Setting Goals for the New Year

Happy New Year!

I’ve just spent the last week on vacation, completely disconnected (OK, I checked e-mail once every morning). The down time allowed me to do something I rarely can: think.

I thought backward and forward—what worked and didn’t work in 2012 for GordonSquared, Inc., and what are my goals for 2013?

For me, 2012 was a year of transition. A year in which I realized that I simply had to reprioritize life and work. A year in which I finally understood that staying busy all the time was no good for me, my family, or my clients.

So I created what I call my “Magic Spreadsheet,” which enables me to assign days to each project so I can see at a glance if I have the bandwidth for new projects. I also (try to) build in “wiggle room” for the unexpected. You know, when the computer crashes, the project you finished three months ago returns from the hinterland for revisions, your favorite client calls begging you to take on an emergency project “just this once,” or you
get a tooth infection and land in the hospital for a week (which I did).

I’m happy to say that the Magic Spreadsheet has been in effect for seven months now, and it is helping me get a better picture of my workload. I would like to say that it has completely cured my workaholism, but, unfortunately, that would be lying and, as I’ve said before, I try never to lie. I fear that workaholism, like any other addiction, is a lifelong challenge that I will have to address one day at a time, every single day. But even two steps forward and one step back signifies progress!

Another transition in 2012 kind of snuck up on me. Over the past year, more of my business has shifted from clinically related work to healthcare policy/business work, often with the two merging. For instance, this year I started writing a weekly blog for a healthcare company on health policy issues; completed a needs assessment for an educational program on the pharmacoeconomics of diabetes; delivered 10 sets of slides on healthcare reform for a large pharmaceutical company; and began writing monthly stories on hospital readmission issues for another healthcare company.

The New Year holds more promise. On February 5, I will host my first webinar:
Healthcare Reform for Dummies: Sorting Fact From Fiction. More details below. I’m also taking the talk on the road—speaking in late January at the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions annual meeting in San Francisco and in the spring to the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Medical Writers Association, as well as to local and regional organizations closer to home. If you need a speaker on any healthcare-related topic, let me know.

I’ve also been hired to a write a book on mobile health, or mHealth. If you’re not sure what that is, check out the
blogs I wrote while attending the national mHealth Summit in December. If you, your company, medical practice, or healthcare organization is using mHealth to improve quality, outcomes, and/or costs, drop me an e-mail. I may want to interview you.

Also on the book side is my own book proposal, Patientzilla: Get the Healthcare You Want, Need, and Deserve, which is now making the rounds of agents. Written for a consumer audience, Patientzilla is designed to bring the patient empowerment movement to, well, the patient. Stay tuned for more on that.

So, as I lay by the pool this week under the hot Mexican sun and thought about my next margarit … uh, my business, I came up with the following goals for 2013:

  • Exceed my clients’ expectations. I told you in my last newsletter that I planned to begin sending post-project surveys to clients so they could provide feedback (anonymously if they prefer) on the completed job. The survey has been in effect for about two months, and the feedback has been very helpful and insightful.
  • Continue to speak publicly on healthcare-related issues, including patient empowerment and healthcare quality.
  • Find a publisher for Patientzilla (and write it!).
  • Follow the continuing story of healthcare reform, expand my expertise in this arena, and identify existing and new clients who could use such expertise.

Have you set your goals for 2013?

Healthcare Reform for Dummies: Sorting Fact From Fiction

Join me on Tuesday, February 5, at 1 p.m. Eastern for this one-hour, entertaining and informative webinar.

After attending this interactive webinar, you will be able to:

  • Sort through the facts and myths about the U.S. healthcare system and healthcare reform
  • Describe the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on your business, yourself, and your family
  • Discuss key components of the ACA and their strengths and weaknesses, including:
    • Insurance exchanges
    • Medical homes
    • Accountable care organizations
    • Quality initiatives
  • Explain the potential impact of the ACA on healthcare quality and cost

You can attend the webinar live, view it on demand, or both.

here and use code GS12713 to receive half off the listed price.

Wishing you the best for the first quarter of 2013. Stay warm, stay productive, and, most importantly,
stay healthy.

On the Blog … 
What healthcare-related lessons should be learned from a lost passport, pre-colonoscopy appointment, and an all-inclusive resort? Visit my blog and find out. And while you’re there, subscribe to Healthcare Musings  via RSS or e-mail so you won’t miss a single thought.


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