Los Angeles Chapter  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Los Angeles Chapter — CAMFT

Private Practice Success

12/31/2019 12:00 PM | Mike Johnsen (Administrator)

Maria Gray,

January 2020 Intentions for the New Year

Happy New Year! In January, I write down my business intentions on a large index card that I update every few months. The card includes the number of clients I’d like to see in my practice, my projected gross income and the deadline for accomplishing my goals. In addition to my clinical work I offer Brainspotting and business consultation, and I have separate lines and goals for these two lines of business.

Next, I write down the number of weeks of vacation time I plan to take, last year I budgeted for four weeks off and this year I will take five weeks. Not all of this is travel time; I take relaxing “staycations” during Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays.

If you’ve read this far you might be wondering why the heck I spend all this time writing things down on cards? I started doing this after I read Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles. In the book Canfield cites research showing that people who wrote down their goals, verbalized them to others (friends, colleagues, family) and held themselves accountable to another person, achieved 76% of their goals in comparison to a control group that only thought about their goals but did not take the other actions mentioned above. The cards inspire me and help me stay focused on what’s important.

Last month’s column covered Profit and Loss Statements. It’s important to dream big while being realistic about your business expenses and the number of hours you want to work. Take some time to compare your goals for the year with your Profit and Loss numbers from last year; you may need to fine tune some categories.

If the idea of goal setting resonates for you, Canfield takes it a step further by suggesting people make a list of 101 goals they want to achieve in their lives. The goals should be specific and described in detail. I personally cannot come up with 101 goals, but I was able to come up with 25 that feel meaningful to me. I’ve shared this exercise with my clients, and it has led to some fruitful conversations.

Maria Gray, LMFT, NMP, CGP, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Century City, where she specializes in trauma and addictions and leads groups. Maria offers individual business consultation and workshops for therapists who want to thrive in private practice. To learn more, go to www.mariagray.net.

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