Two years ago, I decided I was finished living in a big city and wanted a slower pace of life near the coast.  Leaving a successful and thriving private practice was the one thing standing in my way.  My heart and soul were in this practice; it was a labor of love.  I grew my business from a solo practice to a group with three other clinicians working for me.  After a lot of time thinking and worrying and figuring out what was going to be the best decision for me, I packed my things, loaded up a U-Haul, and drove 300 miles south to my new home in Florida.

Fast forward to now.  I have just started the work of building another private practice in my new coastal location.  I’m back in that just-starting-out phase again.  No longer does my phone ring with referrals from connections I had made, former clients, and friends of friends.  I don’t have four or five clients each day to keep my head in the clinical game.  I had forgotten how quiet, lonely, and frustrating this time can be.  I had forgotten how much self-discipline and motivation it takes to get things up and running.  I had forgotten how important it is to put on pants every day.

When starting my first practice, I had two goals each day: put on pants and do one thing for the business.  This might sound silly, but hear me out.   You need to get dressed every day.  Not workout-clothes-dressed, not pajama-dressed, real clothes dressed.  Like if someone rang your doorbell, you wouldn’t need to scramble to be presentable.  It’s surprising how this quick task can provide that extra push you need to be productive and feel good about yourself.  I had a friend in college who always got dressed up when she had a test.  Keri’s philosophy was “look good, feel good, do good.”   I wholeheartedly subscribe to this practice, and I find it to be a necessary daily motivator.

The second goal of doing one thing for the business each day might seem like it’s not enough.  There’s a trick to this: doing one thing for the business each day is rarely doing just one thing.  I’m the kind of person that once I get started doing something, I’m usually going to do more than I started out to do.

The biggest reason for such small goals?  I knew I would be successful.  During the first several weeks and months of starting a practice, it’s easy to get down on yourself or feel like you’re not being very successful.  These two achievable goals are a great way to get moving and keep you motivated.

Now that I’m back at square one in a new town, I’m putting on pants every day.