Productivity

How To Rock Your Goals

 September 22, 2021

By  Uriah Guilford, MFT

minute read

Hello, and welcome to the Productive Therapist Podcast! So glad you’re listening. I hope you’re having an awesome day today.

I wanted to share share with you a short presentation that I actually prepared for the Therapy Reimagined 2021 conference. And I’m particularly excited about this one because it’s about a topic that I love, and that is goal setting and goal achievement.

So quick note: if you want some help with accountability and support from me and my team for reaching your big goals, rocking your goals, shoot me an email at [email protected], and I’d be happy to share more with you about a really unique program that I’m putting together that I think you’re going to love.

For now, enjoy the episode!

Hi there. My name is Uriah from Productive Therapist. And today I want to talk to you about three steps to rock your goals. There’s my air guitar!

So here’s what I’ve noticed: smart and ambitious therapists like you and I have amazing ideas, big dreams, and goals about how we want to change the world. However, you get stuck and you struggle with taking the steps to actually achieve your goals.

The reality is that there’s no lack of information out there. We have more support and information that we’ve ever had – from the books to the online courses, business coaches, mastermind groups, conferences, and so much more.

The ideas truly are the easy part, and the implementation is the tough part.

So therapists often need support in clarifying their goals and really creating the space to actually get shit done.

And that’s why I want to share with you these three steps to rock your goals.

So two quick notes I want to share with you: this will be somewhat of a work session because I actually want you to walk away with a few important things already accomplished. So get your pens and PostIt notes ready, whatever you’ve got, and then also stick around to the end for an opportunity to get my help to rock your goals.

But here’s the thing I want to tell you: the world needs you now more than ever to step up and follow your big dreams.

So what might that be for you? Think about it for a minute, and then I’ll give you an opportunity to write down your goal soon. So maybe you want to start or grow a private practice; maybe you want to start a group practice; possibly you have dreams of writing a book or creating a podcast; maybe you want to create a retreat center or a nonprofit organization.

For me, two of the biggest goals that I’ve had were starting a group practice back in 2015 and then also starting a virtual assistant company in 2018.

Here are a couple other examples: my friend Amy Parks created a nationwide clinical supervision directory that’s quite amazing; my other friend Maureen Werrbach started a group practice and grew it, and then created the Group Practice Exchange to help other group practice owners on their journey; my friend Kasey Compton has done a bunch of amazing things, including recently releasing her first book called Fix This Next For Health Care.

Your big goals and dreams are unique to you, and I would love for you to get just a little bit more clarity today on those things and then have some action steps to take to actually rock those goals.

I want to tell you one thing about productivity that’s important, and that is that it’s really not about getting more things done; it’s about getting the right things done, focusing on being effective and not just efficient.

As far as these three steps go, they’re all super easy; however, they’re not simple. But I can tell you that if you follow them consistently, amazing things will happen.

So here’s a quick rundown of the three steps to rock your goals: number one, write down your goals; number two, get some accountability; and number three create time and space to get some shit done.

Okay, let’s start with step number one, which is write down your goals.

There are so many benefits to writing down your goals. It really does help you get clear on what’s important to you and narrow your focus.

There’s a couple of tips I want to share with you. The difference between process goals and achievement goals has been helpful for me.

Process goals are related to something that you do consistently over time, whereas an achievement goal is something that you reach for, and there’s a finish line and you cross that finish line.

So an example of a process goal might be I’m going to spend 20 minutes completing my insurance billing every Friday. Versus an achievement goal, which could be something like, I’m going to reach $100,000 in gross revenue for my private practice.

So I think both are important, but differentiating between process goals and achievement goals can be quite helpful.

For me, for some reason – maybe it’s my competitive and ambitious nature – I love achievement goals. I love something that I can work towards and check off and have sort of a final moment of success, if you will.

The other thing that’s been really helpful for me is creating quarterly goals and thinking about the year in four 90-day chunks of time. So I like to to limit my quarterly goals to about five to seven. I want it to be enough to challenge me to work hard, but not so much that it’s overwhelming and not possible.

You’ve probably heard of smart goals before, but it really is important to make sure that the goals that you write down in their final form, at least, are specific; they’re measurable achievable, realistic and time-bound.

