The Allied Physical Therapy team takes part in a strategy session, where goals that will move the company toward its vision are set as a team for the next quarter.

Creating goals so I can focus and be clear is tough work. Scaling your team to effectively create goals is even tougher. It is like our bodies will never master goal-setting. But, we fail to appreciate that a goal is a journey. We often approach the health of our bodies in a series of sprints instead of a steady marathon. In my experience, the marathon approach works much better with both healthy body and other life goals. Slow and steady wins the race.

I have been a student of leadership for 20 years. In 2005, I became a certified facilitator for the late Dr. Stephen Covey’s program, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This is when I began teaching goal creation and began using my first planner, The Franklin Planner.

In the early 1980s, GE introduced the SMART goal format. I am sure – as a Your Medical Practice Mentor blog reader – you’re passionate about growth and are therefore familiar with some version of this framework. My team and I now use the The Full Focus Planner created by Michael Hyatt. I like his version of goal-setting, SMARTER (sourced from Michael Hyatt’s SMARTER goal-setting structure.)

Specific: Focus is power

Measurable: As you look back, ✅

Actionable: Use a strong verb

Risky: A stretch….not delusional

Timebound: Deadline

Exciting: Inspiring

Relevant: To your life

I wanted to share with you some Pro Tips to creating a team that buys in to making effective goals. These are things that I have learned over the past 20 years, that I wish I had known when I first started creating goals:

  • Less is more. Never create more than three goals for the quarter, the week or your day.  DON’T DO IT!!!!
  • You must have a goal-setting system. I prefer analog and use the The Full Focus Planner. THIS IS  NOT OPTIONAL!
  • Goal-setting is a community activity. This not only comes with an established cheering section, but it creates a rhythm of accountability,  and makes it fun vs. drudgery.  THIS MUST PART OF THE DNA OF YOUR CULTURE!
  • Creating goals is a process. The enemy of progress is perfection, and    A POOR GOAL THAT IS WRITTEN AND EXECUTED is much better than a perfect goal that only exists in your mind. 
  • Remember, this is a Process. The fruit of your goals is the person you become as you strive to consistently create goals and move toward your vision.  GIVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS  GRACE.

We have 3 goals per quarter for our practice.  We create them as a team, and introduce them as a team at our quarterly strategy sessions in a fun, festive way.  We assign a “Goal Leader,”  and once a week,  we track our progress at our weekly Wednesday morning stand up meeting, where we review the Core 4:

The Core 4

  • (Growth) Leadership Pro Tip: Allowing for release vs. control.
  • (Transformation) Wins: Share with the community to build momentum and celebrate success.
  • (Clarity) Mindsweep:  What is on your mind? What are your questions?
  • (Accountability) The Big 3: What 3 goals do we have for the week that will get each of us closer to meeting our goals along the journey to our vision? 

Grateful to be on this journey with you,

Dr. Matthew Harkness

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