#42: Setting & Achieving Big Goals

Sometimes health coaches dream big…but get overwhelmed and paralyzed. Or they set “goals” that are more like a “wish.” In this episode, Michelle discusses:

– How to truly work on your goals and make them happen. Download your Goal Setting Workbook For Health Coaches here
– Legal issues surrounding health coaching.
– The most important step she took as a mom building her business
…and more!

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Hey there health coaches! Today I am going to teach you my secrets to creating and actually achieving big, big goals in your business. Now, of course it’s particularly relevant right now because I’m recording this at the end of November 2018. We’re looking towards 2019, but really you can sit down and work on goals any time of year any time you feel stuck and aren’t quite sure where you’re headed with this whole health coaching thing, but the key is to sit down and work on your goals. I use the word work because too often I’m seeing health coaches who have really big dreams, but then just let themselves get overwhelmed and paralyzed by it all. Go ahead. Raise your hand if that has ever happened to you. Totally. Or other coaches may have these goals, but they kind of treat them like it’s a wish or a hope and a prayer rather than really making a plan and working a plan to make it happen.

My name is Michelle Pfennighaus. I am a certified health coach with my own private practice. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I’m also a mentor for my fellow health coaches. So if you’re watching as we live stream, go ahead and give a like if you’ve got big goals and need some help getting there and then tell me in the comments, what do you want to achieve in the next year? I’m going to be looking for your answers as we go along and also if you have any other questions for me today, go ahead and throw those in the comments and we’ll get to those towards the end. So I actually posted about this topic the other day inside of our Health Coach Power Community, Facebook group and I asked, what are some goals for 2019? What are some goals for the year ahead? So let me give you some examples of how our coaches responded.

Leslie said she wants to create her first group program and begin earning from her blog. Crystal said she wants to get her practice in full swing, have group programs as well as build up her one on one clients and she wants to offer workshops. So listen up. I have a special end of the year gift for you guys. It’s my goal setting workbook for health coaches that goes with this episode, so you can go ahead and download it for free at findyourbalancehealth.com/goals. That’s findyourbalancehealth.com/goals. You can go ahead and do that now. You can do it at the end. It’s going to help you walk step by step through creating your own plan for your own goals.

I want to talk about some of the mistakes that happen. Let’s talk about some big mistakes that we make and I’m going to include myself in this mistakes that I’ve made when we set goals.

Now if you’re using the workbook, it’s going to help you bypass all of these mistakes, but the first big, big, big one that health coaches make is choosing too many. Too many goals. I’m going to have more one on one clients. I’m going to have group clients. I’m going to do corporate workshops. I’m going to start selling essential oils. I’m going to find 12 new income streams. I’m going to double my salary. It’s just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, all over the place. So why is that a problem? I mean, shouldn’t we think big? Shouldn’t we have lots of goals for ourselves? Well, yes, in a in a sense, but I have limited time, limited resources and limited energy and I imagine that you do too. This is obvious if you had a team of 100 people working with you, you really could go after a lot of different goals.

You can put a team together that’s just going to work on this and another team that’s just going to work on that and you could oversee everything, but I’m guessing that’s not the case, right? It’s just me here in my house working from my home office and it may be the same for you. So due to that fact, I think you are best served picking one, maybe two, but I’m going to say one important big goal that maybe is overarching the one main goal that you want to achieve, even if all the little ones don’t happen, you want all your efforts to go towards this one main thing. So choosing one is always going to serve you best. And the other reason aside from your limited energy is that I have found, and this is going to sound weird, but two goals can actually conflict with each other.

Yeah. So I’ll give you an example. It’s not always obvious, but let’s say that this year as a health coach, you made $30,000 with your business and next year you want to double that. You want to make $60,000. Okay? So that would be a great goal. And let’s say you have another goal that you want to start, a weekly podcast. Yeah, like super hot in the podcasting thing and that is going to be another goal for you over the next 12 months. Well, on the surface, there’s no problem there. What’s the conflict? Here’s the conflict. If you have two goals and they’re kind of at equal level with each other, meaning one isn’t more important than the other. Um, you could spend the first three, six months of the year plugging away at setting up your new podcast. I’m buying the equipment. You have to pay for the hosting.

You have to, you know, just figuring out how you’re going to get this podcast off the ground, learn the whole thing, get your guests, do the interviews, do the recording, promote the heck out of this podcast, right? And at the end, make no money with the podcast, right? You know you’re actually spending money to create the podcast and that could be fine, but you had this other goal over here that you were going to double your income. So now you just spent like so much of your time and energy creating the podcast and you’re not making any money. So do you see how those kinds of conflict with each other? It’s not to say that you can’t do both, but if I were you in this made up scenario that I just created, I would say that doubling my income, making $60,000 would be my one big goal for the year and then how am I going to achieve that will.

