David Rice, DDS, is on a mission to improve our profession by leading the next generation of dentists to grow successful lives and practices. The founder of igniteDDS, Dr. Rice speaks to over 35 dental schools and residency programs a year on practice building, team building and wealth building. Dr. Rice is a private practitioner, educator, author and mentor who connects students, young dentists and professionals from diverse dental-related businesses – “fueling passion beyond the classroom.” https://ignitedds.com/user/david_rice/

New Year’s Resolutions: How NOT to Fail


Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you keep them?

If you don’t, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Over 50 percent of what people resolve for 2021 will fail before the end of January. Is that crazy? Maybe sad? It doesn’t have to be you. Turns out, just like learning to prep a crown, we can learn how to make and keep our resolutions. In fact, I’m betting you’ve already heard how … the whole S.M.A.R.T. goals thing. It’s just no one ever really spelled it out for you. Let’s do it here.

Strategic

When it comes to resolutions – or let’s just be honest, goals we set for the new year – bring strategic has more meaning than ever. As we eat, sleep and breathe in a digital world, it’s incredibly easy to want what we perceive everyone else wants. It’s easy to choose a resolution because we believe it’s popular. What I want you to do is make sure your resolution passes the mirror test. Literally, get yourself in front of a mirror. Heck, put your iPhone in selfie mode and do it now. Ask yourself. Is this resolution what you want? Is it what you need? Will it strategically help you grow in 2021.

If the answer is yes, keep it. If you feel a rumble in your stomach as you ask, ditch it.

Measurable

Set a daily reminder for this in your phone. What gets measured, gets done.

If 27 years in dentistry has taught me anything, that’s one of the biggest lessons. We have to track our progress. It’s true on the clinical side and when you’re learning new skills. It’s true on the efficiency side, as we want to get faster without compromising quality. It’s true on the business side, as we want to earn more money or have more time to relax.

Achievable

Is it?

I want you to stretch. If you knock out every resolution by the end of the month and coast for the rest of the year, your resolution wasn’t big enough. However, I don’t want you to bite off more than you can handle. One of the biggest reasons resolutions fail is people don’t see the finish line. If the goal is too big, it’s not tangible.

Relevant

Does your resolution really matter to you? Are you passionate about it? What are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen? Before you commit, be honest. If you’re all in, go for it. If you’re not sure, focus your time and energy on goals that will make you committed to completing.

Time-Bound

Give yourself a deadline. If it’s a life change, when do you want to see yourself consistently living that way?

If it’s a major life change, what mini-milestones can you set along the way? This is a great way to create change if you really want to challenge the achievable piece. Rather than trying to look at the final win, set smaller wins on the way to the big win.

I’ll end with this: Over 50 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail before the end of January. Make your resolutions smart resolutions, and I promise that statistic won’t be you.