Getting to Goal in 2015

It’s that time again when, filled with optimism and the giddiness only a blank slate can bring, we whip up our resolutions and set our annual goals. But just how much thought do you really give to those goals? And then how do you set up a system to meet them?
I just participated in a one-hour roundtable discussion with several small business owners about goal setting. I came out of the meeting fired up about goal setting and meeting goals. Among the key takeaways:

  1. Set goals in the month that means something to you. You don’t have to wait until the end/beginning of the year. One guy sets his annual goals in his birthday month.
  1. Transfer your goals into a physical form. That could be writing them down (yes, with a pen and paper), creating a document or spreadsheet, or even making a vision board. If you don’t, then your goals are just dreams that stay in your head and eventually fade away.
  1. Dream big. Or, as one gentleman so eloquently said: “You need big, hairy, audacious goals. Goals that are too small aren’t going to drive you. They need to somewhat scare you.” So what if you don’t meet them this year? You’ll at least have made progress and challenged yourself. It’s called “failing forward.”
  1. Write down why you’re listing the goal. Indeed, the “why” is often more important than the “what,” and the energy around the “why” will help drive you toward meeting that goal.
  1. Use your goals to drive your actions. Having goals helps you say “no” to things that won’t help you reach your goal.
While most of us are probably pretty good at setting goals, how many of us can look back at the year behind us and say we met all our goals? What are we doing wrong?
We’re not creating a workable plan. As I tell participants in my Business of Freelancing webinars, you have to set a goal and then work backward to develop a month-by-month, or even week-by-week, list of tasks required to meet that goal.
Most important, however, is that you have to hold yourself accountable. A good tool I just learned about and plan to implement is Best Year Yet. It sends a reminder every week and month to check your goals.
So I’m throwing down the proverbial gauntlet and challenging all of you to sit down over the next couple of weeks and think—really think­­—about where you want to be a year from now, both personally and professionally. And then go out and make it happen!

White Paper Webinar

I wrote about the importance of white papers as a marketing tool in my LinkedIn blog, and I explain what they are on my website.
Now I’m bringing my expertise and knowledge directly to you with my upcoming webinar: The Awesome Power of White Papers: Bringing Customers to You. Designed for businesses as well as writers, this 90-minute webinar will show you what a white paper is—and what it is not; highlight the elements of an effective white paper; and provide you with a roadmap for marketing your white paper to get the client leads you need.
So save the date: February 12, 2015, 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern. You can learn more about the program and register here.

Things You Should Know

Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) Writing Workshop, March 26-27 in Philadelphia. This workshop is designed to provide HEOR professionals and medical writers with the HEOR writing and communications skills and capabilities they need to be successful in this growing area of medical communications. The first day is designed for HEOR professionals; the second day for medical writers.
Plus, I’m giving a pre-meeting workshop on March 26 for freelancers: The Business of Freelancing: Getting to Six Figures. This is a live, all-day version of the popular webinar by the same name.
Register by January 26 and save 15 percent off the registration fee. You can learn more here.

New database of medical writers and editors. My friend and medical writer guru Emma Hitt has created a medical writers and editors database. Companies looking for a medical writer or editor can search the database for free, while writers can post their information in the database for a small fee. Check it out!
Going to the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp) annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, this week? If so, make sure you catch the presentation from Alex Howson, PhD, CCMEP, “To IRB or Not to IRB.” She will highlight the importance of ethical approval for those who collect clinician data for needs assessments. Check out the complete schedule here.
Visit my blog for updates on healthcare reform and other pithy thoughts from the deep, dark, depths of my twisted mind.

Value-Based Purchasing and What It Means for CME. This free webinar is slated for some time this spring courtesy of Beacon Live. Email me to receive more details as they become available.  
Association of Health Care Journalists annual meeting. I’ll be attending the meeting in Santa Clara in April. Contact me if you'll be there so we can meet for a drink.
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