Maybe a podcast is going to be part of that strategy, but you better believe. I’m going to be really, really mindful of how I use the podcast to serve the big goal. Makes Sense. Okay. So let’s move on to the next mistake. But actually before I do that, tell me, those of you that are here live, what are some goals that you have for 2019? Where are you headed? It also gives me a sense of who’s here. Are we Talking to brand new health coaches, who the goal is to get a first client? Are we talking to experienced health coaches who are looking to break six figures? I want to know. So next mistake is choosing a goal that’s kind of vague. Like I want to build up my practice or I want to get more one on one clients. I mean, I understand those goals.

Certainly I have had those goals, but the problem is how will you know when you have reached the goal? Like let’s say that you say, I want to get more one on one clients. Great. And then, um, over the course of the year you have like two new clients every month. So you had like 24 new clients by the end of the year. One of the two things could happen. You could say, Oh yeah, I met my goal, I got more one on one clients, or that evil Gremlin in the back of your head could say that wasn’t enough clients. No, you didn’t get enough clients that was nothing to a month. How are you ever going to live on that? And you know all that negative self talk and come into play and make you believe that you did not reach your goal. So I want to make sure that it’s very clear to you at the end of the year, at the end of whatever time period you set, whether or not the goal has been reached.

So if it’s a goal that has to do with money, that’s, that’s fairly obvious because it’s very objective. You know, did you make the money or did you not? But even that, let’s say you wanted to make $100,000 this year, at the end of the year, like the angel on your shoulder could say, Yay, we made $100,000. Look, we brought in $100,000 in sales this year that was so amazing, and then like the devil on your shoulder can say that’s just the amount of money you made with the business, but what about all your expenses? What about how about taxes? And by the time you actually put money in your pocket, how much was that? And then you’re like, oh, I didn’t make my goal. So just be real clear about how are you going to measure the goal so you know if you did it or not.

Moving right along, how many of you feel that you are a superhero? That if you simply put your mind to something and you think about it hard enough, perhaps like lasers will shoot out of your eyeballs and will reach your goal. That’s how you will achieve things. You will carve them with the lasers out of your eyeballs. Here’s the thing, we are not superheroes and you could set any goal, but you’re not going to be able to achieve it by just busting through and creating this new thing through sheer force or sheer willpower. It’s not going to happen that way. We’re real people, right? You busy, I’m busy, and we need to make space for these things. We need to free up our energy and our mind space and maybe resources if we want to create something big and new, right? We can’t just wish it into happening.

We can’t willpower it into happening. We actually have to set the stage for it to happen. So if something is draining you, it has got to go. Maybe it’s something that you’re currently doing with your business. Maybe it’s something in your life, maybe it’s a person in your business or in your life. Maybe it’s a habit that you have. Whatever it is, there are a lot of ways that our space or our mind space, our energy can become cluttered and we need to clear it out. If we want to make space for our big goals and my goal setting workbook that I mentioned earlier, does a really great job of walking you through this part. So just want to remind you that you can grab that at. Find your balance. Health.com/goals. Okay, so we come up with our goal, we know how to measure it, we’ve cleared space in our life so that it’s something that can actually happen.

The next thing is we get overwhelmed. We get all bogged down in the how, you know like, oh that’s. Let’s go back to the goal of starting a podcast. Let’s say that’s your big goal for the year. I am actually starting a podcast in the coming months, so that’s very top of mind for me. I mean I have a podcast, this is the podcast. I’m starting another one, but I could just get completely flattened by the how. How am I going to do it? How am I going to get the files to the iTunes and get the graphic to the thing and how am I going to get listeners and how this and how that. So when you’re thinking of your big goal, I want you to set aside the how. Just trust that as you take step by step the how will figure itself out, right? We can, we can figure anything out, set aside the how and just worry about the what and it really helps to make a list if I want to get from here to there, what steps, what actions will be required to meet that goal? If I have a goal of starting a podcast, maybe I need a microphone. Okay. That’s action. I can take. I know how to. I can do that. And then it’s like I don’t know how to uh, what microphone I should get. Okay. Well that may be my first step is researching microphones. You see, so just break it down into the what needs to be done step by step and try to be pretty detailed so you know all the things that have to happen between here and there.

