You’re probably familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” While he likely wasn’t referring to your healthcare practice, the idea is still just as relevant today as it was back then.
While even the best made plans can change, spending time preparing for the future can be the difference between managing the little fires along the way or eventually going up in flames.
So, as you start to wind down 2020 and set your eyes on 2021, let’s make sure you and your practice have a solid plan in place.
Why You Should Have a Plan
Mapping out your next year is crucial to the success of your practice and comes with a long list of benefits. For example:
Planning helps you prepare for major milestones.
- Do you need new EMR software?
- Is it time to rework some of your internal procedures?
- Are you ready to invest in some advanced online training?
By planning for these now, you won’t be caught off-guard in the future. In fact, the benefits of planning ahead are two-fold. First, it’ll allow you to save along the way so the cost doesn’t sneak up on you. Second, planning ahead will make sure you don’t accidentally schedule a last-minute vacation or out-of-state conference during an important community event.
A plan keeps you on track.
As a wellness practitioner, you want to go above and beyond to improve your patients’ health and wellbeing. Because of that, it can be tempting to add even more services, programs, or initiatives in your practice.
This is where having a plan is absolutely essential. It can function as a guidepost to keep you focused on what’s important so that you don’t swerve off course or bite off more than you can chew.
Plans can prepare you for uncertainty.
If anything, 2020 has taught us that uncertainty is uncomfortable and inevitable. And with so many unknowns going into 2021, that lesson is likely to continue. While you and I can’t foresee every crisis, we can do our best to plan ahead. If for no other reason, it can better equip you to handle life’s curveballs and stay afloat when the unexpected comes peeking around the corner.
Now that you know you need a plan, how do you go about making one?
Creating a Plan for Your Practice
There are a number of ways to go about making a winning plan for 2021. Here are five of my favorite tips to get you started:
- Start early. There’s no better time to start than now! You don’t want to wait until January to begin planning, because before you know it, February, March and April will have flown by, and then you’ll end up throwing in the towel. Take a couple of hours and map out how you want to wrap up 2020 and start off 2021 off with a bang.
- Time for a reality check. As difficult as it may be to admit, you can’t do everything, Nemo. Creating a plan helps you keep track of what’s most important for you, your team, and your practice. It helps you prioritize and stay focused so you can say “yes” to what matters and “no” to what’s not as important.
- Write it out. Getting your ideas out of your head and on paper makes all the difference in the world. So, grab a gel pen, some colored sticky notes, and a big calendar. Then, listen to my latest podcast for a step-by-step guide on how to map out your 2021 calendar.
- Get feedback. Whether it’s your spouse, partner, a core team member, or your business coach – get some feedback on your plan. Choose someone who will be brutally honest if your goals are too lofty or maybe not lofty enough. They will be able to see what you can’t and will have a more objective perspective, letting you know if your calendar is balanced or headed for a train wreck.
- Let it sit. Once your 2021 is all mapped out, take a step back and leave it be. Don’t even look at it for about a week. This will give your brain some space to percolate on what you’ve mapped out. When you’re ready to look at it again with fresh eyes, you’ll be able to quickly catch those one or two glaring areas you need to smoothen out.
Once you’re feeling great about what you’ve planned out, it’s time to put it into action! A plan doesn’t work if it gets shoved in a drawer or buried under a stack of papers. So, make sure to put it up where you can see it and create action steps to implement what you’ve created!
You Have a Blank Canvas
All of us are more than ready to say goodbye to 2020 in anticipation of a better 2021. And the only way to ensure your vision for a profitable New Year comes to pass is to prepare for it! And now’s the perfect time for you to get started.
Over the course of the next two weeks, block out a two-hour chunk of time to get serious about mapping out your 2021. Get into the weeds, and stick with it until it feels right and perfectly suited for you and your practice. As you close out this year and gear up for the next, I pray you will do so with renewed positivity, optimism – and an amazing plan!