How to Set Great Goals For Your Dental Practice

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso

Can you believe the new year is just around the corner? Now is a great time to evaluate the progress we’ve made on our goals so far and plan ahead for goals in 2020. We know, we know — it might feel like you’re just going through the motions of goal setting every year. That’s why we’re excited to present alternative approaches to Goal Setting, whether it’s for your practice or yourself. Let’s explore our options!

The Secret to Effective Goal Setting for Your Dental Practice

We’ve all set goals before that we ultimately didn’t accomplish — whether it was due to factors within or out of our control, we tend to beat ourselves up and feel guilty about it, or we chalk it up to a lack of willpower or time. Before we talk about planning out our next goals, let’s prime our minds for success!

In her podcast, Goal Digger (25 minutes), Jenna Kutcher says that the true secret  to crushing your goals is intention. Intention is more powerful and effective than motivation. Being intentional about your goals means that you are planning when and where you work toward accomplishing goals.

Regardless of which of the below approaches you might consider for goal setting, commit yourself to purposefully devoting (and protecting!) a time and space for you to meet your goals. Otherwise, as Jenna says, “Life is going to find a way to suck away all of our hours and leave us exhausted, lounging in yoga pants that never made it to yoga.”

What Are Objectives & Key Results (OKRs)?

Many major companies such as Google, Intel, Twitter, and LinkedIn use the “Objectives and Key Results” (OKRs) framework for internal team goal setting. Learn more by exploring re:Work’s comprehensive guide here (a 10-minute read) or, if you’re a video/audio learner, watch this TED Talk (12 minutes) presented by John Doerr.

At its core, the OKRs framework requires two major components:

  • Objectives, which answer the questions: "Where do we want to go?" and "What do we want to do?"
  • These are meant to make you stretch and be ambitious — if you’re comfortable with your goal, you haven’t reached high enough.
  • Objectives should not describe the status quo (examples include words such as “continue,” “maintain,” “keep doing …”). Rather, they should push for new achievements.
  • Key Results, which answer the question, "How will we gauge ourselves to see If we're getting there?"
  • Key results make the objective measurable and quantifiable, and can be viewed as milestones or evidence of completion.

They are defined as desired outcomes, and NOT action steps. For example, words like “help,” “analyze,” and “participate” describe activities instead of the impact of these activities.

The Modified Warren Buffet Framework

Because goals can encompass a wide range of focus areas and time frames, the modified Warren Buffet framework can also be easily applied to our own goal setting. Consider these three steps:

  • Step 1: Create 10 SMART goals that can be achieved within a given period (the quarter)
  • Alright, you caught us — we are mentioning SMART goals in this newsletter. To be fair, they are a great foundation for goals. If you need a refresher, SMART goals should be:



  • When identifying these goals, focus on the results of your goal, not the tasks.
  • Step 2: Assign a tag or category to each goal — what overarching process or project do they relate to? Tagging systems will be unique for every person, depending on your role, department, or focus areas.
  • Step 3: Pick three goals to focus on.
  • It helps to consider picking one goal per tag — these are your main priorities for each category. Once you have the primary goals, go through and add in the second priority for each category in your list.
  • Once you prioritize appropriately, you’ll work on the top priority goal for each category, and THEN work on the second priority in that category.
  • This way, your goals will continue to rotate and they don’t need to all be the same timeframe. Some goals take two weeks to accomplish, while others might take six, and this framework reflects that reality.

Tips on Setting Individual Goals

While both the OKRs and modified Warren Buffet frameworks can be equally effective when applied to your department or individual goals, here are a few more suggestions for identifying and achieving your individual goals!

  • Ask what you can do to make the jobs of your manager and team easier. Think of it as an opportunity to be of service.
  • Define what is within and what is outside of your control. Have a plan for what to do if the out-of-your-control factors don’t line up.
  • Consider your desired career path. Line up goals in a way that allows you to gather the accomplishments and learn the skills needed for your dream job/career.
  • Schedule periodic check-ins with your manager. This keeps your goal plan adaptable to reflect your changing reality and priorities.
  • Ask for support if you need it. You don’t have to do it alone, especially if you can achieve move and do it quicker with the help of others.

We hope this month’s email is helpful for evaluating your intention and approach to both setting and accomplishing your goals! What would you like to see in upcoming blogs? Is there a certain skill you'd like some more information on? If so, give us a shout out on Instagram, we'd be happy to share our tips.

About Wonderist Agency

Wonderist Agency is a full service dental marketing company that has helped countless practices increase their new patient numbers and thrive with cohesive marketing strategies. Through dental branding, Dental PPC, social media, and more, Wonderist can elevate your practice and get you the results you’re looking for. Ready to get started with us? Chat with Forrest today!

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