Goal Setting: Dreaming Big In The New Year

coaching goals Jan 03, 2023
Goal setting for physicians and doctors



“Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life.”
―Les Brown



We ask our children to wonder and dream, and they do.

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? 
  • If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? 
  • If you could be a superhero, who would you choose? 
  • What magical power do you wish you had? 



We used to dream all the time.  We had goals, wishes, hopes, and dreams.  Then, one day, we settled into the monotony of everyday life and stopped dreaming.  So what happened?   



I remember researching a career in medicine when I was in 7th grade.  I didn’t understand all the words, but I knew I would figure it out.  In high school, I was told I should “aim lower” for college.  According to my guidance counselor, my “safety school” was not safe enough.   She was speechless when I was ultimately admitted to the university of my dreams.  I was surrounded by pre-meds in college and wondered if I would make it to medical school.  I kept dreaming and working hard.  Through perseverance, I made it happen.  All along the way, there were doubts.  My dreams, however, never gave way to those doubts.  At every stage, I pushed through the discomfort to achieve my ultimate goal: Becoming a doctor. 



At some point, though, I stopped dreaming.  I stopped reaching.  I stopped trying to do that next thing.  “Oh, that?  I can’t do that.  I am a doctor now.”  But why?  Physicians are so primed for success that the thought of failure weighs heavy.  If that wasn’t enough, the threat of medical liability looms large.  We start to focus more on things we can’t or shouldn’t do rather than all of the possibilities that exist.  We think: “The only thing I know how to do is be a great doctor.”  But it wasn’t always the case.  You didn’t always know how to be a doctor.  Through hard work and dedication, you figured it out.  So, what is stopping you now?  Why are you limiting yourself?  Why aren’t you thinking of your next big thing?  Why aren’t you dreaming? 



As we enter a new year, many will set out to create New Year’s Resolutions.  For most, those resolutions will fall by the wayside before the end of the month. 



Instead of a New Year's Resolution, I challenge you to set a goal for 2023.  A goal is a finite, tangible accomplishment that gets you closer to the life you want to live. 


  • Read a book (one in 2023?  one per month?  one per week?  one per day?)
  • Run a marathon (or a 5K)
  • Start a business
  • Invest in real estate
  • Plan the next family vacation
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Exercise three times per week
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Eat a vegetable with every meal



What is your dream?  When was the last time you sat down and made a goal for yourself?  If you are anything like me, once you know your goal, it is as good as done.  Maybe you’ll have to research it.  Perhaps you’ll stumble along the way.  But there is no doubt that you will make it happen if you want it.  So, what is stopping you?  Take that first step.  Leap.  Jump!  Don’t just imagine that things will work out someday.  Make that day be today.  It might be scary, but I promise it will be worth it.  Achieving your dreams is always worth it. 




Is there something you have been meaning to do?  Have you wondered if you have the strength, grit, or perseverance to accomplish something?  No professionals out there are more determined, harder working, or better able to persevere against adversity than physicians, so what is holding you back?  Get started today and learn to think about yourself in a whole new way.



Are you interested in a FREE WORKSHEET to help navigate goal-setting while creating the life you've always wanted?  I invite you to check out Design Your Life: A Goal-Setting Guide For Physicians.  This worksheet will help you design the step-by-step path to your ultimate physician life.  Get started today!



PS.  I get a lot of inspiration from music lyrics.  Many people use inspiring quotes (and I do, too), but music really speaks to me.  I hope you find inspiration in the songs too.



One Republic - I Lived


 Click here for the lyrics



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