The Mental Health Clinician’s Guide for Setting Goals in 2023
Written by Kelsey Someliana-Lauer, Therapy Practice Solutions Virtual Assistant
With the last week of December starting today, goals are likely on your mind. We aren’t talking about New Year’s Resolutions, though (because let’s face it - very few people make it through November with their resolution intact!). We’re talking about setting goals for your private practice in 2023!
Business goals are a vital part of running your own company, or even just working for yourself. Goals help us to stay on track with our dreams. They help us to make and take actionable steps. They make us feel more motivated to commit to change. And these are just some of the benefits of goal-setting!
If you are wondering what kind of goals you should be setting as a mental health clinician, the pros at Therapy Practice Solutions are here to help! Check out three areas of goal-setting for your mental health private practice, as well as some common goals you can modify for your own practice.
Practice Vision Goals
You likely had a pretty clear vision when you opened up your practice of how it was going to go. You may have been clear on your dream client, how you wanted your website to look, and what colors you wanted your logo to incorporate. However, you may have gotten bogged down in all the details of running your own private practice - like getting a business license, choosing a fee, making intake paperwork, choosing an EHR - that the vision slipped away as you prioritized getting all the little details ironed out.
If you feel your passion for your business has been overtaken by your daily administrative tasks, it’s time to set some goals to remember why you started your private practice to begin with! Here are a few goals to clarify your vision for your practice:
- Write a mission statement to add to my website that clarifies my ideal client and how I’d like to make them feel.
- Update my Psychology Today page to reflect my ideal population as well as my skills and training.
- Write down three feelings I’d like clients to get from their time with me (ie, safe, supported, confident, cared for, skillful …) and make an action plan on what that looks like in practice.
- Journal about why I started my own practice in the first place, and where I see it going in the next 5 years.
Work-Life Balance Goals
Speaking of reasons you started your own practice - one was likely to have a better work-life balance! Again, this is one of those details that may have been really important to you in the beginning, and as your practice grew and grew, you started to devote more time to work than to actual life. Here are a few goals you could incorporate to cultivate that ideal work-life balance:
Make a budget. At the same time, consider how many clients I’d like to schedule per week. Calculate how high my rate will need to be to fit my budget and my ideal schedule.
Ensure I am blocking time on my calendar each day for notes and quiet time and commit to not scheduling clients in that time.
Hire a Virtual Assistant to take my administrative tasks so I can devote more time to myself.
Make a template for my progress notes so the time it takes to write a note is cut down.
Commit to taking a full one-hour lunch with no work during it, and leave notes at the office (or in the home office) when I commit to be done for the day.
Marketing + Client Growth Goals
Marketing and taking on more clients go hand-in-hand; after all, how will new clients hear about you? While many clinicians understand marketing is an important factor of running a business, things like making social media posts or running ads on Google aren’t things that are taught in graduate school. Check out these goals for marketing as well as for growing your caseload in 2023.
Write out the social media theme of each month and make January’s social media calendar.
Start a newsletter and add a spot to sign up for it on both my website and my social media platforms.
Research SEO or hire an SEO expert to ensure my website is being seen by potential clients.
Ensure I have a clear vision of my niche population to better target my marketing.
Hire a social media manager to make posts for me.
Attend 3 networking events with other therapists or clients in my ideal population (for example, a convention for new mothers if your speciality is perinatal counseling) in the first quarter of 2023.