Sometimes, January can seem endless. The excitement of the holidays is over, the Christmas bills are starting to come in, and you are not due for another vacation until the summer. To make matters worse, it’s not just you. Your team and patients are also deep in the January Blues, and it is making you feel even more dejected. Actually, this time of year is when I really love my job. As part of their New Year’s resolutions, many dentists are looking to third parties for guidance. Dental consulting addresses budgeting, scheduling, and all the other things you “should” be focusing on at this time of year. As a coach, I address these things, too. However, I look at them in the larger context of your life. As I help you improve your practice and profitability, you may just find that your winter doldrums start to fade. Take a look at these four ways that you can boost your mood and keep those January Blues at bay.
1. Designate an “Appreciation Day.”
At my practice, we have a weekly “Appreciation Day.” We begin every day with a morning huddle to discuss the events and schedule for the upcoming day, as well as any problems that we need to address. However, on Thursdays, two of our team members tell each person one thing that they respect, admire, or appreciate about him or her. It brightens up the day for the entire staff. Seeing the dramatic effects that it can have on our mood and productivity, I try to make every day a personal “Appreciation Day.” I look for reasons to be grateful, and I try to let my team, family, and friends know how much they mean to me. When you adopt this attitude, you may be surprised at the places it can take you … an “Attitude of Gratitude”!
2. Help Someone in Need.
Yes, we spend all day helping others. However, I encourage you to go beyond your practice to find ways to assist the needy. You could provide dental care to the underserved. You could also do something that has nothing to do with dentistry. One of the great things about volunteering is that it allows you to explore an area that is outside your normal daily activities. You might help with a project like Habitat for Humanity or even coach your son’s T-ball team. What matters is that you are doing something that you feel passionate about. By focusing on others, it becomes much more difficult to focus on any negative aspects of your day.
3. Take Time for Yourself.
While it is important to concentrate on others, it is also essential that you take time to relax. Identify the things you love but that you have let slip as you get sucked into work. Maybe you love to read, fish, or garden. Perhaps you simply need to take the time to meditate or sit in silence. Although your relaxation time should never be about productivity, it is important to find the things that will enrich your life and allow you to expand mentally and emotionally.
4. Don’t Allow Dental Consulting to Dictate Your Life.
If you have been working with a consultant to build and develop your practice, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Often, dental consulting focuses on the “right” or “wrong” way to do things without stopping to consider what is most important to you. Remember, you and your team know what works for you and what doesn’t. Although a consultant can certainly benefit your practice, you should never try to change who you are to meet someone else’s standards. Even if you are working with a coach now, you may unconsciously be holding yourself to the standards set by your old consultant. As a coach, I will help you change this mentality. We will work together to find ways to improve your practice while still remaining true to your passions and your personality.