Letters to Sterling: Goals Setting and Visualization

4:30 am, 9.11.2018

Dear Sterling,

It was wonderful to talk with you last night. I plan to swim Lucky’s Lake this morning so I’ll probably finish this letter later.

Goal setting and visualization have lead to growth not only in my personal life, but also professionally. After all, if you do not grow yourself, how can you expect to grow your practice? So early on in my letters we will talk about investing in yourself.

People’s hopes and dreams are in your hands. How can you deliver on theirs if you don’t daily deliver on your own? How can you give what you don’t have? First take care of you. Even if it means getting up an hour before everyone else just to spend time with yourself.

Being a plastic surgeon demands perfection. Outside opinions can overpower your thoughts if you don’t train your mind to think the way you want it to. You have to see, to visualize where you want to end up. Visualization is a practice.

Michael Phelps’ swim coach, Coach Bowman, taught him mental control by goal setting and practicing mentally. He taught him how to develop habits and routines that created a mindset that propelled him to become the winningest Olympic athlete EVER. Each night before sleeping and each morning he would mentally visualize his perfect swim, from the block to the pool edge. Phelps would feel the water on his skin, zero in on his stroke in detail, set his self talk to what he wanted to be and do this over, and over, and over, and over. Just like you visualize the exact outcome you want for your surgical patients.

Steps to stay in your own lane:

  • Focus on what you can control.
  • Set your own goals.
  • See your goals.
  • Trust the process to deliver the outcome.

It’s what turns small wins into enormous power and big wins.

This morning during my swim, I was alone with my thoughts. As I watched the sun coming up, my mind cleared, the water felt smooth, I focused on the glide, and focused on what I want to help our customers achieve and where I want to take my employees.

In my next letter I will start writing about the 5 P’s of business: people, product, processes, plan and profit. We will address profit first, as it’s impossible to run a practice without it. As Zig Ziglar put it: “Money is not everything but it ranks right up there with oxygen.”

So for today, take time to be alone and reflect on what you really want, then see it over and over and over. Take a few minutes to see the sun rise, have a few small wins early each day.

Momma Crowe

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