Get ahead in your business and personal life next year with these ‘new year new you’ goals
No one will soon forget the year 2020, whether you’re four years old or 84. It’s the year that proves the John Lennon maxim, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That doesn’t mean you should give up on making plans and some ‘new year new you’ goals.
It’s a lot easier to get to your destination if you start with a map and navigate a few detours, than if you just point the car and hope for the best.
Here are 10 things you can do now to prepare for 2021, whatever it may bring:
Update your resume and LinkedIn profile
Many people have a “set it and forget it” attitude, but it’s better to be proactive when it comes to keeping things current — these bios may be the first way someone discovers who you are and what makes you tick.
These resources tell a story about you, your path and what matters to you, both professionally and personally. This is a good time to add volunteer or board service; be sure to mention any achievements you’re proud of, even if they don’t directly relate to your profession. Update your accomplishments as one of your ‘new year new you’ goals.
Think about and outline your goals
You should have three distinct goals at all times:
Coming quarter — What would you like to achieve in the next three months? Take your boards? Find an associateship? Learn a new technique? Meet someone in another practice who could be a referral partner?
Next year — Next December when you look back, what would make you feel good? Building a practice with a certain number of patients? Getting a certification? Achievement of a financial goal such as paying off a credit card?
Next five years — This is where it makes sense to think of your bigger dreams. Do you want to open your own practice or add a second location? Become a speaker? Buy a house?
Develop a plan around those goals
Once you know what you want to do, you need a plan. Lots of companies give out free calendars at the end of the year. Instead of shoving them in a drawer or the recycling bin, use one for goal planning.
Each month, list one or two actions that will move you forward in each of your ‘new year new you’ goals. Plans don’t have to be complex, unwieldy things. In fact, the best plans are often the simplest ones.
Identify any knowledge or skill gaps
If you know you want to retire at 55, you’ll need a plan (there’s that word again). Two sorts of knowledge will be key to your success:
Learn how to spend wisely now, so you have sufficient financial resources when you’re ready.
Develop a solid financial plan for spending and investments in the years between now and that magic age. There are literally hundreds of books and blogs and podcasts you can use to build your information arsenal on this (or any other) topic.
Identify people you want to meet in the next year
Success is never created in a vacuum. We need others to help us optimize our own skills and abilities, and to help us become well-rounded individuals and members of the community at large.
There are (at least) 10 types of people we should know. Identify those that make sense for you and set out to not just connect with but build a relationship with: someone to shadow, mentor, community leader, banker, accountant, attorney, commercial realtor, peers in your desired area, potential referral sources, and someone uniquely interesting to you.
Make a financial plan
Whatever your best life looks like, money will no doubt be required. The sooner you begin developing good financial habits, the sooner you’ll have the freedom to live the life that brings you the most joy.
The good/great/best news is you don’t have to do this on your own. Your banker and accountant can help with your business finances, and that same banker and a financial planner can help with your personal finances. Use them. Having access to solid financial advice is one of the best investments you’ll make in yourself.
Get your tax records together
You don’t have to wait until the last minute to prepare for tax day.
Pull together your receipts, bank statements and any other items you’ll need as soon as you can so that when you receive documents from third parties like employers or student loan providers, you’ve made it easy for yourself.
Volunteer or join a board
Participation shows you care about the world you live in, of course, but it also connects you to people who can have an impact on your life far into the future.
If you look at the people in your community — or in the chiropractic profession — that lead the big conversations, they are the ones who immerse themselves in serving. Bonus: It can be fun!
Find a hobby
The term “life balance” gets thrown around a lot, but it really is a thing. Even if you get great satisfaction from your work, your body and your mind need a break, a palate cleanser of sorts.
If you have young kids and can’t find chunks of time to pursue something on your own, there are lots of hobbies that can be done as a family. Write a book together. Build a go-cart. Hike and explore nature. Ride bikes. Learn to swim. Sing at church. Plant a garden. There is no shortage of ideas.
Commit to a life of learning
When we stop learning or stop being curious, we stop growing. If 2020 has taught us nothing else, it’s that life changes in a minute.
Keeping our minds open to new concepts and ideas, and being receptive to other points of view, benefits all of us. Reading or listening to podcasts can help you grow your business and yourself.
Having conversations with people with different experiences is a great way to learn, too.
Someday you and your friends will sit around remembering 2020, and you’ll probably share what changed for you. Change isn’t innately bad. Use it to your advantage, use it as fuel, use it to inform what comes next. Remember: Life is a journey and half the fun of any trip is the planning.
DAN ZIMMERMAN is director of corporate relations at NCMIC in Clive, Iowa. He coordinates and conducts NCMIC’s programs for students, including presenting risk management seminars and the “Starting Into Practice Program” — a free resource for chiropractic students and recent graduates. Learn more by visiting startingintopractice.com.