The New Year is here and with it, new opportunities to advance your practice. If you haven’t already, now is the time to set your 2023 goals and your roadmap for how you plan to reach those targets. But if struggling to pinpoint what those goals should be or how to approach them, a popular, effective method to use is the SMART goal process.
SMART goals were first developed in 1981 by George Doran, a consultant and former director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company. He published a paper called, “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” In that paper, he introduced the SMART goal process as a tool to improve your chances of accomplishing a goal.
When you’re determining your personal and practice goals for 2023, the SMART process can help you narrow down, refine and ultimately achieve them. When using this process, make each goal:
When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to achieve – essentially the mission statement for your goal. This isn’t a detailed list of how you’re going to meet a goal, but it should address:
Who needs to be involved to achieve the goal?
What do you want to accomplish (don’t be afraid to get very detailed)?
When – you can address this question under the “time-bound” section of defining SMART goals, but you should at least set a time frame.
Where – this may not apply, but if there’s a specific location or relevant event tied to the goal, identify it here.
Why – What is the reason for the goal?
Decide what metrics will be used to measure your goal achievement and success. If the goal will take a few months to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish.
This determines how important a goal is, what is needed to make it attainable and what new skills or resources may be needed. For your goal, consider if you have the current tools/skills needed to make the goal a success. If you don’t currently possess those tools/skills, think about what it would take to attain them.
A SMART goal must be realistic in that the goal can be realistically achieved given your available resources and time. A SMART goal is likely realistic if you believe that it can be accomplished. Ask yourself – Is the goal realistic and within reach? Is the goal reachable, given the time and resources? Are you able to commit to achieving the goal?
If a goal lacks the appropriate timing, it has a high chance of not happening. Setting a target date for deliverables is vital. Evaluate what makes sense for your goal deadline and what can be accomplished within that time period. If the goal will take three months to complete, it’s useful to define what should be achieved halfway through the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.
When it comes to writing SMART goals, be prepared to ask yourself (and your team members if needed) plenty of questions. The answers will help fine-tune your strategy, ensuring your highest chance of success. While you should be as realistic as possible, it’s also important to approach writing SMART goals with a positive attitude. After all, these are things that you want to achieve and that will bring positive outcomes for you, your practice, patients and team.
Need extra assistance with making your 2023 goals a reality? We’re always a phone call or click away to help. Schedule a consultation with one of our practice management experts today!