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CLASSROOM TO CLIENT education How successful are you at reaching your goals? Pause and take a moment of truth. Think of (or better yet, write down) the last 2–3 goals you set for yourself, be they physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, or financial, and ask yourself if any or all were met. If any weren't met, how close did you get and why didn't you get there? What were your obstacles, and what was your response when each obstacle appeared? The happiest and most successful people set goals. They don't casually set them in their minds—they create an action plan outlining what steps need to be taken to make their goals a reality. They are focused, clear, and self-directed. When reflecting on past and/or present goals that weren't met, did you take the time to create a plan? What was missing in your goal setting that may have helped you succeed? Dream with a Deadline Creating a Plan to Set and Achieve Your Goals By Cindy Williams CHARACTERISTICS OF POSITIVE GOALS In order for a goal to be met, it must begin with a few characteristics. Independently Chosen Your goal must be your own. If someone else tells you what goal to set, it will likely not be truly personal to you, in which case you are less likely to achieve it. Determine what matters to you and why. Positive and Motivating Words carry power. When determining your goals, choose the words you use to describe your goals as positive, clear statements. Instead of saying, "I hope to see 15 clients a week instead of eight," say, "I am building and maintaining a consistent schedule of 15 massage clients per week." Realistic While it's important to challenge yourself, goals that are too big or unrealistic can cause you to feel overwhelmed or defeated before you even get started. For example, if you recently graduated or returned to the profession after a move or a break, setting a goal of 20 clients per week right out of the gate can cause you to feel discouraged if it doesn't happen immediately. It can also be detrimental to your physical health if you go from a few sessions to 20 in a week too quickly. Another example would be setting a goal of exercising every day for an hour to build strength and longevity for your practice, or for quick weight loss. Immediately adding an hour to your schedule every single day could be too much, too fast, and possibly cause mental, emotional, and physical frustration. Measurable, Specific, Time-Bound Being realistic involves breaking big goals down into bite-size chunks. Long- term goals are more likely achieved when they are first broken into short-term and intermediate goals. Using the previous example, set an initial goal of increasing from eight to 12 consistent, weekly clients within two months and create daily action items that will get you to that level of the goal. Then, reassess at that benchmark, celebrate your accomplishment, and move to the next level. Or, create a plan to exercise 30 minutes, four days a week, for one month, then reassess, celebrate, and up-level. Celebrating your smaller accomplishments along the way will give you the motivation to keep going toward the big goal! 38 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a r c h / a p r i l 2 0 1 8

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