The way you set your goals often has a huge impact on whether you achieve them. So what’s the best professional goal setting method for success?

Sponsored by LaVida Massage

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins once said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

In other words, if you want to achieve great things in life, the path you must take to get there begins with setting a goal.

While this may seem simple enough, the reality is the way you set your goals often has a huge impact on whether or not you achieve them. So what’s the best goal-setting method for professional success?

The CAPTURE model

Most people are familiar with the SMART method (Smart, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Sensitive). Nova Woodrow is a psychotherapist and coach who uses a slightly different approach to help her clients better remember how to create more successful professional goals. It’s called the CAPTURE model.

“C” stands for creative. “Often we set bland goals that we can hardly be bothered to read again, let alone reach,” says Woodrow. “To capture your attention and get your mind working towards a goal, it is a good idea to get really creative with it.”

As an example, maybe your goal is to increase your client list by 10 this month. One creative way to achieve this is to “phone three networking groups and offer to create a relaxed environment so that nervous networker’s can enjoy the experience,” says Woodrow. “This goal is not only more tangible because it is specific towards the action you will take, but it also sounds more exciting than the original and will motivate you far more.”

“A” stands for being “action orientated”. It requires that you take your end goal and work backwards to create smaller action points. For instance, “If you want to double your turnover this year, imagine who you would have to be to do this, who you would have to speak to, what would your day would look like compared to how it looks now,” says Woodrow. This simple exercise can help you create “a working plan for how to get from ‘here’ to ‘there,’” while also providing “an insight into any new learning you will need, new attitudes, new approaches, etc.”

“P” stands for purposeful. It requires that you ask yourself: What bigger purpose will it fulfill if I achieve the goal I’ve set? This means taking a closer look to see whether or not it fits in with your personal values. “If you have a goal that intrinsically goes against who you are as a person and what you believe in, it really isn’t going to be worth the paper you write it on,” says Woodrow.

If you’re unsure what your most important values are, Woodrow suggests that you write down your top 10 and then, “one by one, decide which you could throw away if you had to. Get it down to the last three and then ask yourself: Does this goal fit in with my top three values?” This helps your goal “capture your mind in a much more compelling way,” says Woodrow, while also putting you in a position to more easily realize once you’ve achieve it.

“T” stands for trackable. This refers to how you will know when you’ve reached your goal. What type of measurement will you use? “Work first on how you want to feel,” says Woodrow, as this will keep you motivated along your journey. Also, set some “smaller micro-goals” along the way so that you can see and feel your progress.

“U” helps you remember to keep your goal understandable, or “really clear to you,”. One way to test whether your goal meets this criteria is to ask yourself whether a small child would understand what your goal is. If the answer is yes, then it is understandable. If the answer is no, then it may need to be broken down a bit more.

R” is for reachable, or whether or not you really believe you can achieve it. “Many people ‘fail’ to reach their goals because they set them so beyond their comfort zones that they have no real belief that they will ever get there,”, causing them to just give up. That’s why Woodrow has a “hierarchy of goals;” or one huge goal that feels out of reach with several smaller goals that “are reachable in short time periods but are still on the way to the big goal.”

“E” stands for exciting. Do you get excited thinking about reaching your professional goal? “Create the most exciting goal you can think of,” suggests Woodrow. “The mind likes a challenge, but it also likes to feel excited before it will motivate you to action.”

Additional goal setting tips

Kamillya Hunter, owner and founder of Spa Analytics, a consulting firm that works only with independently owned spa and massage business owners, adds that, when creating professional goals, it’s important that you first objectively assess where you currently are. “Success is simply getting from point A to point B,” says Hunter. “You can’t create a plan or strategy if you don’t know the starting point.”

This means being honest about the state of your current business or where you’re at with regard to your career. What areas or actions are potentially holding you back? Where are your strengths and your weaknesses? What obstacles do you have to overcome to get wherever it is you want to go professionally?

Goals should be revisited “as often as necessary,” says Hunter. “Some goals are set daily. (Maybe it’s simply to send out one email per day to new clients.) Some goals are weekly. (Maybe it’s to visit with at least five businesses each week to build your referral network.) There is no hard and fast rule of when you should revisit goals. It should make sense though depending on the strategy you set for achieving those goals.”

Hunter also stresses that it’s important to take the time to write your goals down each and every day. “It’s a constant and physical reminder that helps drive accountability and motivation,” Hunter says. “Sometimes simply writing them down and checking them off along the way keeps me excited for the next thing.” This goes back to Woodrow’s suggestion to get excited about your goals.

“We often tell ourselves we don’t have enough time in the day to complete tasks and, even more often, we lack focus,” says Hunter. “But as we check off each step, we realize it doesn’t take much time to do most of the tasks.”

And if the end result is that you reach your goals, it is definitely time well spent.

About the Author

Christina DeBusk is a freelance writer dedicated to providing readers relevant, research-backed content related to health and wellness, personal development, safety, and small business ownership.


About LaVida Massage

LaVida Massage is a leading provider of health and wellness services. Offering an array of affordable and convenient therapeutic massage modalities, LaVida Massage caters to busy, active lifestyles in gender and age-neutral settings. Founded in 2007 in Brighton, Michigan, LaVida Massage is dedicated to the ideal that massage should be an affordable part of an overall healthy lifestyle and wellness plan.

As more consumers understand and seek the mental and physical health benefits that massage therapy has been proven time and again to offer, the LaVida Massage Corporation franchise continues to grow to meet this demand in the thriving holistic health and wellness industry. LaVida Massage, a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA), has more than 50 centers in 20 U.S. states and in Canada.