However, today, whatever you can get down on paper is going to be good enough.

I want to tell you really quickly about the power of creating a goal affirmation. And this is really a simple process that I learned a few years ago of combining your goal with a time frame with your reason why, and then adding on your commitment to that.

So I’m going to show you one that I actually created back in 2019, and I wrote it down and I read it every single day until I accomplished the goal. And this is an example of an achievement goal here. So take a look at this: “I will be debt free by 6/1/19.” So that’s a specific goal that’s time-bound.

“Because I want to be financially independent, create an amazing life for my family and give money to those who need it.” So there’s my reason why.

And then lastly, “I am willing to make why spending choices, take risks to grow my business and work hard.” That’s the commitment piece.

And this was quite powerful for me. And you can see from this picture right here that my goal was to accomplish it by June and I actually accomplished it by February, which is fantastic.

So step number one is really just to write down your goals. And so what I want to do now is give you about one to two minutes to grab a piece of paper and a pen or your computer or your smartphone and write down maybe, let’s say, three to five goals, and they don’t have to be in perfect form or fashion – just write down the things that you would like to accomplish in the next 90 days or so.

So if you’re not quite done writing down your goals, that’s totally understandable, it really should take you more than a minute and a half or two minutes. But this is something that you can go back to after this presentation and work on it for as long as you need. So step number one is write down your goals.

And now step number two is get some accountability. Now, this has been probably one of the main secrets, if you will, to my success over the years is that I’ve realized that I’m a profound procrastinator, and even though I have big dreams and goals, I would rather do other things to avoid some of the hard work!

So I’ve invested in coaching for a long time. Currently, I have a coach that I’ve been working with for about four years, and I also spend time every month in mastermind groups. I currently have two: one that is kind of focused on growing a group practice and then one that is focused on owning two businesses at the same time and the challenges that come along with that.

So for me, accountability has been key, and I think that’s probably true for most people. Some people need a little bit less, some people need a little bit more. But it really creates a structure to actually have somebody and somewhere to answer to about what you said that you were going to do.

Here are a couple of tips on how you can create this for yourself. Three ideas: one is to find a single accountability buddy or partner; the second one, like I mentioned, is to find a business coach or accountability coach of some sort: and then the third one is to find a mastermind group.

So if you know somebody, maybe it’s a friend or a colleague, that has a sort of similar level of drive and ambition, and you know that they’re working on things, it’s not a bad idea to reach out to them and say, Hey, could you and I be accountability partners? And you can do that by meeting just once a month.

If you want a more formalized process, you could actually create a shared Google Doc or put that in some other place where you both write down what you’re working on each week, and then you meet on a Monday to review, and then you meet on a Friday to review. So that would be a nice sort of accountability structure to create with just one person.

And then business coaching – you probably know what that looks like – and that can be every week, every other week, once a month; whatever structure that you need.

This can be helpful for a number of reasons. You can get direct feedback on what you’re working on, some helpful strategy and tips, as well as some encouragement and motivation to keep going.

I find it helpful to meet with my coach every two weeks and kind of report on what I’ve been working on, ask some questions to help me focus and really figure out what the next steps are and then move forward.

The last one is a mastermind group, and you can either have a peer-led mastermind group where it’s just you and a few other folks, or you can have one that’s facilitated by a coach or a consultant. I’ve actually done both, and there are benefits to each one.

The two mastermind groups that I’m in currently are peer-led, and it’s just four people in each group, and we take time every meeting to talk about our challenges, to talk about what we’re working on, get feedback and then support each other. It’s phenomenal.

It might take a little bit of work, but you can set up one of these yourself, and you can also seek out other coaches and consultants that have this as an offering that they provide.

I’m actually working on something right now called the Focus Club that I’m super-excited about. It’s geared towards helping therapists have accountability and support to – you guessed it – achieve their big goals and dreams. If that’s something that’s interesting to you, I’ll give you a little bit more information and a next step at the end of this presentation.

Right now, I’m going to give you about one minute to write down a rough accountability plan. So do you want to find an accountability partner? Do you want to find the business coach? Do you want to find or create a mastermind group or some combination of those three things? Take a quick minute and just write down what you would like to do.