Oh Angela’s here and she said she’s starting a podcast in 2019. Well, what an excellent example for us to be playing with today. Then Angela. Good job. By the way. I have, I really do have no idea what I’m doing with my podcast and that’s how most of my projects go. I start them and I go where the energy is leading me and I make the best decisions I can with what I have and I’m telling you like you don’t have to have it all mapped. You don’t have to see the step, right? It’ll hold the whole staircase. What’s that quote? You don’t see the whole staircase. You just have to see the next step. That’s how I feel with all of these projects. So anyway, Angela, good luck. I can’t wait to listen to your podcast.

So, let’s talk about at the end like we think a lot about the goal itself and we just talked about all the steps it’s going to take to get there and then we get overwhelmed and then we retreat where we get scared, but I don’t think we spend enough time thinking about the end result. So instead of burying ourselves from the get go, let’s spend some time imagining who will you be on the other side. I want you to imagine a person, maybe you maybe somebody else, but just imagine a person who has achieved your goal. Like Angela, let’s imagine a person who has started their very own podcast, what kind of person are they? Well, they’re a person who doesn’t mind speaking their truth. They’re a person who is using their voice. They’re a person who is being heard. Oh, sounds pretty good. How do they feel?

How does a person feel when they have started their own podcast? They see themselves published on iTunes. Ooh, they’re excited. They feel confidence. And how does that make you feel? Right? So think about the end result. Imagine that person and who you will have to be to become that person. Right? So it’s a little bit of mindset stuff here. I usually don’t get woo woo on you guys, but I know how devastating it can be to fall into the, ‘I don’t know how to do it, I don’t know the technology,’ and forget about how good it’s going to feel on the other side. Angela said she’s going to feel proud. Yeah, I love that.

So we would be completely dense if we didn’t acknowledge that there are going to be obstacles that come up along the way. So, of goal setting is pre-empting those obstacles, you know, it’s kind of like when I drop my kids off at school, I’m like, hmm, how cold is it out today? Better stuff, gloves in their pockets or oh, am I going to be picking them up late today? Maybe they need another snack, you know, like, think ahead about all the needs that may arise and we want to do the same for ourselves.

So let’s see. Andrea just said she really wants to be seeing 12 clients per month. Okay, great. So that’s measurable. I like how you put a number on that. Andrea, what obstacles might arise? What are some reasons that Andrea may not be able to see 12 clients per month? Right? And you want to do this with whatever goal you’ve set for yourself. It’s not to be a Debbie downer, it’s just so that you can get ahead of those challenges. You can get really smart about how you’re going to handle them when they inevitably come up. Right? So, um, obstacles that I have encountered or I’ve worried about in my career have been things like, well, what if my new group program totally flops that could happen, that has happened, that is a real challenge – just a real obstacle.

So one way we could overcome that is creating a strategy. Like maybe I’m going to do a Beta test of my program first. I’m going to one on one invite individuals to be part of this Beta group. I’m going to run it with them, see how it goes, and if it goes great and they love it and they get great results that I know that the group programs, my first or my new group program won’t flop because it hasn’t flopped. So that could be a strategy, another strategy for depending on what the obstacle is, could be that you’re going to hire out. So if one of the challenges, again going back to the podcast, I’m going to tell you this right now, Angela; one of the big problems or issues when it comes to having a podcast, if you have guests, is that there’s so much back and forth with the guests, scheduling guests, rescheduling gas, sending them the link where they’re going to call in and meet you, just all of the logistics back and forth, and if you have a guest every week, it’s an awful lot.

So one obstacle might be I can’t keep up with my admin tasks and then how can I overcome that? Well, I could hire a virtual assistant, would be one way to overcome that. Right? And so you just want to go down your list of potential obstacles and sort of solve the problem before it even happens. That way you are really well prepared. I’ll do one more because sometimes the way to overcome a problem is with our mindset, right? So sometimes the problem we can’t outsource it unfortunately, like so many coaches who say, I’m terrified of asking for money or I’m terrified of closing the deal, right? That’s a real obstacle and you can’t outsource that to an assistant. Maybe you could. I’ve never tried, but I would say that one way to work around that obstacle is to change your mindset from an asking for money, so every time I’d start thinking to myself, oh my God, I’ve got to ask somebody for money. I’m so nervous. You can change that thought around to say, I’m allowing my clients to invest in themselves and take it seriously. We all know when somebody’s plunks down a bunch of cash, they are going to take it much more seriously than if they don’t. So we’re actually doing our clients a bit of a fever, but maybe a strong word. No, it’s not a bit of a favor by asking them to invest monetarily because it means they’re going to get results.

