The most important step in creating the life you want to live is to figure out in great detail what exactly that life is!
Since you are a chiropractor, I know you are passionate about health and true wellness. As you know, a vital step in identifying what care a patient needs is understanding how a healthy spine looks and of what it is capable.
Your business is just like that!
How can you make good decisions today if you don’t know where you want to be tomorrow, a year from now, three years from now, or even five years from now? If you go through the day to day just doing what has to be done for that day, you will 1) not understand the difference you are making in peoples’ lives and 2) never realize the freedom that you wanted when starting your practice.
So how do you stop this nose to the grind daily reactive management style? Pick a day and time that you can focus for an hour. Just one day for one hour. . .
Then when that appointed hour arrives, find a peaceful, quiet place where you can focus and really ponder. I definitely recommend using a pen and paper to bullet point your thoughts and/or write them out in detail. Using a phone or computer to take thoughts captive is less effective since it is so easy to get distracted by things that beep or ring. We all know how distracting notifications can be when you’re trying to focus on something–squirrel!
First, start by thinking back to when you knew you wanted to be a chiropractor…why chiropractic? How did you hope to influence the world through your skills and insight? What did you want to accomplish in your practice? It is easy for the daily routines and needs to clamor so loudly that you forget to remember why you started the practice, isn’t it?
Next, think about where you want to be three years from now (or you can do one year from now if that’s easier to envision). How many patients will you see per week? How many employees will you have? How many hours per week will you be working? What will you be doing with your family? What will you be doing in the community? How will you feel? How do you want people to feel about you? What do you want your reputation to be in the community?
You want your vision to encompass all the aspects of your life–spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, financial, relational. When I’m working through this exercise of the mind, I usually find it easier to start in the physical and financial (maybe because I’m a numbers person, who knows!) and then back in to how that makes me feel, what I’ll be thinking, and so on. Whichever aspect of your life that you can picture a year or three years from now the easiest, start there and then ponder how it will affect the other areas of your life.
Once you have written out your thoughts, go back through and circle the keywords that mean the most to you. Basically ask yourself, “When this comes true will it transform my life?” Those are your breakthrough items. Those are the keywords and opportunities that should be driving your daily decisions…those daily decisions that will ultimately help you accomplish your vision.
Let’s follow the story of two chiropractors…Dr. Spine and Dr. Nerve.
Dr. Spine knew he wanted to be a chiropractor to make a difference in the world. He takes a quiet hour each year to think about why he started his practice and where he wants to be next year. Each year he reads through his notes from the year before and sees how many of the elements are his current truth and how many (if any) he needs to include in his next year’s vision. After circling his keywords for the year ahead, he puts his vision in a place of easy access…usually where he makes most of his daily important decisions. As various opportunities or decision points come up throughout the year, he thinks through his keywords and asks, “Is this opportunity going to propel me towards my vision? Or will it move me farther away from my goals?” Dr. Spine has now moved from surviving in the day-to-day (reactive) to commanding breakthrough opportunities (proactive).
Dr. Nerve knew he wanted to be a chiropractor to make a difference in the world. He tries to help all patients that come to him, do all the things, and be all the things. He is beginning to feel ragged and is losing the passion he had for chiropractic. He often mentions that he feels like his practice is running him instead of the other way around. Late one day after a long, hectic week he looks in the mirror and sees very tired eyes looking back; he asks himself, “Why did I even become a chiropractor?” When he makes daily decisions, he tries to decide what would be best based upon what others say and what seems to be the “better” option at the time. Dr. Nerve is trying to survive the day-to-day and is making reactive decisions.
Now let me ask you as a chiropractor, which is better–reactive or proactive living? Would it be better for me to get an adjustment because my symptoms are so bad that I can’t do anything without being in severe pain? Or would it be better for me to get an adjustment now when I don’t feel too shabby and avoid living with severe pain altogether?
As a chiropractic patient myself and a firm believer in the difference chiropractic care has made in my own life…I know what my answer is! What is yours?
This is barely scratching the surface of what it means to proactively run a practice. but if you want further insights and financial guidance, schedule a free consultation here.