By AHP Staff
Every new year, we tend to take stock of our personal and professional goals. We claim a new starting point for the next chapter in our lives.
But how can we know where we are heading if we don’t know where we currently are? Planning is one of the differences between a resolution and a real goal. Resolutions are thoughts or wishes. Goals are defined as the ends toward which effort is directed. And goals take work. We all want to succeed, but it takes making a commitment to the work it will take to get there.
The first step is taking a good, hard look at your accomplishments in 2021 so you can plan for an even brighter future. Now is the perfect time to review where you are, where you’ve been, and most importantly, where you want to go.
Believe in Your Goals
Your goal may be to gain new clients at the salon, learn new cut and color techniques, restructure your menu of services, or rock your social media presence. Whatever your goals are, they must be your goals. You must believe in the goals you set and feel excitement when you think of accomplishing them. If you think it’s something you “should” work on, your chances of success will greatly diminish. You must truly believe there is something in it for you.
What Makes You Tick?
Think about your own core values when you set your goals. What makes you tick? What makes you get out of bed every morning ready to challenge the world? Your goals might include taking more technique classes, saving money for a European vacation, giving top-notch customer service to every client, or losing 10 pounds. For each of your goals, you will have your own unique core values, and your goals should relate to those values.
Put it in Writing
If you put your goals in writing, it demonstrates your commitment to achieving it. If you just have thoughts in the back of your mind, it’s easy to quickly lose sight of your goals. When your goals are in writing, it’s a powerful statement and promise to yourself to pay attention to the accomplishment of your goal.
You are more likely to achieve goals that are in front of you every day. Writing out an action plan, with due dates for steps along the way, will make the goal even more powerful. If one of your goals is to master the balayage technique, research when and where classes are being held, write the dates on your calendar, and clear your books for that day.
Track Your Progress Frequently
Every day when you arrive at work, you check your schedule for the day to see what clients you’ll be seeing, the services they’ve booked, and how long their appointment will be. Reviewing your action plans to achieve your goals should become a daily routine, just like checking your appointment book. One of the reasons goals fail is because we neglect to track our progress on a regular basis.
Whether you use a paper planner, computer, smartphone, or another method, enter daily and weekly goals along with actions that support them. If one of your goals is to attract one new client every week, what actions did you take to make this a reality? Did you offer a special promotion on social media? Did you hand out business cards at a networking event?
During the year, you may need to change your goals. Just ask yourself if the goal is still right for you, and feel free to revise as necessary.
Share Your Goals
When you have your goals and action plan in written form, share them with people who support your progress—your clients, your family, your Instagram and Facebook followers. Give them a chance to participate and to support your efforts.
If you work in a salon or barber shop, your manager is likely to support you in accomplishing your goals, as your success contributes to the salon’s success. Sharing your goals could be a great team-building exercise for a holiday party or end-of-year staff meeting.
When your go-to people (your spouse, your clients, and friends) have a clear understanding of your goals, they are more apt to help you achieve them, and you will feel more accountable. If they have goals too, you can hold each other accountable and cheer each other on throughout the year. Make sure you celebrate each other’s successes.
Each of us has a little voice in our head, and we engage in self-talk every day. This little voice can be both positive and negative. Positive self-talk supports the accomplishment of your goals, but negative self-talk undermines your self-confidence in your ability to do so. This is something to be aware of every day.
If the internal chatter is mostly positive, you’re on the right path. A positive outlook will foster self-esteem and self-confidence. This, in turn, increases your ability to accomplish more.
Both goals and resolutions have merit. Yet we know that resolutions are often forgotten the next day, and goals can be set and reset without consequence. You will reach new professional and personal heights with daily dedication to your own excellence!
If you aren’t sure what a good goal might be, consider anything that will help your professional development as a hairdresser or barber. When you enrich your skill set and invest in education, you have a much greater chance of career growth. Here are some ideas for an action plan for 2022:
- Learn a new color, cut, or styling technique.
- Learn a new business or marketing skill.
- Learn about a new product or color line to keep up with current trends and to answer your clients’ questions.
- Take an advanced class in your favorite service or your area of expertise. If you’re already an expert, teach a class!
- Start an educational blog aimed at clients, fellow hairstylists or barbers, or the public.
- Attend a trade show for cutting-edge education on hair products and the latest trends.
- View an educational video or webinar at least once a month. (AHP members have access to more than 50 free webinars on demand at www.associatedhairprofessinals.com