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Are You Planning for the Life that You Want?


Motivation Jul 28, 2021

When you began your journey into dentistry, did you have a vision of what your life would look like 5, 10, 20 years into practice? 

Is your career leading you away from your original goals due to unexpected circumstances? How you react to those circumstances can pave the way for your future. OR, what if rather than REacting, you chose to be PROactive in your planning? Envisioning the big picture can determine what you do today and plan for tomorrow.  

Better Practice, Better life

 How many days will you work this year? We love asking this question as coaches here at ACT, as it results in the practice owner contemplating the amount of time they spend in the office every year. You need to be intentional about your schedule. This is your life, your time, your memories. Ultimately, what defines “Better Life?” Kirk often refers to “The Five Rocks of Life” and believes our joy in each of the areas below are foundational in our ability to live our lives to the fullest.













A better life doesn't just happen on its own, it requires a commitment to the things that matter. What sort of time have you set aside for the important things in your life?

“Research shows the quality of your life is greatly dependent on the quality of your relationships.” -Kirk. Do the number of days you have scheduled to be working grant you access to quality in all the five rocks of life? In regards to taking time off, Kirk says “You have to give yourself permission.” 

“When this…, Then that…”

How often do you find yourself falling back on an if-then, or a when-then statement?. Some common examples of this concept are; “When I make 1 million dollars, then…” “When I have x amount saved in my retirement account, then…” “When my kids are grown and move out, then…”

In each of these scenarios, the “Thens” mark a point of accomplishment or a moment when you expect your life to change. While change certainly is a constant, the change we want to see in our lives will not happen or will be significantly delayed if we don’t make our rocks, our time, and our relationships a priority. Wouldn’t you like to see these “Thens” come to fruition before those marked moments?

When we are intentional about goal setting and life planning, hold ourselves accountable, and make concerted efforts towards achieving those goals, we can see those goals become reality before we ever dreamed.  

Enjoy your life NOW.

I had the privilege of working for an incredible dentist many years ago. His father was also a dentist before him. His dad had some medical issues but continued to work many days to pad his retirement account as much as possible. His ultimate plan was to travel a great deal with his wife when he retired. Shortly after his retirement, his wife passed away unexpectedly from an undiagnosed medical condition. He worked so hard to prepare for an incredible retirement with the love of his life, only to be devastated when he couldn’t realize this goal. Seeing what his father endured, the son gained a new appreciation for enjoying life prior to retirement. He created opportunities to travel, golf, spend time with family, and carve out time in his schedule early on to enjoy life before retirement. As I write this article, he is currently on vacation with his entire family: his wife, children, their spouses, and all of his grandchildren.

When reading the 9th chapter of Traction, “Pulling it All Together, The Grand Journey” by Gino Wickman, he speaks about “The Road to Hana.” Gino recounts, “Some time ago, a friend of mine and his wife visited a major Maui tourist attraction called The Road to Hana. It comprised a long and winding road that, over the course of hours, took them through breathtaking scenery, waterfalls, cliffs, mountains, and beaches. At the end, there was nothing but the small town of Hana, with one gas station. When they finally arrived, my friend’s wife was very upset. She said, “We drove all of this way for this?” She missed the point. The Road to Hana is about the journey, not the destination.”

Are you planning to enjoy the journey? Or are you planning to only enjoy the time you have left when you retire?

The truth is, we can’t expect anything to change if we keep doing the same things we have always done. Make the commitment today to focus on your better life plan and the five rocks of life. One of the most gratifying things we accomplish for our clients here at ACT Dental, is just that, a better practice and a “better life.” 

Take the first step and download the Better Life Planner resource below.

About the Author: Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental. She is also a dental hygienist, motivational speaker, and writer. With over twenty years of serving in different roles in dentistry, she combines her experience to provide our community with best practices for a better life.


Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.