And finally we are going to move on to other questions by the way, so if you have any questions for me today, go ahead and put them into the comments. Now. Finally, I wanted to share with you something that I did last year and it worked like gang busters to keep me focused and feeling good about my business and my goal creating, I call it a power thought. Maybe that’s kind of a cheesy name for it, but I think create a power thought for yourself. It’s something you can keep coming back to when you feel like it’s not working. I’m not going to reach this goal. I’m no good. Everything sucks. You need a thought to bring you back and has to be something that’s believable so it can’t be like I’m the smartest human being in the world because it’s just too. It’s too outrageous of a claim.

Right? Maybe you’re the smartest human being in the world, but I’ll share my power thought from last year because I had an income goal for myself, which has gone beautifully by the way, and every time I felt like, oh, this thing flopped. I didn’t get to make the money I wanted to make this month or blah, blah, blah. That devil sitting on your shoulder stuff. My power thought was I have unlimited earning potential, which is true. When I used to work in a corporate setting that was not true. My earning potential was kept by my boss, by the department, by the company, etc. But as an entrepreneur there is no ceiling. It’s completely up to me and that is such an empowering thought for me that it made me come alive again. Every time I felt like I was, uh, I was going under. All right, so go ahead and grab that workbook so you can work through your own goals for the next year at findyourbalancehealth.com/goals.

And then you can tell us all about it because I can’t wait to hear what the next year has in store for you. And now we’re going to move on to some other questions because that was a long one. Sorry you guys. Usually my first topic takes, uh, maybe 10, 15 minutes. But today we went quite long because it’s an important topic. Goal setting. Like this time of year, the end of November to the end of December. Just a little secret. You’re not going to sign many clients right now. Maybe prove me wrong, but typically you’re not going to sign many clients right now. You’re not going to sell very much of anything. The best time to be planning. Okay, blah, blah, blah. Moving on.

Here’s a question that came from Chris. Chris has said, I’m from a red state, Nebraska. I have had a lot of anxiety over what we can and can’t do. I know oftentimes it’s very much how you word something, such as here’s an idea or one thing you might consider is, and this might sound silly, but would it still be legal to give a handout that gave ideas of how to replace refined foods with vegetables? So, example, instead of pasta, use cauliflower rice.

So, Chris, uh, this type of question comes up in our group, so very much everyone is terrified about the legalities of being a health coach and this is an issue that I have seen just kind of creep up and creep up and get louder and louder through the years. So I’m really happy to say that I have secured an hour of time with Lisa Fraley who is a lawyer for health or law, a legal coach for health coaches. She does have a law degree. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to call her a lawyer or not, but anyway, I’m going to put a link right here into the comments and for anybody listening, if you want to join us on December 13th and learn how to practice legally, no matter what state you live in, we’re going to be talking about the United States in particular. Sorry if you’re not within the United States.

You can join us for that event. You can go to findyourbalancehealth.com/legalevent. That’s happening December 13th and I think she’ll be able to more fully explain what is legal, what’s not legal, how to keep yourself safe in any scenario, um, because it’s a good question. And Chris, uh, to answer your question a little bit more directly, I think what you’re asking would be totally fine to give ideas of how to replace one type of food with another. Where you start getting into trouble is when you are prescribing something to an individual or you’re telling an individual to do something about their individual nutritional needs. Does that make sense? But again, I’m not a lawyer, so show up on December 13th and we’ll get the straight talk from Lisa then. Okay, got a bunch more questions.

Here’s one from Marley. Marley says, I graduated this month and already feel overwhelmed. I’m a mom to a toddler and I feel like the year just zoomed by with studying during nap times in between my current work schedule. To be honest, I feel like I’m so far off where I should be in lacking some confidence even with just the basics. Has anyone been in my shoes and what was the small first step you took to get moving?

So, I think you got a lot of great responses to this already inside the Facebook group really. But when I reread your question, I realized what was the small first step that really put me on a path to getting anything done. When I was starting my business and I had a toddler at home and the answer was childcare period. Childcare moms, you can not work when you got a kid running around.

You can’t try to squeeze it into nap times. I mean you can. You’re just not going to get anywhere very quickly and as soon as I got my son into a childcare and initially it was just two days a week and of course I sent him to the most like earthy, crunchy childcare center in the world that like served all organic food and I was paying through the nose for it, but just two days a week really helped me turn the corner. I went from like, I just can’t keep, you know, you just can’t keep a train of thought when you have kids around because it’s just mom, this mom that or I need this. I’m changing a diaper, I’m wiping a butt or whatever it is. And as soon as I got my son out of the house with two days a week, it’s like my brain resettled into place inside my skull and I could think and I could get stuff done and they started to make money.

