Mid-year checkup: how are you doing with your annual goal?

Mid-year checkup: how are you doing with your annual goal?

Back in January, we posted this entry about the value of setting one big goal for 2012 as a technique to stay focused and achieve practice success. Mid-year is upon us. How are you doing? It’s easy to map out ambitious goals at the beginning of a new year and then, within just a few weeks or months, forget what they even were as the daily challenges of running the practice become all-consuming. This is why it’s important to review your goals periodically to objectively assess all that you’ve accomplished and take a look at what is yet to be done.

Set aside a couple of hours sometime this week to conduct a goal review. Find the document you used at the start of the year to detail your goal and re-write it at the top of a fresh sheet of paper. Next, in one column, list the steps you’ve taken to date that have put you closer to achieving the goal. In a second column list steps or action items that are pending and still need to be addressed. For the items on the second list, prioritize each one either by number or give them A-B-C indicators for what needs to be addressed, and in what order. Put at least a couple of the action items into motion as quickly as possible to get some momentum going around your goal. This could be something as simple as scheduling a meeting or making a follow-up phone call.

As you work through this process, you might find that your big goal for the year needs to be modified based on conditions that have shifted. This is not to suggest that a goal should be abandoned, however, simply because you haven’t made much progress on it or because it suddenly feels daunting. Occasionally a goal that was important back in January really does need to fall completely off the radar screen, but more often, if a goal needs to be changed it’s in a modest way. For example, if your big goal in January was to increase practice volume by 20% by December but a competitor opened an office across the street in March, you might need to dial back that number to, say 12% as being more realistic and attainable. But having a new competitor in the area should not be a reason to take your goal of increasing volume off the list altogether. It simply means you’ll have to work more strategically to achieve the goal.

After you’ve done your mid-year goal review, report the status to the entire staff and re-engage them in the process. Delegate and assign tasks to employees based on their skills and interests to make goal achievement an office-wide initiative. The challenge of achieving goals should never be placed on the shoulders of just one or two people in the office. It’s a team effort, or certainly should be.

Don’t fret if your big goal for 2012 is only modestly underway. It’s only June and you still have the rest of the year to see the dream that you have for your practice come to fruition. Good luck!