Spoiler alert – 92% of people don’t keep a New Year’s Resolution. Most don’t last even one month.
Many of these resolutions can be deeply rooted in the belief that we aren’t enough or are somehow broken. And to this I truly believe (in my practice and in life) that all behavior is purposeful, to meet a need, an attempt to regulate, and is an adaptation to what life throws at us.
Wherever you are, right now, in your practice is a result of doing the best you can with what you have.
And, it doesn’t mean we have to stay here.
When I set intentions or goals for my year (check out my full process HERE) one of the most important parts is to have gratitude for what you have accomplished over the last year, reflect on what didn’t feel exactly great, and really be intentional for how you want to show up over the next year. For your clients. For your business. For yourself.
Set a word of the year
I always find that when I can focus on one word for how I want to show up for the year. This one is about how you want to feel and the essence of who you want to show up as. It also keeps me centered to my intentions for the year. I also like to pick a photo or a visual to go along with the word! Check out more on this one HERE!
My word for this year? Soar.
When researching this word I found that Dr. Isler said it best “ I want to soar: I want to learn to trust the wind around me to carry me to where I need to be. I want to soar: spending time taking in my surroundings without the constant need to be doing something. I want to soar: to be ok with life outside of what I can see, control and comprehend.” Ahh – so good!
Get Clear on your goals
Wouldn’t it be cool if I…. was a Play Therapist, a supervisor, worked a 4 day week, didn't work late nights, trained in EMDR, was an EMDR Consultant, had sweet colored files, invested in new toys, made a blog…and the list could go on.
My favorite question, hands down, to ask myself at the beginning of the year is “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” and fill in the blanks. This question allows you get to past your blocking beliefs about what your practice “should” look like and opens the doors to the possibilities of what it could be like.
All of the above? Yup. These have been on my list at one point or another, and because of this clarity I was able to grow in amazing ways. Oh, and the colored files? Hot pink, light blue, and dark blue. Best. Investment. Ever.
When we write goals for clients for insurance companies *insert groan here* they need to be concrete and measurable. I think they are on to something here in that if you don’t call your shot, the specific thing you want to achieve, you are going to miss it every time.
What are the specific results you would like to get and what are the exact mini steps along the way?
Write it down
A notebook, with a printout, or on the back of a receipt – hand write your goals! Research shows that clearly writing goals can make you up to 1.4x more likely to achieve them. There is definitely something different about putting a pen/marker/crayon to paper then just thinking about it.
I use the same notebook each year and it is so FUN to review my goals from last year and place the new ones beside it, one page over.
Need some more inspiration?
Now, here are some ideas to get you going into what the next year might hold for you!
Is there a system in your practice you want to introduce? Maybe it is getting on top of your paperwork and finding a way to get your notes done. It could be a more efficient system for intakes or a path to a more intentional intake session. Or maybe you want to develop some solid termination session rituals or add a new toy like a Meebie (the creator is from Minnesota by the way!) to your playroom.
Do you want to change the structure in your practice? This might mean more clients, less clients, not working nights and weekends, or working a 3 or 4 day work week.
Is there a skill set you want to improve? Maybe you want to get trained to work with a specific population like toddlers, trauma , Theraplay, or finally get your RPT! You could also think about what readings or texts you want to take in over the next year. (Please don’t ask me about my Amazon cart right now – I have lofty goals! Maybe these books will spill into 2022.)
Are you dreaming big? This might be the year you set your sights on opening up your own practice, starting out as a supervisor, moving jobs, or starting a training program.
No goal is too big or small. Seriously.
And if you don’t achieve any of the goals or intentions you set?
Guess what? You are still an amazing therapist! And, even if you move the needle on a couple of goals those small steps can have great impact in your practice and your ability to serve the clients you see.
I would LOVE to hear about your goals for this year! Drop a comment below and let’s get inspired!
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I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC, RPT-S, and EMDR Consultant. I help other therapists grow in their passions as play therapists, trauma therapists,and child and adolescent therapists.