Goal setting in 2017

The Ubuntu Medical rebrand is almost complete! Some of you who have come to see me in the last couple of weeks will have noticed a complete change in the practice.  The photos below give you a sense of the space we’ve created.  Now we are looking to accommodate additional practitioners to either rent or work for us. We are especially looking for GPs at the moment.  But we are also looking for most allied health professionals (particularly, podiatrists and exercise physiologists and even psychologists).  If you know anyone who might be interested—please call or email me

Ubuntu Medical Centre     Ubuntu Medical Centre - Inside

The start of the year and finishing this project got me thinking about goals and New Year’s resolutions, and generally having a sense of achievement in life. So, I’d like to share a few tips to share how best to start the year.

My 2017 is well underway, and I’m ready to work closely with clients for March and April, and then I’m taking 5 weeks off—me and my wife are heading over to Europe for a much earned break.

(1) Set Goals for the New Year

There are people who actually make the time to write their goals down (usually at the start of the year) and those who don’t. It actually is one of the most important things you can do.  Look up how to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-related) if you’re ready to dig into the specifics.  But more importantly you work on your goals with someone who can keep you accountable.  They don’t have to be a life coach/psychologist etc., they can be a friend or family member.  Then review your goals with them every 3 months.

Secondly, don’t just write a whole bunch of ‘to do’ lists—your brain will get overwhelmed very quickly. Focus on 2-3 big things you wish to achieve this year and turn each one into a 3-6 month project (3 goals x 4 months = 12 months).  For me this year, I wish to set up Ubtuntu Medical Centre (as mentioned), recruit 2-3 GPs and 3-4 allied health professionals, continue to work in my psychological private practice, and support my wife in the birth of our first child due later this year.  Have a think about what the big ticket items will be for you.

Also think about fear setting rather than merely goal setting. Think about the 2-3 things that you need to do that will help accomplish the goal in the shortest period.  And oftentimes these things are scary so we put them off.  For example, with recruiting GPs to the practice—I know that I need to attend 1 big GP conference and some specific GP networking evenings as well. Networking isn’t in a ‘fear space’ for me, but the pressure attached to ‘selling’ Ubtuntu Medical Centre is out of my comfort zone, and therefore lies in the category of ‘fear setting’.

In Tim Ferriss’s book The Four Hour Workweek, he describes fear setting as writing them down, defining them, and quantifying them.

Once you know what they are, list all the fears (flow-on effects) that are associated with the core fear. For example, if you’re thinking about quitting your job, the core fee might be around reduced or lost income, the associated fear however, is your family won’t support your decision. Ferriss then explains that rating the likelihood of each fear and writing down preventative measures and contingency plans: helps your brain to re-evaluate if the fears are valid; if they’re not—their impact is quickly lost.

(2) Think Medium-Term not Short-Term

We are increasingly living in a society obsessed with short-term thinking. I find myself increasingly pressured (usually by me) into delivering short-term results.  Whether that is in pursuing my goals or responding to a communication that needs an answer. Sometimes it is just a trap.  So when you are choosing your 2 or 3 big goals for the year—it is really important for them to be at least 3 months in duration—because it will stop you from being reactive to the ups and downs that happen every day in our lives.  Or by being distracted by the short-term goals etc. that won’t matter to you at the end of the year.  To do big things in life—I feel more and more strongly that we often have to take short-term hits.  When I reflect on 2016—and what I remember about it—it really was about 4 main things for me:

  1. Supporting my wife to pass the GAMSAT exam to get into medicine
  2. Helping my mother renovate a house at Highgate Hill
  3. Building my private practice
  4. Buying into/re-brand the medical centre where I work.

I hope you all have a great start to 2017 and really set your focus on the things that actually matter.