2024 Resolutions on a Page

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Happy New Year Everyone! A new year can be both an exciting time, as well as a scary and daunting time. It’s a time for new resolutions and goals and for a business owner to reflect on our personal and professional lives. Did the business meet its goals? Were our patients happy? Is our staff happy and satisfied? What mistakes did we make? Did we have enough of a work-life balance? Did we work too hard? Did we have enough fun at work? Looking onwards and forwards, what are our goals for this year? What do we want to accomplish this year, and how do we do it? Now that’s a loaded question!

Plan on a Page

In 2022, I joined a Women’s Business accelerator program that focused on sharing specific resources, mentorship, networking and programming to help businesses grow. I learned the importance of fostering personal and professional relationships, asking for help, asking questions, and taking the time to evaluate our business every year. This helps me see where we are versus where we want to be, both, from a (1) staff/culture perspective (we want it to be fun and fulfilling to come to work every day), from a (2) clinical patient care perspective (we want our patients to enjoy coming to our clinic and to want to keep coming back to us), and from a (3) business/goal revenue perspective (we have to be able to pay the bills and make money, as this is a business after all).

Together, with the help of a business coach, I created a Plan on a Page – see a snapshot of this Plan on a Page below. Feel free to use it to fill in the blanks with what you want from your own growth goals, whether professional or personal. The Plan on a Page was designed to create a leadership development plan to help equip me with the fundamental skills I needed to grow as a leader and overcome challenges as the business continues to grow. I forgot to go back and look at it last year, but this year, when I looked at it in January, I realized that my goals in 2022 were still the same as in 2024. Before looking at this page, I found that all of the plans and ideas for 2024 were all jumbled in my head and I didn’t know where to start. I also realized that because I didn’t look at this plan after I made it, I didn’t stick to any of my ‘Must Do’s’, and thus, none of the plans were achieved. I continued to run the clinic using the day-to-day status quo – seeing patients, doing my audiology tasks... But this plan was meant to elevate what we do and who we are as a clinic. Looking at it now, this plan is tangible, focused, actionable, and achievable because it’s on a page. It’s time to look at it again, in this new year and put it into action!

I love the idea of developing a 3-year vision goal and a specific 2024 goal. Big picture; pie in the sky wants, yet achievable and realistic.

Breaking down the goals by category is also essential. Who is our target consumer? What are our products and services that we want to focus on? What are our marketing channels and branding tools? Who is our team and partners – this is our staff – how do we ensure that they’re happy so that they can deliver on our targeted goals? What are their own growth plans and how do I help them achieve this? And where am I and what do I want from this business / my career – where do I need to focus my time? The ‘Must Do’s’, I love love love! Because they hold me accountable to what I need to do, to achieve each of these goal categories.

Time is a Limited Commodity

Unfortunately, time is finite. There are only 24 hours to the day, and some are needed for eating, sleep, family, friends, and winding down time. Even business owners get burned out, so it’s important to pace ourselves and give ourselves some ‘us’ time – I call this TV time. But personal time management is difficult, because there is so much that needs to get done, and it’s never all done. We don’t clock in and clock out – ever. In this day and age too, when everyone expects things to be done immediately and conveniently, our time is spread even thinner. If you add your email inbox and a daily to do task list to the mix, then it’s game over. So, how then can we manage our time? Answer: Determine where we spend our time and determine who could be helping us. Answer: Use the 4-Ds. (1) Decide to do it later (schedule time to do it later), (2) Do it now (urgent/benefit to do it right now), (3) Delegate it (someone else can do it better), (4) Dump it (trash it, forget it, not useful).

I hope that in this new year, we can all take a little ‘me’ time every day, to evaluate our personal growth goals and make time for the things that matter to us the most. Happy 2024 everyone! May time be your ally and may all your wishes and plans come true for this year!

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About the author

Salima Jiwani, PhD, MSc, Reg. CASLPO

Salima Jiwani is the Founder/Director and Lead Audiologist at AudioSense Hearing, Balance & Concussion, an audiology clinic in Yorkville, Toronto. Salima has a keen clinical and research interest in disorders of the external, middle and inner ear, including hearing loss, auditory processing difficulties, tinnitus, sound sensitivities and post-concussion auditory deficits. Salima is passionate about understanding how the brain responds to sound after injury and in post-surgical management of cochlear implants. Salima works with children and adults of all ages at AudioSense, and provides her patients with industry-leading audiological care by leveraging her clinical, research and industry experience. She firmly believes in a holistic cross-collaborative team approach to audiological care and is always looking for outside-the-box evidence-based innovative ways to offer care to her patients. Outside of work, Salima continues to be engaged in advocacy initiatives to elevate the profession of audiology, give audiologists a voice and promote optimal audiological care for her patients. Outside of work hours, Salima is an advocate for the profession of audiology as current President of the Canadian Academy of Audiology and co-chair of the Science and Education Committee of the organization.  In these roles, Salima encourages clinical research in her field to elevate the profession, give audiologists a voice, and promote optimal audiological health care for patients.