Developing goals for my eventual massage therapy practice is really stretching my brain at this point. I do love these ideas from massage therapist – and avid Youtuber – Spencer Harwood (HM Massage, 19 February, 2018). I found these points to be useful to ponder as I started setting my own goals this week.
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going Into Massage Therapy
Spencer lists the following main points, ie. the things Spencer wished he’d known before going into massage therapy as a career:
1. You probably won’t make as much money (in your first few years) as you thought.
2. Massaging clients is hard work. Therefore…
3. Self-care is necessary/essential, including strengthening and stretching exercises, yoga and regular (monthly) massages. Many therapists, he notes, only last in the job for about three years.
4. At first, be prepared to work unusual, perhaps inconvenient hours.
5. You are not only your client’s massage therapist, you are usually also their therapist.
I realised that I appreciate Point 3, in particular. Embracing the requirement for regular self-care is probably the aspect of being a massage therapist that I have deliberately avoided so far, but it does seem inevitable that creating a plan for regular strengthening and stretching exercises, especially as a warm-up before performing a massage would be… preemptive. I have (perhaps reluctantly) made a self-care goal the one I will be following up as this term progresses. It has been the niggling doubt since starting the course last July. Through a comedy of errors, it is the one I have avoided.
Meanwhile, blogger susygg‘s article, Goal-setting for your massage practice at Canadian College of Massage & Hydrotherapy (July 23, 2013), identifies massage therapist Stephanie Beck‘s hints for evolving a practice:
1. Take stock of your practice.
2. Make goals. Divide them into multiple lists, such as personal, professional and financial.
3. Picture yourself one year down the road, having accomplished all of these goals. Record the changes that you’ll need to make.
4. Identify challenges. List all obstacles and hurdles in your way.
5. Brainstorm solutions.
6. Write down the advice and inspiration that you take from your mentors.
I really like the message about recording advice from mentors. It’s also nice when you find yourself repeating someone else’s advice to remember where it came from, and give credit for it, before making it your own.
Dr Joelle Jay‘s blog entry, Make your SMART goals WISE goals (Massage Magazine, 24 June, 2016) considers WISE goals. To summarise:
1. Writing your goals forces clarity of thinking. It allows objectivity, instills commitment and puts thoughts into a durable form you can revisit.
2. Integrating ideas means bringing them together in the same place, so you can look at them all at once. Allow personal and professional lives to intermingle. “You get to have it all. There are no rules. You make it up.”
3. Synergising means making the goals work together; one idea advances another.
4. Expansive – Think big! Your goals should inspire you to stay on the path to your dreams. “This may be the biggest differentiator between SMART and WISE thinking…” Spending too much time and energy boxing objectives into a tight formula “can squeeze the life right out of them.”
Sounds good to me! I am feeling a lot better about goal-setting after absorbing and reflecting upon these three pieces this week.