The Process of Change: Practices for Keeping Yourself Motivated in Action for the Long Haul as a Physician Entrepreneur

As physicians, we are "Doers". When we set our mind to something, and we have a solid vision, we jump right into action. In my earlier article "The Process of Change: Don't Skip Preparation" I talk about the importance of planning prior to taking action. However, once it's action time, we're full throttle. It's exciting when you first start anything. Yet, as time goes on, and we start to experience the rollercoaster ups and downs that entrepreneurship tends to bring it can be challenging to stay motivated. However consistent action is the key to avoiding the "5 Year Failure" statistic that most startups encounter. Many physician moms I coach often ask me how I stayed motivated to keep building for the 10 years I ran my practice, and how I stay motivated even today as I continue to scale my current coaching and training company. The answer is this: I have several things that I do to make sure I'm physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to keep moving forward. I divide them into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual practices.

Daily

1. Morning meditation – for me this comes in two ways. Each morning I get up and before I get out of bed I write 3-5 things I'm grateful for in my business and in my life. I usually include at least 1-2 things I'm grateful for in advance of them happening. I call it grateful scripting. Second, I do yoga 4 mornings a week.

2. Daily Mission Statement – Every morning part of my morning routine is reading my mission statement. It helps to keep myself present to what this is all for… the bigger picture, the purpose.

3. Daily Affirmation – I know it sounds corny but I still believe in the power of affirmation. It helps me to get into the physical feeling of living my purpose.

4.Nightly visualization – Every evening before I go to bed I visualize the next day. I see it exactly as I want it to happen. I do it concurrently with a guided meditation to deepen the process

Weekly

1.Rewards – Each week I give myself a little reward for staying on task.Could be a foot massage, a sweet treat (dessert), or a night out. Either way, I intentionally categorize one activity as a celebration for a strong week. Note: I never punish myself for having "not so productive" weeks. I simply up my self-care and compassion, re-calculate and plan for a successful next week.

2. Accountability list – I make a list of all the things I need to do that week for my business and life and put it in my phone list app. I try to not have more than 4 things per day to keep it workable and give myself that satisfaction of checking the last box (it REALLY feels good to check the last box).

3.Accountability partner – Each week I have a phone call with at least one of my designated committed listeners. We have an agreement and a structure for how we go about this call. Knowing that I have someone to answer to really keeps me motivated to perform.

Monthly

1. Goal Setting – I review and rewrite goals monthly (sometimes more often but as a general practice no less than this). This allows me to stay on track and pivot easily as new things come up and transitions happen.

2.Monthly Visualization – This is different from the weekly visualization b/c it is me visualizing me specifically reaching my monthly goals and sealing it into my timeline (a technique I actually teach my physician clients as well).

3. Reading – I have an audible account, and each month I take on a new book to increase my knowledge. My favorite book genres are business, marketing, mindset, and parenting. I listen to these books instead of the radio each morning in the car. In fact, my son and I now have a name for our morning commutes. We call it "Listen & Learn" time and he often asks if I take to long to start the audiobook "Mom, can we do listen and learn now?". It's the sweetest thing!

Quarterly

1.Quarterly evaluation – Each quarter I look at what I've accomplished and then I look at what I said I would accomplish. This is to evaluate whether I'm on track, to assess my own level of integrity of action and to deal with any gaps in my systematic processes.

2. Goal setting – I generally do this goal setting both alone and with an accountability partner. This allows me once again to stay on track, up level and pivot as I need to

3.Mini-vacation – Once a quarter I allow myself to completely unplug. As in introvert, unplugging is extremely important for me to recharge and re-access the deepest parts of my creativity.So once a quarter I take a long weekend to just let it all hang out…. Either at home (home-cation), in some nice remote location in or out of the city, or with a friend and have some good girlfriend connect time.

Annual

1.Reflection – Each year I have a process that I call End of Year Reflection time. It usually begins in October and has its peak in December. It's the time where I assess every area of my life: My progress, my accomplishments, what worked and what didn't work, what I learned, and what I envision for the next year. It's a wonderful progress because often times I've accomplished 10X more than I intended (looking at previous year's reflections). The reflection ends with me setting specific goals and markers for the next year, and charting the actions I will take to achieve them.

2. Join a coaching program or mastermind – As a physician coach, I must make sure I'm giving my best and that means maintaining a coach of my own. I generally do at least one training in my field and hire a personal coach once a year to keep me outside of my comfort zone. That is where my biggest success (and my best coaching for other) is derived from.

3.True vacation – Each year I try to take at least 2 long vacations. I put it under the annual category because some years circumstances cause it to be one, but as a rule, I like to take 2 long vacations (1-2 weeks) to allow for celebration and recharging. These are my more exotic vacations.

I'm sure there are other practices that are so automatic that I haven't mentioned here, and these are the most intentional movements I make to keep myself motivated, in a growth mindset, and in action. Every business owner, mentor, and coach has their own set of practices and it's taken years for me to develop practices that work for me. Furthermore, I never marry myself to one regimen. I'm always learning from my mentors, adding, subtracting and changing up my practice to fit who I am growing to be. The point is to start somewhere. Keep yourself in action by keeping yourself empowered. I always say success is 90% mindset, and 20% logistics, and the 20% consistent action.

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Saturday, 15 December 2018

The Stress Free Mom MD, Helping Women in Medicine Create the Life You Design