplishing the final objective.

3. Each day, do something. Your goal is written down, broken down, and in plain sight. Now comes the hard part … do something. Some days this will be easy. You are excited and imagine what it will be like to have accomplished your goal, so you enthusiastically work to check off the tasks to get there. Other days, losing focus will be easy and you won’t think about or do anything to move you closer to achievement. The problem with this is that one day can lead to two, then three. It won’t be long until you’ve blown a month and realize that you have now joined the 80%. Consistency of action is the only way to live among the 20%. It doesn’t have to be major, just do something to keep moving forward. Commit now to living 2022 one quarter mile at a time.

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John D. Marvin has more than 25 years of experience in the ophthalmic and optometric practice industry. He is the president of Texas State Optical and writes about marketing, management and education at the practiceprinciples.net blog. You can email him at [email protected]

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