Welcome to 2020! The new year brings new hope that life will somehow be better than last year. That the next year will bring us “peace, joy, and prosperity.” It is a chance to turn the page on your life and make changes for the better.
People often make new year’s resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and financial freedom or paying off debt. January is met with excitement and enthusiasm to finally get rid of the old habits and make new healthier habits. This is evident in gyms with an explosion of new members. The local gym is crowded in January, but by February 1st the number of people still going is cut by half. So why can’t these people stick with the resolutions they were just so excited about a few weeks ago? I believe it is that the pain of where they currently are is not more than the pain of making a change. Change is difficult and you have to have a good reason to overcome the pain of changing.
So what does this have to do with equine rehab? Maybe you are stuck in a rut with your horse or your riding. Maybe you are overweight and out of shape, so you don’t ride your horse as well as you should or could. Maybe you can’t afford to take as good of care of your horse as you would like, or maybe you can’t afford to go as often as you would like, but you don’t know how to change your current situation and you have no idea how to start. You have a dream, but it is just that—a dream, never to be reached, just a distant thought.
So how do we break the cycle of dreaming and never getting anything accomplished? How do we set goals and actually reach them? The secret is not new; write them down! But this month’s blog is not just about writing your goals down. This blog is going to help you break your goals down into achievable steps, actionable steps, so that bit by bit, inch by inch, you get closer to reaching the goals that you once thought were unachievable.
I learned a great process of dreaming big dreams and setting the goals needed to get there through a wonderful network of private practice PT owners called the Lighthouse Leaders. I have shared this with friends over the years; now let me share with you the process I go through yearly and quarterly. I use this for my physical therapy practice and my equine rehab business.
First let’s start with “Creating a Bigger Vision.” You have to begin with the end in mind. “One cannot make a meaningful decision in the present, without having a meaningful future.” A powerful future starts with a vision of what you want. So what do you want—dream big! Write that dream down. For example, a few years ago my big dream was to start an equine rehab practice—and guess what—I DID! And these are the processes I went through to start that business.
So to help you reach those big dreams let me specifically ask a few directed questions about your dream or bigger vision. One year from today what will things look like?
One year from today…
My business will be:
Be specific. Do you want to start a business? Don’t be afraid—maybe you have dreamt of doing something that no one else has ever done. Right now don’t worry about your critics or naysayers, just dream big! Do you want to grow your existing business? Or maybe you are employed for another company, but you want to get more specialized training to be an expert in your field. How can you get better and push yourself to be the best version of yourself? Maybe you want to create an income goal to be able to better afford these four-legged things we love!
My day-to-day schedule will be:
Do you want to work three days a week, or maybe four? What is the ideal schedule to fit your lifestyle? Create time to ride or work on your new adventure. This is what is considered the “new rich”—people who have the time to do the things they love!
My personal life will be:
I think this one is your WHY! WHY do you want more money, more time, etc. This will help keep you going when the going gets tough. Maybe you want to set some goals like exercising three mornings a week, or riding five days a week. Or maybe it is time and money to help your children reach their goals.
If anything is possible, my biggest accomplishment of the next year will be:
Do you want to make it to the national finals or your circuit finals, or maybe win $100,000 barrel racing? Think big!
Now that we did a little dreaming, let’s see if we can get some actionable steps for you to take. This part is so important and we call it the “90-Day Sprint.” If you break your big dream down into littler chunks, it is easier to do. Creighton Abrams said, “When eating an elephant, take it one bite at a time.” Basically, he is advising us to do something in steps, rather than all at once.
Take your “Bigger Vision” and write that at the top of the “90-Day Sprint.” We are reverse engineering this and working our way backwards. Now you will break this down to what you want to accomplish in the next 90 days. Maybe it is a goal of selling so many products, or writing a business plan. Maybe you need to create a checking account for your new endeavor. Write steps down that you will need to take to accomplish your bigger vision.
Now our mind is programed to start thinking about the problems, the doubt may start to creep in—so let’s write down your three biggest obstacles or challenges. If you are going to worry about them, let’s get the worries out of your head and on paper. They won’t seem as daunting once you see them written down. Sometimes at this point you realize you may be your own biggest obstacle and need to get your mindset right! So write yourself down as an obstacle, so you can start to work on your mental strategies.
The next phase is figuring out your 30-day objectives. What do you want to get done over the next 30 days—these are usually smaller steps to accomplish the 90-day goals. So if one of your 90-day milestones was to write a business plan for a new business, maybe your 30-day goal is to have a rough outline done for the business plan.
And lastly, we need to come up with actionable steps for you to take to start accomplishing your goal. What could you do this next week to get the ball rolling? If we continue to use the business plan example, maybe you google business plan templates, or find a sample of a business plan that you can get an idea of how it is structured.
Please feel free to download a copy of the “Bigger Vision” and “90-Day Sprint” forms to help you organize your thoughts. They were adapted from Lighthouse Leaders forms. I want to share these with others who have a desire to create a bigger future than they currently have. Use and enjoy! Let me know if this has helped by dropping me a line in an email or message on Facebook! I love to hear from people. I also appreciate you sharing this with others so we can help each other be the best versions of ourselves!! I wish you all the very best in 2020!!
Becky Pearson, PT, CERP, LAPT