There has been a bit of discussion on the Growing Practice page about goal setting. I believe it is not only one of the most powerful things that we can do for ourselves, but that it is also mandatory for success. My approach to goal-setting is about empowerment and growth. I use a process I call blue sky thinking. It is a fun exercise–so let’s have some fun!
If you could have the perfect practice with everything in it and about it that you want, what would it look like? Now, you probably already limited it because there are things about what you REALLY want that don’t seem plausible right now. This is the “how filter”. We filter our possibilities because we can’t see how something we want can happen from where we are at this moment. So I’m going to ask you to turn off the “how filter”. Don’t concern yourself with how it will come about. Just dream big. Now, what does your dream practice look like? Where is your office? What does it look like? How is it decorated? How many clients do you have? How much money are you making?
Now, make your dream bigger. Think about being big enough to have work not only for you, but for other therapists starting out in the field. See yourself as a mentor and teacher. See your practice having free clinic hours, so that you can give treatments to those in the community that can’t afford to pay out of pocket. See yourself as bigger–you’re speaking before groups, educating the public on how your therapy can enhance their lives. See reporters interviewing you. What does that feel like?
Now, take that feeling, that vision, and write it down. If you can make the vision bigger yet, do so. When do you believe you have this? One year? Two years? Five years? This becomes your vision goal. Tell yourself, I have (and describe your vision goal) ____ years from now. If you can say it with conviction and belief, if it rings true to you, hold onto that. You will be revisiting your vision goal daily.
So let’s say you truly see yourself having this vision goal in three years. What feels right as an intermediate step one year from now? What would your business have to look like in a year for you to know that you are well on your way to your vision goal? How many clients? Where is your office? How many people are working for you? This is the goal that is plausible from where you are at right now. If you are making $30,000/year and you say that you want to be making $1,000,000 in a year–that is not plausible. But to say double or even triple is plausible.
Now you have a framework from which you can start creating a working plan toward those goals. How many new clients a month will bring you to your year goal? With your one-month goals, you can then create a daily action plan that is made up of small enough mini-goals that you will be able to make noticeable and trackable progress. Get Clients Now! is perfect for developing a one-month plan made up of 10 daily or weekly actions. You’ve heard the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? . . . One bite at a time”. To attain the big goals, you need to systematically create small ones.
Now, about that vision goal: every day, revisit the vision. Take ten minutes to read the description, then close your eyes and SEE it! Walk into the door of your dream office. Feel the joy in your heart as you do so. See yourself treating the unfortunate in your community as a gratis service. See the young therapists working for you, looking up to you for your mentorship. Get in touch with your feelings as you spend time in your vision.
How empowering has this exercise been? Please post a comment to let me know. I am very interested in what you have to say.
’til next time,