Time is on Your Side in the New Year

When the calendar rolls over to a new year, one can’t help but feel a sense of optimism. A new year brings new beginnings, new budgets and new challenges to healthcare marketers. But let’s not kid ourselves. Not long after the ball drops in Times Square, and the last of the season’s greetings are extended, reality begins to set in. And as much as you may be ready to close the book on 2018, chances are you’re still dealing with some of last year’s projects and headaches while you work to kick off 2019’s initiatives. But lucky for you, time is on your side.

Just how much time, you ask? Well, there are 261 working days in 2019. But taking into account that you’ve probably got at least 10 days of vacation (and you should use them all!), that leaves you with 251 total working days. Think about it. That’s 2,008 hours to do your job this year. And chances are if you’re like most healthcare marketers, that’s the minimum amount of time you’ll put in. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Here’s a few rules you can use to your advantage in 2019

Set two goals for each day, each month, each quarter and the entire year. The bigger the timeframe, the bigger the goals. Focusing on two goals every day that build toward accomplishing monthly goals, then quarterly goals, etc. is much more tangible and makes accomplishing those bigger goals more manageable. An example of goals that ladder up might look like:

Daily Goal: Conduct stakeholder interviews
Monthly Goal: Finalize service line marketing plan
Quarterly Goal: Execute service line campaign
Yearly Goal: Grow service line volume 3% YoY

Identify five resources at the beginning of the year to help you accomplish your goals. These could include names of team members, technologies or products, agency partners, motivational techniques or even something as simple as coffee. Keep your list within eyesight of where you do most of your work, so when the going gets tough (and it inevitably will), you’ve got a reminder that help is available when you need it.

Check in with yourself one time a day. Take a minute—or 15—to exhale and survey all that you’ve accomplished and what you’ve got left to do. Remind yourself why you do this gig in the first place (both in the macro- and micro-sense). Relive the good and take note of the bad. Reset if you need to. Just make sure not to skip this important routine. Consistent practice will pay off in spades on a number of fronts.

So now that you know you’ve got 251 days to reach your goals, utilize the resources at your disposal and position yourself in a way that’s most advantageous to your healthcare organization, what are you going to do with them? Those 2,008 hours aren’t a ticking clock— they’re an extended life raft. Use them to your advantage, and this will finally be the year that reality is kept in check by the optimism the new year brings.

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