So much money. Then I was able to have him be in childcare three days a week. Now. Both my kids, you know, it’s been full time for awhile and one’s in school, but even in the summertime it’s the same thing. I need to get them to camp or something out of the house so that I can work and I can’t tell you what a difference that made for me. It went from I’m a mom and I have sort of this little hobby thing that I do on the side during nap times too. I’m a, I’m a working mom. I’m a working mom and I need my time and my space to get that work done. So morally, I don’t know if that’s helpful, but that’s what really was that step that made all the difference for me.

Okay, Yuliya’s saying, my problem is how to find clients.

Yuliya, if you go back in the archive. Just a couple episodes ago, we did an episode called how to get your first clients. I think that would be a good one for you.

Ariel says, I feel paralyzed. I haven’t done one single thing after being certified. I am lost in second guessing if this is the right path for me.

Well, Ariel, how can you possibly second guess if this is the path for you, if you haven’t done one single thing. I mean if you had done a single thing and it went really poorly and you hated it, then I would be like, you know what, maybe this isn’t the right path for you, but it sounds like until you start taking some actions, you can’t really judge whether it is or isn’t the right place for you.

Andrew is asking, did you see clients in person or has it always been online?

That’s a great question. Let’s see. My very first clients did not live in the same state as I did, so I was talking over the phone with them and I guess that was great because then I always felt comfortable using the phone and to this day I do use the phone for all of my client work. But in the beginning I was trying all sorts of stuff. So the first two were by phone and then, um, I had a client I remember going to meet her in a coffee shop, which I didn’t love because, you know, you had to find parking and then you have to buy something while you’re there so you could sit at the table and the table next to you can kind of overhear maybe if they were listening. So, um, that wasn’t my favorite at all.

And then I remember I also tried having people come to my home which I thought was going to be great and it was good for privacy and it was certainly good for my convenience. I didn’t have to drive anywhere, I didn’t have to park anywhere, but you got to clean the bathroom and you got to clean wherever, wherever your client’s going to be. You have to make sure it’s really clean and in the hallway you don’t wouldn’t want like a huge pile of dirty underwear just like sitting in the hallway. Right? So I immediately came to realize that having people in my home is going to be way more work than I really wanted to deal with. And so I put a stop to that pretty quickly and do all my sessions by phone in yoga pants.

All right, let’s see. I have one more minute. Chris is saying, can you give again the website for the event with you and Lisa? Yes, it is findyourbalancehealth.com/legalevent.

Okay, how about this one? I’ll just do this one real briefly here at the end of it. Um, it’s from Aisha. She says, I hope this is okay to ask here, but as a coach with her own business, what tips do you have to stay motivated or on task? I feel like sometimes I hit a slump with the motivation or direction. Any suggestions?

Yeah, you got to stay in circles of other coaches, other entrepreneurs. If you’re by yourself all the time, day in, day out, it’s really easy to lose motivation. I don’t like to compare myself to other coaches, but I really like having a water cooler to gather around and just be like, oh, what are you doing? What are you doing? How’d that go for you to have somebody tell me they tried something and it was a big flop? I mean you would think that’s not very motivating, but that always was very comforting for me.

Oh, I’m not the only one having challenges and that’s actually how this group started. Come to think of it because I desired having a community of other health coaches. I was lonely by myself in my house working, so I started this Facebook group initially just with friends and acquaintances that I, that I knew people had gone to school with. It was a very small group in the beginning. It was probably like 19 of us and it served as that water cooler space because nobody else quite gets it unless they’re doing the same thing. You are, so I’m glad you’re here around our water cooler. I think it’s a great question and anything you can do to surround yourself with people who share your, your energy and the energy that you want to have. I think the more motivation and direction you will find. Okay you guys, it is 3:30.

Thank you all so much for being here. Whether you’ve been watching live or you’re catching the replay or you’re listening via podcast later, which is so smart because with the podcast, you never miss an episode. If you’ve been getting value from the show and all the free content that I put out on a daily basis, please leave a written review on iTunes for the Health Coach Power Community Podcast. That’s really what I need so I can keep reaching more coaches and keep doing this work. Thank you so very much for being here. Ask those great questions and I’ll keep answering them. See you next week.