2016 resolutions for dentistsIf you’re a regular gym-goer, you’re probably ready to see a more crowded fitness club this month, as all the New Year’s resolutionists who have decided that “this year I’m going to get in shape” sign up and hit the treadmills. By February, of course, the turnout will be back down around the usual levels, as most of those well-meaning plans fall by the wayside.

I have often said that any day where you decide to commit to a transformative course of action can be your New Year’s Day. January 1 is just another one of those days (and for that matter, different cultures have different dates that mark their new year). And that’s the central problem with New Year’s resolutions. In most cases they are not life-changing, well-thought-out actions that arise from a desire for change; they are wishes that are pursued half-heartedly because the calendar has flipped.

Still, there is something to be said for using calendar milestones to celebrate and mark turning points in our lives. We do it with birthdays and anniversaries, and the start of a year does have real significance in many ways (for tax purposes, for instance) so it is a logical time to think about your life and make some concrete plans.

The secret then is to approach those New Year’s plans with the right energy and commitment so that they become sustainable over the long term.  You need to approach those resolutions in a systematic way, as you would any major undertaking.

(Click here to learn more about the most important dental practice analytics to track in 2016.)

That’s why my New Year’s gift to you is to outline a pattern to follow to breathe life into those plans. Over the next few weeks, here in the Spear Digest, I am going to write a series of seven brief articles on the seven key things to think about from a values perspective that you can apply to your goals for 2016. But not just 2016 – these are timeless principles that will last you a lifetime if you take the time to internalize them. I encourage you to share them with your team, your family and your friends.

Together, let’s spend the first part of the year giving staying power to your plans so you can start 2016 with real energy and momentum. Stay tuned for more.

(Click here for more dental practice management articles by Imtiaz Manji.)