So now you’ve got some goals written down and you have an accountability plan.

So the next step is to create some time and space to actually get things done. And this is super-critical because it doesn’t matter if you’ve got an amazing vision, an amazing mission statement, some beautifully written goals, and even an accountability structure if you don’t actually create the time and space to do the work to get you where you want to go. Makes sense, right?

One concept that’s been really helpful to me over the last couple of years is the concept of deep work, which you might recognize from a book by a guy named Cal Newport. He also wrote another book more recently called A World Without Email. And they kind of go together nicely because essentially the current state of the world with social media, email connectivity and all those other things really gets in the way of us getting things done, focusing enough to create quality work, whatever that might be.

So deep work is essentially creating space and time to actually get things done without distractions so that you can really focus and produce something that you’re really proud of, whatever that looks like.

So there’s a couple of different ways to do this, and I use all of these. The first one is to block time on your calendar. So I have time blocked on my calendar today to record this presentation, and that’s what I’m doing right now. And that’s really helpful, because most of us, especially as therapists, we kind of live by our calendar, and we would never not show up for a client appointment.

So if you can block time on your calendar and take it as important as a client session and commit to yourself to show up and do what it is you need to do during that time, that can be really helpful. It also, you know, make sure that nothing else gets scheduled during that time period.

The second idea is to theme your days. For some of us, this is really helpful. And I know back in the day when I had a solo practice, I would always see clients Monday through Thursday, and then on Friday, it was sort of an admin-themed day, if you will – admin and marketing and those types of things.

That can be really helpful. So if you want to create a blog or if you want to write an ebook, if you want to create a podcast, maybe you choose a day of the week where that is what you focus on and you don’t see clients and you don’t do other sort of admin-related work. That can be really helpful.

The last suggestion here is to schedule a business retreat.

And this is something I’ve done over the last few years, most recently going about seven minutes from my house and staying overnight at a hotel to record a series of videos for an online course that I wanted to create. It’s a business expense; it gets you out of your normal routine, and hopefully you can actually focus enough to get a large chunk of a project done.

So that’s one that I love. And soon I’m going to actually schedule another business retreat for myself because I find that I’m getting sort of caught up in the day to day of running my two businesses, and there’s some larger projects that I want to get done.

So that is something you can absolutely do. It can be over weekend, it can be on a weekday, whatever works for you.

So I want to give you about one or two minutes to go to your calendar and block off two chunks of time. So on two separate days, I want you to block off some time. It could be 30 minutes, it could be 60 or 90 minutes, whatever you need. And then write in there, what you want to work on – maybe pull something from the goals that you wrote down earlier and say, ‘On Friday from 12 to 2, I’m going to work on X.’

So there you go – three steps to rock your goals. The first one is to write them down. The second one is to get some accountability, and the third one is to create some time and space to get some stuff done.

So a bonus step that I couldn’t not share with you is this: at Productive Therapist, we’re all about delegating and outsourcing and providing world-class virtual assistants to busy therapists to help them get more done so they can have more fun. So delegating is definitely something that should make it on your list, because I can almost guarantee you that there are things that you’re doing on a day-to-day basis that you could potentially outsource to a virtual assistant or some other type of support help.

So I can tell you that helps me get so many things done when I’m not doing absolutely everything in my group practice and in my Productive Therapist business.

So if you have questions or if you’re interested in getting a virtual assistant, definitely reach out to us at ProductiveTherapist.com.

So I’ll leave you with this: the world needs you now more than ever to show up and follow your big dreams. I want you to set yourself up for success and truly rock your goals.

So if you’re interested in getting some help with accountability and support and you’re interested in the Focus Club, I’d be happy to share more information with you. Go ahead and text the number on the screen or you can reach out to me in the conference app and I’d be happy to share that with you. I’m looking for a handful of people to join me as founding members and I can tell you it’s going to be amazing.

Thanks so much for listening! I hope you enjoyed this presentation. And again, if you want my support with accountability to rock your goals, shoot me an email at [email protected] and I would be happy to share more information with you. Have a great day!

Uriah Guilford, MFT


Uriah is a group practice owner and the creator of Productive Therapist. He is a technology nerd, a minimalist travel packer, a rock drummer and business development enthusiast.

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