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John Marvin

What’s Your Personal Growth Plan for 2023?

It’s not enough just to decide on what you’ll improve, here’s how to actually do it.




“You have to go through a process to improve. That takes patience, perseverance, and intentionality.” – John C. Maxwell

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT you and your practice this year versus last year? Does the answer come quickly or do you have to think about it? If the latter is true, the answer is probably “not much.” Improvement, whether it be in your business or your relationship with your spouse, family and others, starts with personal growth. Personal growth doesn’t just happen, you must be intentional. Do you have a written, personal growth plan for 2023? If not, now is a great time to create one. Here are some ideas to help.

Identify the areas of your life that you would like to improve. We all have areas of our life that we’d like to improve. They linger in our mind and we often address them with, “yeah, one of these days, I want to (fill in the blank.)” I suggest you start with the following areas; your relationship with your spouse and family, your business, and your interpersonal communication skills. If you can make meaningful improvement in these areas, a year from now, you will have grown.

Decide what to initially focus on in each area. Areas like the relationship with your spouse and family or your business may seem esoteric at first, but if you spend some time thinking about each in a specific way, you will come up with aspects of each that you would like to see improved. Often times our personal relationships are either taken for granted or neglected while life goes on around us. A great starting point is to visit with your spouse to learn how you can be a better partner.

When it comes to your business, it may be easier. As an owner, your first responsibility is to your patients or customers. How can you improve your ability to deliver a better or more valuable experience? Your ability to communicate with others is critical but often taken for granted. George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Interpersonal communication is a skill that can be learned.

Set a daily plan to be intentional. You will never change any area of your life until you change something you do daily. Daily actions become habits; your habits or routines determine your life. Build time into your schedule to evaluate whether your actions are moving you toward growth.


Reflect on progress weekly. Each week, find time to evaluate your actions. Too often we tell ourselves that now is really not a good time to try and start something new. We think, maybe the first of next month will give me time to organize.

There is a classic riddle told that goes, “Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left?” If you answered “One” you are wrong. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.

So, a variation of the question I asked in the beginning, “Will you be able to answer what’s different about you and your practice next year?” This time, however, you don’t have to think of an answer, all you have to do is make a decision.

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 blog. You can email him at


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