The secret to achieving massive goals

setting goalsPractice Plan’s Lynn Leach shares David Hyner’s ‘massive goal principle’ to support practices looking to refocus their business strategy to cope with the challenges formed by COVID-19.

Now is a crucial time for the dental community. Particularly with practices reopening in a vastly different setting to that faced before lockdown. It may be a time to set new goals or look at how, and if, it’s still possible to achieve those set before the pandemic.

Hyner’s careful research over 22 years, interviewing 258 top achievers from many walks of life has culminated in a goal-setting process to help you accomplish these new challenges and support your business strategy in order to weather the storm.

The pyramid to overriding a ‘play it safe’ mindset

Over the last 20 years, society has hardwired us to avoid failing at all costs. Because of that, many tend to procrastinate and do nothing, or just set realistic targets so that they don’t fail. Therein lies a problem – human beings are designed to evolve, not revolve.

The dental landscape of change, innovation and technology is developing at a rapid pace. Along with the added curveball of disruption due to COVID-19. If we continue as we have always done and resist challenging ourselves, setting easy targets might result in practices left by the wayside.

Hyner’s pyramid goal-setting technique maps out the steps and obstacles you need to overcome in order to achieve your goal.

The idea is simple: draw a pyramid filled with blocks. Start from the bottom of the pyramid. Write something that represents each larger obstacle to achieving your goal in a block at the bottom. As you move up the pyramid, fill the blocks with lesser obstacles.

When you have filled as many blocks as you can, start at the bottom of the pyramid. Systematically work through each block and cross them off as you go until you’ve reached your goal. This adds a sense of achievement and further motivates you to continue, as you can see your progress.

It sounds so simple but it works. If you’re struggling with where to start, here are a few recommendations on what the larger challenges are that you can include in the initial blocks of your pyramid.

Remember the root of your goal

It’s all very well setting a big goal, but how do you motivate yourself to keep going and overcome procrastination? In simple terms, if you’ve got a reason ‘why’ that is bigger than your excuses, you’ll achieve it. Regardless of how many times you get knocked down, knocked back or fail.

Anyone who just sets a goal without a reason to achieve it which outweighs their fears will use the first excuse or failure to give in, walk away and say ‘I tried’, full of regret. You need to understand the ‘why’ behind your goal.

The 10-minute challenge

Ten minutes a day equates to a third of 1% increase in productivity, performance, attitude, and aptitude. If you do this consistently for 365 days a year, Hyner’s research shows that five to 10 minutes a day of improvements in areas you’ve put off will result in increased productivity in excess of 112%.

Do as the Romans do

Find out who has successfully achieved the goal you are looking to achieve. Reach out to them to see if they will mentor you. What’s the worst that can happen? They might decline. On the other hand, they may agree to provide invaluable advice.

You could even take this further and set up a group with your peers. Not necessarily people with the same goal as you, but people who equally have something to achieve where you can hold each other accountable. Avoid friends and family. They will likely let you off the hook if you fail to complete your tasks that lead up to your goal; choose people who will challenge you.

Once you have started to populate your pyramid with these potential obstacles or steps, the rest of the blocks can contain anything you need to do in order to achieve your goal.

If you would like greater insight into the process behind the massive goal principle, you can visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub and watch a webinar with David Hyner, or visit

David is a unique motivational speaker and facilitator on goal setting and purpose.

He’s carried out over 250 interviews with top achievers and takes inspiration from this research to see how this learning, behaviour and wisdom can be applied to get better results for people and for businesses.

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