Goal Setting Part II. The Benefits of Reviewing

Today we’ll talk about the use of a goal list and the process of reviewing that list. And the benefits of reviewing that list.

Last week we looked at how to set goals and the process that I myself used recently to set my own personal goals. [http://wp.me/p2c8zv-f7]

I’ve mentioned before, that at a meeting of exceptional and high achieving dentists held in Australia in May 2011, Dr Omer Reed stated that in the USA, ninety five percent of dentists will not have reached their own Independence Day by age sixty-five.

He defined Independence Day as being that day in a person’s life where they can literally walk away from what they are doing for a living knowing full well that they have the ongoing income and investments to maintain the lifestyle and choices they so desire.

Sadly this means that at age sixty-five, only five percent of dentists are able to walk away from their drills, if they so desire. Ninety five percent of dentists at age sixty-five are still working because they have to.

This means that really nineteen out of every twenty dentists are doing it wrong when it comes to planning and achieving a great lifestyle in requirement.

So what’s this got to do with goals, David?

Studies have shown the benefits of goal setting.

Only three percent of the population set goals and review their goals.

Yet studies show that that three percent of the population achieves dramatic success and substantial wealth far more than the remaining ninety seven percent of the population who do not seriously set and review goals.

Do you think there may be a correlation and points of commonality between the five percent of dentists who reach Independence Day, and the three percent of the population who set and review their goals?

[Oh and by the way, insurance industry statistics will show you that across the board, ninety five percent of the general population are either dead or still working or reliant on assistance at age sixty-five]

So back to goals….

Before we discuss the reviewing of your goals, I’d like to clarify and define my meaning of the word *Goal*.

A recent online discussion group discussing 2014 Goals drifted around what I believe needed to be a true definition of what a Goal really should be.

Let me explain.

Some of the items that some of the dentists called goals, I call to-do items.

And there is a difference.

Visit Disneyland. Visit Walt Disney World.

To me this is a to-do item. It’s not a goal.

Maybe I’m being particular here.

To me a goal should be difficult to achieve. A challenge. A challenge to get there. A difficult process.

I don’t believe a visit to Disney fits that description. I don’t believe, for an adult, that a visit to Disney is a goal. I think it’s something you should do. It’s something you can do any time you pretty well want to.

Like taking a cruise. Or visiting Europe.

I really think that these are not goals as such, but are items to-do.

Maybe bucket list items.

So maybe we need to differentiate between goals, bucket list items, and to-do list items…

The way I see it, goals are pretty well out there. They are things that you want to achieve, but you don’t know whether you can or not.

Goals are things that challenge us in achieving them. That stretch us. That require commitment and discipline to achieve them. Discipline of action. Discipline of purpose.

That being said, there probably is a small grey area of overlap between one person’s goal and another person’s bucket list.

But not that much overlap.

I think in travel there may be some overlap.

Like visiting somewhere exotic. Like the top of the Eifel Tower.


Is that a goal? Or a bucket list item?

I think initially it can start off as a goal. “It is my goal to climb to the top of the Eifel Tower.”

But once you decide, and plan, I think it then transitions from being *only* a goal to being a bucket list item, a must do item. And a to do item.

Am I making sense?

As a golfer, I always wanted to play golf on St Andrews.


The Old Course. The home of golf.

I’m not sure if it was ever a goal as such. Certainly a bucket list item.

The reason being there is a definite process of getting a game of golf there. It is achievable and doable. It just requires planning.

I’ve visited Scotland four times. I’ve played golf at St Andrews, on the Old Course, four times.

Was it something that challenged me in achieving? Did it stretch me? Did it require commitment and discipline to achieve? Discipline of action? Discipline of purpose?

Maybe in the early days, it did require a commitment…

Maybe in the early days, travel items are a cross between goals and bucket list.

It’s definitely a goal if you look at it every day and ask the question of yourself, “What do I need to do today to move me closer to getting a game of golf on St Andrews?”

But because it is a definite process, and a process available to everyone who can play golf, getting a game on the Old Course soon becomes a bucket list item.

So back to goals, really!

It’s been said that goals need to be smart. Smart goals.

S. M. A. R. T. Smart!

Specific: Exactly what, where, how.

Measurable: A measurement gives feedback along the way, and let’s you know when the goal has been met.

Achievable: Goals are achievable. A stretch, but can be done.

Relevant: Goals are relevant to you and who you are. Not whimsically unrelated.

Time Based: What time frame is required? Set specific dates for the completion of relevant tasks to achieve the goal.

Using the goal list

It is imperative for a goal list to be successful it needs to be reviewed regularly.

Viewed and read

Images need to be seen. Regularly.

Words, numbers and descriptions need to be read. And can be heard. Or can be listened to.

And there is no negotiation here.


Or even better, multiple times per day.

The more times that goals are reviewed and presented front of mind, the more they become more relevant, more specific, more achievable and more measurable.

Out of sight, out of mind, is the antithesis of purposeful goal setting.

Goals must be reviewed.

Someday is not an option for reviewing goals.

Reviewing is a must do.

Last year, working as a part time dentist, I had a specific financial goal as an income I needed to bill for my dentistry. I knew that I had twelve months to earn that income.

I also knew that there would be times I would be away from my dentistry. So I had specific, measurable, time based, achievable and relevant targets associated with my financial goal.

I reviewed my goal and my progress on regular days. Knowing where I was at any point in time in relation to this annual goal, and what I had to keep doing to maintain my correct path to achieving that goal, was an important part of successfully achieving that goal.

Had I not reviewed, had I set the goal and hoped, then I am sure I would have not been as successful in achieving and surpassing that financial goal.

And by reviewing that goal regularly, I was able to make that twelve month journey with that goal far less stressful because I was always aware of my position and in control of my position.

It makes sense to be specific with your goals and to review and visit them on a regular basis. And to report and record what you have done to progress you toward your goal as well as just reviewing your list of goals…

We know goals work…

We know we have to review them. Regularly.

Reviewing goals is a non-negotiable requirement in successfully achieving goals.


Having goals, and a purpose and a mission are all part of The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me: david@theUPE.com

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