When you go to the grocery store, you take a list so that you don’t forget anything. Why not do the same with the goals for your massage practice? Make a list to remember what you want to achieve. Goals are an important part of any business, however; only 2-4% of people establish them, and of those individuals only a few actually design a plan to achieve their goals. Frankly, most people have not been taught the art of strategic goal-setting. Most massage therapists I know, or have coached, did not learn how to set goals in massage school. If they did it was a minute part of the curriculum, which is why I am passionate about this subject. As a therapist, you should have a vision for your practice and a “Roadmap” to help you achieve that vision. Your goals are a part of that “Roadmap”. For instance, one of your goals for your massage practice might be to increase your client base this year. While this is a great goal, it is extremely general. You need to further define this goal by making it more specific. Taking that same goal and changing it to “Increase my client base by 25 clients this year.” You now you have a specific number to strive for and can put your strategy together to achieve this goal. One of my favorite business philosophers, Jim Rohn says: “Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” You see it’s not just enough to set goals, you have to support them with action-steps and deadlines. This will keep you on track to reach your goals. How many times have you wanted something, but because you didn’t have a plan of action in place what you wanted became a dream instead of reality? As you plan your goals for your massage practice, or life in general, there is a simple formula you can follow which will make the process easy for you. It’s called the “SMART” formula, created by Hyram W Smith. Make sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Let’s take a look at each of these areas: Specific: When setting goals don’t generalize. If you want to make a lot of money, state the actual amount (i.e., I want to make $48,000.00 this year as a massage therapist). Measurable: Have a system in place to monitor your progress of achieving your goal. If your goal is to make $48,000.00 this year, how will you track your progress (i.e., Set a goal of making $4,000.00 a month and track it in your day-planner or use a financial tracking system). Attainable: Can a specific goal you have set be reached, absolutely if it is feasible (i.e., Can a first year massage therapist set a goal to make $50,000.00, sure they can. Will they reach that goal in their first year, probably not. However, they should be able to in subsequent years as they gain more experience and build a client base). Realistic: How realistic is a specific goal in relations to where you are in your life, or business right now. This is similar to the attainability of a goal (i.e., In reality, a first year therapist can make $30,000.00 with the right plan and hard work. However, a first year MT making $50,000.00 without having another stream of income is probably not realistic). Timely: Make sure you have enough time, skills and resources to accomplish your goal within the timeframe you have established (i.e., Your goal may be to specialize in medical massage. But if you are just out of massage school and are only skilled in basic Swedish massage, this goal might not be a timely one. You will need additional training in this modality, and some experience before you think about marketing yourself as a medical massage professional). By using the “SMART” formula to set your goals you will be on your way to creating a clear “Roadmap” to success. As you set your goals make sure you review them on a daily basis to ensure that you are on track to accomplishing them. Also, don’t just stop at business goals. Make sure to establish some personal, spiritual and financial goals for yourself. So you ask, “What’s next? I have my goals, now what do I do with them?” Now it’s time to establish a Strategic Plan, with action-steps outlining how you will achieve your goals. I’m here to take that journey with you and will cover the strategic process in my next blog. Until the next time CAPE DIEM my fellow Massage Therapists! Lisa M. Randolph CarpeDiem Massage Coach Interested in a 30-minute complimentary coaching session? Go to http://www.carpediemstrategies.net and sign-up! Follow me on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/karpediemcoach Looking for a business management tool, which provides goal-setting forms for your practice and life? Check out “The Bodyworkers’ Bizplanner” at http://www.bodyworkersbizplanner.com.