The good old New Year’s Resolution – why some people achieve them and some people don’t

Ah, this time of year. Brings out all the clichés in the world.


Have you seen all of the Facebook memes with thousands of people flocking to the gym, the gym owners must be licking their lips.


The art of the new year’s resolution. I hate it.


Some typical new years’ resolutions:


“I want to lose weight”

“I want to get fit”

“I want to start eating right”

“I want to do more exercise”

“I want to watch less TV”


Or the old Physio clinic owner’s resolution:

“I am going to work fewer hours and work on my clinic, not in my clinic more”

“I’m going to increase my clinic revenue this year”


And the list goes on.


These resolutions are all fluff, and I will tell you why.


For the last 5 years my business coach and I have refined how I set goals.


A new year’s resolution is effectively a one year goal.


I have learned that one year goals are big goals. The level of alignment and commitment you need in your life for these goals to come true is significant. In my experiences my goals come true courtesy of creating finely honed daily habits, which take at least a month generally to establish (recent research points towards 60-360 days as the length of time needed to form a new habit), as opposed to the well worn best practice knowledge that a habit takes only 21 days to form, and you are a fool if it takes any longer.


The second thing I have learned about goals (resolutions) is for the to come true they need to be aligned to your values. This is the most important step. If a goal does not relate to the things which are most important to you in your life then you may as well not set it in the first place. Don’t waste your time.


Have you ever noticed that people who lose large amounts of weight often do it as a response to a medical scare or a significant medical diagnosis? If your weight can potentially compromise your highest values (which for most people tend to be family, work, and certain hobbies) then you will form the habits required to lose the weight. If your goal does not align with generally one of your 3 highest values you will not be bothered to form the habit to help reach the goal.


Let’s apply this to clinic ownership. If you care more about being a great therapist than a great business owner it does not make sense to set goals around increasing your profit, reducing your clinic hours, increasing the capabilities of your team, or generally “growing” your clinic. If you care more about being a great therapist your goals should be around increasing your skillset, increasing your hourly rate, or treating more of what you consider “A” type clients.


If you are a clinic owner and you care about the things I mentioned above by all means set them as goals for this year. The next part of this blog is how to succeed in choosing the right goal (resolution).


The third thing about setting the right goals is they can be either process or outcome driven, but personally I have had better results when they are process driven. What do I mean by this?


I will give you an example:


Say this year you want an extra $100k of revenue for your clinic.


You can either set this as the goal (chances of achieving it are minimal unless you have a proven track record of successfully achieving goals) OR


Determine what needs to happen to get the extra $100k. It may mean a new therapist, who is fully booked within 6 months.


If this is the case you are better off setting a goal to get yourself a new therapist, find someone who fits what you want, and it is your job to work out how to fill them up – internal or external marketing strategies, referrers, past clients, new referrers, or google or facebook strategies.


Can you see how this type of goalsetting is so much more relevant than just setting a big goal you don’t really know how to achieve?


The best goals I have set generally involve me devoting a certain amount of my time per week to a certain activity. Based on the above scenario I would set a goal like:


I will spend 2 hours a week finding my new physio until I find them, then I will spend 2 hours a week training them and another 2 hours a week on marketing strategies to fill them up, until they reach weekly revenue target x.


You can then hold yourself fully accountable to this strategy (goal).


The fourth and final thing about setting goals is unfortunately a cliché. SMART goals. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time related.


An example of the difference between a non-smart goal and a smart goal:


Non- SMART – this year I want my clinic to be more profitable

SMART – this year we will make $100k extra revenue, I will hire a new physio within 3 months, and spend 2 hours a week training them and 2 hours a week on marketing strategies to fill them up


Now which of the 2 goals above are you more likely to achieve?


I have learned that the more you focus on something, the more likely you are to achieve it.


After reading this blog I want you to have a good think about what you want for your clinic this year.


If you need help achieving your clinic goals this year and you believe a knowledge gap is one of the things holding you back and you need to bridge this gap to achieve your goals then check out my first ever live 2 day workshop, being held in Brisbane in March 2018.

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