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8 Ways Highly Successful Physicians Set And Achieve Goals

As a physician, you are no stranger to setting a goal and working relentlessly to achieve it.  You made it through medical school and residency.  However, you can apply the same discipline and relentless work ethic to your practice, career, finances and your personal life.  Here are eight tips we can glean from some of the world’s most successful physicians. 

1. Visualize Your Ideal Future

Setting goals can be abstract, and as humans, the more something is abstract, the harder it is for us to focus on it.  Instead of writing down goals like "retire at 50", try and visualize exactly what you want your future to hold, and plan it out in as much detail as possible.  So "retire at 50" might be "Build a successful physician practice. Retire at 50, but still manage the practice part-time.  Pay off your home in Pittsburgh and have second vacation home in at the lake or in Florida.  Be able to fund all children's college accounts "in full", etc.

Once you visualize the specifics of your ideal future, that’s when you will gain the clarity you need.  The goal-setting process becomes the framework for creating the kind of bigger future you are looking to achieve.   As we engage with our clients, this is an area of constant focus.

2. Work Backwards From Your Goal 

If you don’t know what you want, then how will you achieve it?  Once you lay out exactly what you want to achieve, then simply work backward to get there.  Try setting quarterly goals or 90-day goals and evaluate them accordingly, while constantly reviewing them as you move forward.  Clearly outlining goals will make them seem much more realistic.  It’s a good idea to have a mix of goals such as financial, strategic, relationship and personal goals.

3. Hold Yourself Accountable

Staying accountable to yourself is incredibly important but incredibly difficult.  Working with a financial and business coach, like Rx Wealth Advisors, a life coach, or even just sharing your goals with others can provide a real incentive to continue on your path and work hard to achieve the outcome you desire.  Additionally, consider surrounding yourself with others who will lift you up and share with them what you hope to do.  This will help you push yourself and come up with new ideas since you’ll be surrounded by people that you respect. 

4. Set Clear Deadlines 

Make sure that you set clear measurements with realistic deadlines when setting your goals. When the goal is realistic, you will feel more properly and emotionally invested in the outcome.  It should feel challenging yet also achievable. 

5. Write Down Your Goals

Studies show that we become 42 percent more likely to achieve our goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis.1  There is more of a personal commitment when you put pen to paper and physically write your goals down.  When a goal is embedded in your mind, subconsciously you are looking at every opportunity to achieve that goal. Also, if something is written down, then you can look back for motivation when you need it.  As mentioned previously, holding yourself accountable is so important, and writing something down is another way to do that. 

6. Break Your Goals Down 

Every successful physician knows that you must break your goals down into action items.  Setting a big goal helps you to picture the end result, but small goals are easier to work toward.  Think of your goals as a "pyramid" - your main, over-arching goal is at the top, but in order to reach it, there are a series of smaller goals you must first work achieve. 

Breaking your goals down into smaller, actionable items not only feels more "doable" from a psychological standpoint, but there is something to be said about checking those smaller goals off you list - you'll feel empowered every time you hit another milestone, and your success will propel you to keep going.  

7. Own Your Future

As the saying goes "A dream without a plan is just a wish".  If you’re not in charge of where you spend your time and energy it’s easy to become distracted.  Keep in mind that you are personally responsible for your future and only you can change and work towards a better outcome. It’s important to work in the present but still have a strong plan for the future. 

8. Use Your Goals in Every Aspect of Your Life

Goal setting is obviously pertinent to your physician practice, however, it’s important that you set goals in every aspect of your life, not just in your profession.  What is the motivation or desire for why you set your goals? Think about: 

  • Why are These Goals Important?
  • How Will you Achieve Them?
  • How Will They Make a Difference?

Once you know the answer to these questions, it will really help you to strive for a stronger future and understand what you need to change to achieve your dreams. 

When we get busy with work and everyday life, we often put our big dreams and goals on the back burner.  Many times that free time doesn’t often come, so it’s important to find the time to work towards and achieve your dreams.  These eight steps can help you to visualize and work towards achieving what you really want, as they have helped highly successful people for many years. 

  1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-power-of-writing-down_b_12002348


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