Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Keys to Your Practice: February 2013

Angelo Santin   

Features Business Management

Many of us, and our patients for that matter, make New Year’s resolutions for a healthier and happier upcoming year. It’s now February – how many of you have already broken them? 

Many of us, and our patients for that matter, make New Year’s resolutions for a healthier and happier upcoming year. It’s now February – how many of you have already broken them? 

If you want to make, and keep, significant changes in your practice, you will have to make changes around your own personal mindset and also the methods you use in your clinic. The changes should be simple and attainable, making it more likely that you can achieve your new goals. In this edition of Keys to Your Practice, I want to discuss how and where to make changes for a happier and more successful personal and professional year.


The biggest results you will attain in your practice will come from making improvements to you. Where do you think you are lacking or need improvement? Here is a short list of things that may ring true with you or spark your own ideas:

  • Are you exercising, resting and showing up for work physically prepared?
  • Are you resting your mind, keeping stress low, and making time for friends and family?
  • What are you reading personally and professionally that keeps you sharp and motivated?
  • What courses have you been taking or maybe putting off for later?
  • Are you due for a new and updated office wardrobe?

The next most significant area for change will be in your office methods. Again here are some areas that may get the creative juices flowing:

  • Do you have proper systems set up in which all staff are proficient?
  • Do you have proper scripting that you and your staff are confident using?
  • How is your staff’s attire and hygiene?
  • How are your technique skills? Are they diverse and updated?
  • Are you due for an office facelift, new paint or pictures, new décor?

Once you have formulated your own list of elements you would like to see changed or improved, the key is to devise a way to make sure you follow through with the changes. 

The most effective way I have learned to do this is through the use of S.M.A.R.T. goals. 

  • The “S” stands for “specific.” Don’t make the goals complicated or vague; make sure they are clear and well defined. 
  • The “M” stands for “measurable.” It is important that you can determine, at some point later in the year, whether you have reached your goal or not. This is why numerical goals are easily understood. Things like weight, money and time can be easily measured and you will definitely know when you are there.  
  • The “A” stands for “attainable.” Your goals should be attainable and realistic. It can be very demotivating to work towards them if they are not. 
  • The “R” stands for “results-based.” This means you should keep in mind that you are looking for specific results when choosing your goals.  
  • Lastly the “T” is for “timeline.” Always give yourself a deadline and make it short. Long, drawn-out timelines get put on the backburner and get boring after a while, so shorten your timeline to push yourself.

Let’s review how we would go about reaching a new goal. The first step is to create a list as I have done above in the areas that you believe are necessary to change. Whether your list is long or short, rank the list from one to 10, with one being the thing that if changed will create the greatest results for your practice. (You may find that starting by picking the three things that you need to work on this year is just enough to keep you busy and motivated.)

Once you have your list created, start with number one and break it down using the S.M.A.R.T. system, making sure that goal is specific, attainable, results-oriented, and measurable, and that the timeline is short. Once you have completed the first goal, move to number two on your list, and so on.

Goals can be easily set but not easily attained. Using this system should make things clearer for you and your team and make reaching your goals a lot easier. Good luck, and remember, when it comes to your practice, work from the inside out.

Keys to Making and Keeping Practice Goals
Start by assessing yourself, personally and professionally. Then, examine your practice for areas that need change and/or improvement.

Action Step 1: Make a list of goals you want to reach for this year.

Action Step 2: Rank the goals from the most important to least.

Action Step 3: Take the three most important goals and break them down using the S.M.A.R.T. system.

Dr. Angelo Santin is a 2006 graduate of the CMCC. He operates a busy subluxation-based family practice in Thunder Bay, Ont., and is currently serving his second year as president of the Thunder Bay Chiropractic Society. Dr. Santin is one of a small number of international Carter Universal proficiency-rated chiropractic coaches, and draws on his success, along with the experience of the most renowned experts in this field, to provide time-tested, effective and patient-centred ideas for every chiropractor. He can be reached at or 807-344-4606.

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