New Year New GoalsDecember is a hectic time of the year, with an influx of patients eager to use their annual benefits. It’s the same with our personal lives, too — holiday shopping, travel plans and time away from the office leaves little time to focus past the end of the year. As a practice owner, it’s important to see beyond the distractions and make time to set your practice and your team up for success in 2024. One of the most important tasks to focus on at the end of the year is setting goals for the next year.

Setting goals for the business and your team members gives much-needed direction. Without goals, a practice is like a ship without a course — you may have an idea of where you want to go, but there isn’t a clear plan on how to get there. Another benefit of goal-setting is that it gives you an objective measure to hold the team accountable to and provides a scoreboard to track progress and achievements, both individually and the practice as a whole. Here are some tips for success:

Start With The End In Mind

Imagine it’s December 31, 2024, and you’re looking back on the year. What did the team accomplish? How did the business perform throughout the year? How did the team execute compared to 2023? Has the culture and morale improved or strengthened? Are you closer to achieving the vision you set for the practice? Start with these questions and work backward to create goals that help you reach your image of where you want to be at the end of 2024.


Many individuals are familiar with SMART Goals. I encourage you take it a step further, and set SMARTER Goals:

S – Specific. Goals should be as specific as possible. Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish makes it more meaningful and gives you more motivation. For example, if you aim to attract new patients in 2024, what is the desired number of new patients?

M – Measurable. To gauge success, there must be an objective way to measure the outcome. Decide on specific performance indicators that are quantifiable. For instance, if you want to increase optical sales revenue, define how and when sales revenue will be measured.

A – Achievable. Goals that are impossible to reach are demotivating, having the opposite impact from what is intended. If you’re a $500,000 practice, don’t set a goal of being a $1,000,000 in 2024. Set goals that are a stretch to reach but are also achievable.

R – Relevant. The goals you set should be relevant to your business and help move the practice toward your overarching vision for the future.

T – Time-Bound. Deadlines are no fun, however, setting a timeframe for achieving your goals provides motivation to accomplish them. Goals without a timeline are rarely achieved. Not all your 2024 goals should have a timeline of one year — consider setting goals to be accomplished each quarter, each month, or by July 1.

E – Evaluate. Don’t wait until December 31 to check in on your goals. Evaluate progress regularly so you know if you’re staying on track throughout the year.

R – Readjust and Reward. Sometimes factors outside of your control can impact the ability to accomplish goals — evaluating progress regularly allows you to determine if you need to readjust them. Readjust as necessary (without losing accountability) and in the end, reward yourself and your team well for accomplishing goals.

Avoid Death By Goals

There’s never a shortage of work to be done and things to accomplish. Something harder than setting SMARTER goals is limiting yourself to a reasonable number of goals. Aim to set 3-5 goals for the year.

Success Is A Team Sport

Involve your team in every step of the process. The most important aspect of setting goals for your business is having your team’s buy-in along the way. As their leader and manager, it’s important for you to set the course, but you need your crew to get you to the desired destination. Allow them to provide input and feedback, voice concerns, and encourage them to stretch goals even further. The more they’re involved, the more they’ll work to accomplish them.

Here’s to a 2024 full of connection, growth, and prosperity!

Need help setting goals? PECAA’s Member Business Advisor (MBA) team is here to help! As a PECAA Max member, you can receive expert advice from PECAA Business Operations Advisor Kathy Long at no additional cost. Kathy can help you review your 2023 performance, identify opportunities on where you can improve and define goals for 2024. Book a meeting with Kathy here to get started. Not a PECAA Member? Contact us to learn how PECAA can help your practice thrive.

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