Try this Exercise to Select Continuing Education, MASSAGE MagazineThere are many situations in which just a little bit of journaling seems to help so much. The greater awareness that can come with simply writing something down can go far toward helping you achieve your goals, whether those goals are in the arena of your personal or professional life. One specific way you can use journaling to help boost your career success and satisfaction as a professional massage therapist or bodyworker is by writing down your thoughts and feelings about your work in an effort to select the best-possible continuing education class for your future.

Begin by simply grabbing a notebook and a pencil, and setting aside 20 minutes or so of quiet time to think and write what comes up for you. It is usually a good idea to consider doing this several months before you need to enroll for your continuing education class, so you have time to let the awareness sink in and let ideas bubble up about continuing education. In fact, if you can manage to do this journaling exercise two or three times before you make your continuing education decision, that may be even more effective.

Before you begin writing, however, it may be necessary to know the parameters, if any, of your continuing education experience. This means knowing whether you are required to earn continuing education credits in order to renew your license, and if so, if you are required to earn a specific kind of continuing education credits. For example, in some states and regions, massage therapists and bodyworkers may be required to take a continuing education class on ethics or health and safety every so often.

Once you are aware of any guidelines for your upcoming continuing education experience, you are ready to go forward with the writing exercise, in an effort to explore what kinds of continuing education classes might best suit you and your practice at this point in time. For starters, ask yourself, “What are my biggest strengths as a massage therapist and business owner?” Write down whatever comes up for you. Then, do the same with this question: “What are my weaknesses as a massage therapist and business owner?”

By asking yourself these questions, you should begin to get a good picture of where your practice stands, in terms of where you are thriving and where you could use some help. Of course, you will want to focus your continuing education experience on those areas where you may be weak, whether that means taking a refresher continuing education course on body mechanics or enrolling in continuing education on the topic of marketing or accounting.

Another helpful question to ask yourself as you sit down to journal might be, “What common client conditions do I often wish I was better able to address?” If you are able to come up with one area to write about for this question, then you may get valuable insight about what types of skills or techniques could help better serve your clients.