What is the most exciting thing about a new year? The hope that maybe “everything will be different this year”, right? Well hope is the key word in that sentence. Hope is a great thing to have. It keeps you positive, gives you something to look forward to, and provides the potential needed for change. The problem is, hope is not something that provides results.
Most people get so excited in December as they look forward to the changes they are planning to implement in January. Sometimes people even use the end of December as a time to let off the gas and use the excuse that “it’s ok because January first, everything will be different”. Let’s discuss the typical thought process for a new year and some ways to avoid the pitfalls.
The Goal Setting Period
Plans have begun. Inspiration has struck and you are planning to make your practice more efficient, so you can make more money this year. That is a great idea. You know the 4 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important, so you are ready. You have decided on goals that are measurable and have shared your goals with your team. Everyone is onboard.
Avoid the February 1st Trap
The next thing people generally do is: ..the same thing they did last year.
The ball was rolling for a few weeks and then all of the sudden that excitement wore off. Then, because the daily processes didn’t evolve with the goals that were set, your team slips back into old habits.
A study by the New York Post says “It’s official: Feb. 1 is the day we call it quits on our New Year’s resolutions, according to new research. A new poll of 2,000 Americans found that it takes just 32 days for the average person to finally break their resolution(s) — but 68% report giving up their resolutions even sooner than that.”(New York Post, 2020).
Why does this happen? Well, you can blame it on your brain. The brain doesn't like change. When change takes place, whether it is good or bad, your brain automatically tries to protect you from it. It may seem like you are set up to fail. Well, not necessarily. If you can push through that adjustment period and create new habits, there is still hope.
How to Be Successful All Year
There is a lot working against your success. Hoping that one night (the night of December 31st) will magically change who you are is a common mistake. Instead of looking at the type of things you want to do, look at the type of person you want to be. If you want to be a better leader for your practice, so your team will follow you all year, then find people to surround yourself with that will help inspire you all year, not just in January.
Two ways that you can be sure to make it a little easier on yourself this year are to create a process and use the right tools.
Create a Process for Your Time
The most successful people, no matter their profession, have a daily process. When you leave time subject to change, you are leaving room for doubt. Set your day in stone to eliminate that doubt. Doubt is what causes you to evaluate your time. When you start evaluating your time, you let in the voice that says it is okay to “skip it, just for today”. That little harmless phrase is probably the most harmful phrase in everyone's vocabulary.
When creating a process, be sure to consider your personal strengths and weaknesses. Are you more productive during certain times of the day? Do you work better alone or with a team? Ask yourself these questions so you can design a process that accentuates your skillset, not one that works against it.
If one of your goals is to be more involved in the financial aspects of your practice, you know you need to carve out some time in your day to look at reports from your EHR software. If you like to read in the morning and feel like you are ready for a nap in the afternoon, schedule this activity in the early part of your day. If you make your process work with your strengths, you will be ahead of the rest.
Get the Tools To Help You Get the Job Done
The next thing that will help you ensure that you don’t become a February 1st-er is using the right tools. Think of it this way, if you want to start jogging, you need the best tennis-shoes so your feet are protected and supported right? The same applies to your practice. If you want to start implementing practice growth techniques or you want to change your schedule so you can take more personal time this year, you need an EHR software that supports those goals.
Howard Partridge says “The kind of vehicles you use make it possible to go farther.” (Partridge, Chapter 9) This example is relevant in so many areas of life, specifically, your EHR software. Just like the process you create for your day should make it hard to stray from your goals, your EHR software should give you ALL of the tools you need to meet them.
Want a free Amazon gift card? Complete a Demo of Foxfire’s EHR software solution and you will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Let Foxfire help you avoid becoming a “February 1st-er”.
Gervis, Zoya. “The Average American Abandons Their New Year’s Resolution by This Date.” Nypost.com, 28 Jan. 2020, https://nypost.com/2020/01/28/the-average-american-abandons-their-new-years-resolution-by-this-date/.
Partridge, Howard. “Chapter 9: The Process Principle.” F.T.I.: Failure To Implement, Sound Wisdom, 2020.