Sometimes we don’t set goals because we can’t see all the steps, so we aren’t sure that we can accomplish them.
Don’t let that fear keep you from visualizing the life you want and achieving it.
Nothing is guaranteed in life, but people who can see their goals are more likely to reach their goals. Further, people who track their progress along the steps toward their goals with someone they trust are even more likely to reach goals.
This is borne out by research: A recent study from Dominican University found that people who write down their goals accomplish significantly more than those who do not write down their goals. Further, people who sent weekly progress reports to their friends accomplish significantly more than those who had unwritten goals, wrote their goals, formulated action commitments or sent those action commitments to a friend.
Your goals can be mainly career oriented or can include such areas of your life as family connection, more in-control finances, personal development, career accomplishments, travel, having more fun and deeper faith. Setting goals for each area of your life will help you determine what you want to achieve and set you on the path of success and happiness.
Your Massage Career Map
Most people wouldn’t set out on a cross-country trip without a map, but many of us live our lives without a clear path. Taken together, your goals create a road map that will help you reach a destination.
To get started, take your time and consider what it is you really want to create, experience and accomplish. Determine each area of your life that you would like to set goals for and write down whatever comes to mind. Visualize, and write about, your life as you would like it to be in five years.
Do be honest about what you really want, and take the time to delve into your strengths, your knowledge and skills, and what motivates you—but within that sphere of reality, allow yourself to use your imagination and dream of major changes and accomplishments (if that’s what you desire). Perhaps you are happy with the way things are in your life, so your goal might be staying on track with the security that you need.
Circling back to the list of goal-areas noted above, we can determine some specific sub-goals that might range from smaller short-term goals to goals further in the future.
In the area of career, for example, sub-goals might include taking an in-person CE class; launching a retail component of your massage career over six months; or enrolling in community college school to earn a two-year associate’s degree.
Money-related goals in the area of finances might include reading a book on prosperity consciousness, saving a certain percentage of income each week; or starting a health savings account or 401K.
Goals in the area of your personal life might include taking a weekend cooking class, dedicating one hour four days a week to the gym or to training for a 401K, or writing one letter each month to a friend or family member.
Family-area goals might include choosing one night a week for a dinner-and-movie night, scheduling a helping day once a month where you pick up trash together or volunteer where needed; and planning and scheduling an annual one-week family vacation.
Sample Goal: De-Clutter
For each goal, try to be as specific as possible. For example, “I will be more organized” is admirable but also difficult to define. A better goal might be, “I will de-clutter each room in my home month and follow a weekly cleaning schedule.” The second goal will easily let you see if you are on track or not. (You should also be specific about that weekly cleaning schedule.) Now that you have this specific goal, you can break it down into action steps and a timeline:
Your action steps might look like this:
- Read a book or two on cleaning or de-cluttering. (A favorite of mine is Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston.);
- Find samples of cleaning schedules and create one I feel suits me;
- Have a family meeting about the cleaning schedule and assign chores or journal about this on my own if I don’t live with family;
- Create a de-cluttering plan and schedule one weekend per month to follow it.
Sample Goal: Become an Educator
Another example could be, “become a CE provider and teach acupressure classes to massage therapists live and online by January 1, 2020 in order to expand my massage career.” This goal is specific—and specific goals have a much higher chance of succeeding.
Your action steps for this goal might look like this:
- Take training to gain competence in adult education
- Download and review approved provider requirements
- Register and attend a teacher training program
- Plan your class
- Contact massage schools regarding teaching CE there
- Research and choose an online course platform
- Finish the approved CE provider application process
- Market your class
These action steps may be broken down even further into smaller steps for each on. You will also want to add targeted completion dates to each step to help stay on track.
Keep on Setting Goals
Finally, keep visualizing how your life and your massage career will look when you have accomplished your goals. Take some time to picture it in your mind or write out what a day in the future looks like and feels like.
You might feel pride for following through and sticking with a financial plan, for example; excitement because you can now choose a new goal or solidify this one going forward; or a sense of security because your finances are in order.
Your goals will be as unique as you are—but no matter what you want to accomplish in your one unique life, I hope these examples and tips will help you to see them all through to the end. And then I hope you set some more.
About the Author
Gael Wood has more than 22 years of experience in the massage and spa industry. She now concentrates on training massage and spa therapists in business, spa services and greater success. She is a regular contributor to MASSAGE Magazine, and her articles include “What is the Best Fit for You? Business Owner vs. Employed Massage Therapist” (September 2017), “Multiple Income Streams = More Money with Less Stress” and “Achieve Big Goals with a Five-Year Plan” for the February 2018 print issue. Visit gaelwood.com for a complimentary Massage & Spa Success Toolkit.
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