The Way to Set Goals In Your Dental Practice

by Dr. Ron Arndt


I’ve said before that for many of us, it is the START that STOPS us from moving forward. It’s true of a lot of things in our lives – starting an exercise routine, beginning to invest our finances. When we look at a big project we can become intimidated. This “bigness” or “I don’t know where to begin” leads us to procrastinate.

As THE DENTAL COACH©, my clients often come to me wanting to raise performance standards in their practice. I coach them to set goals that address improvements in knowledge, skills, or behavior. The best goals are SMART ones.

A SMART goal is defined as:

  • Specific: The definition of exactly what needs to happen or how behavior should change is clear.
  • Measurable: A way to measure success is in place.
  • Action-oriented: The best goals challenge people and require that they do something new.
  • Realistic and Relevant: Make sure that the goal is achievable. Make sure the goal is relevant to practice growth and contributes to the overall success of your office.
  • Time-bound: There must be an element of time – frequency (do this weekly), or deadline (do by the end of 2012)

Example: “Complete a minimum of ten past-due patient follow-up calls by phone each day for the next quarter.“ This is a SMART goal.

Coach’s Action step! Pull out your business plan and review your own goals. For each one ask: “Is this SMART?” If not, “punch it up” and make the goal more real and dynamic for you.

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