Keith and I are very different.  I’m the anxious one.  I’m the one who worries about every little thing we do in the practice: our staff; our patients; what new techniques we should offer;  what new equipment we should buy; do we have enough money to buy them; what should our new website look like; should we do a new video for it; what wallpaper should we put up in the waiting room; what training courses we should all go on; it goes on and on.  Keith on the other hand is like the eye in the middle of my storm of worry and indecision.  He’s my calm side!

As a result I find myself reading a lot about how to calm this anxiety and worry – mainly just so my brain is distracted from what I’m supposed to be worrying about!  And the thing I keep coming across again and again is thankfulness and gratitude – spending time reflecting on what has happened in a day, what you’ve achieved and what you have to be thankful for.  
This week in the practice we’ve launched full steam ahead straight into the New Year.  We’re filming on the 24th January with Keith’s brother Niall to create some new content for the new website we’re planning, so it’s been all go for the team and it feels like we’re already making big decisions about what’s happening for the rest of 2020.  
Perhaps though we need to just take a breath for a moment and reflect on what we’ve achieved and what we have, so this morning I’m going to do just that, here with you.  Sometimes all we can think about is what we’ve got on our to do list, what it is we’ve got to get done, and we forget to stop and think about everything we’ve achieved.  Things just get accepted and we don’t give ourselves the recognition or the thanks we deserve.  That’s when it all just starts to feel like a constant cycle of underachievement and insufficient time: the hamster wheel of life.  Take a step off it for a moment with me, find some space and just think.

Photo by João  Jesus

Last year, 2019, what were my greatest achievements and what am I thankful for?

When I think of 2019 I think “Oh man what a stressful year, thank God it’s over,” but in reality as a team we achieved so much:

  • Welcomed 562 new patients to the practice
  • Converted and redecorated the upstairs into office and staff space so we finally have a staff room again!
  • Converted Mrs Rankin’s old kitchen into a room for our Patient Care Coordinator and new CBCT scanner.
  • Installed a brand new dental chair in John’s surgery
  • Installed a brand new Digital Intra Oral Scanner meaning Keith’s patients and our Invisalign patients don’t need impressions anymore
  • Installed a brand new CBCT scanner meaning our implant patients don’t need to travel to Glasgow 
  • Installed a new reception desk
  • Reorganised our staffing, bringing in new team members to create a stable, enthusiastic team with the right people in the right seats on the bus.
  • Promoted Jill to Practice Manager and Patient Care Coordinator and developed her role.
  • Keith passed his Diploma in Implant Dentistry
  • Keith did training to allow us to deliver courses to other dentists
  • Trained for a year with Chris Barrow, one of dentistry’s top coaches
  • Introduced a new facial aesthetics clinic and ran a successful open night.
  • Introduced a new sedation referral service with Ainsley our associate dentist.
  • Wrote 8 monthly blogs
  • Wrote and sent 9 monthly newsletters
  • Raised £300 for Cancer Research and donated a trolley of food to Coatbridge Foodbank
  • Looked after our thousands of patients every day in the same way as we would like to be treated ourselves.
And we have so much to be thankful for. That our team are all healthy, enthusiastic and caring.  That our building work didn’t take too long  ?.  That our patients are so loyal that they recommend us to their friends and family and write us lovely reviews online.  That we have the energy and drive to always be moving forwards and a desire to always be the best we can be.
Looking back like this allows me to think “2019, what a year!  Our best so far!  Bring on 2020!”.  I feel a sense of achievement and gratefulness and I’m excited to see what this year coming will bring.  
Go on try it, you’ll realise just how much you have and how much you’ve achieved.