Creating Goals for 2021 | FP 62

Creating Goals for 2021

What can you do now to work towards building a better 2021? How can you structure your goals so that you can realistically work with them? How can working backward help you move forwards?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks about creating goals for 2021 and some actionable steps you can take today!

In This Podcast

  • Setting goals

Setting goals

These could be goals within your family, to do with your personal growth and other business venture goals. Take a spreadsheet and try this exercise:

  • Think about where you want to be at the end of 2021. For example, consider your practice at the end of 2021; how many hours would you want to be working? How much revenue do you want the practice to bring in and how much will you pay yourself?
  • Take these goals, and break them down. Write out how you can get there, and identify all the different options.
  • Consider, when can you do these things? Break this down into the four quarters of the year and narrow down your game-plan for the year.

When we write down what we want to do, we are a lot more likely to actually get them done.

Sign up for Group Practice Boss – it reopens Dec 29 to 31.

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful Links:

Meet Whitney Owens

Photo of Christian therapist Whitney Owens. Whitney helps other christian counselors grow faith based private practices!Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.

Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to

Podcast Transcription

Right now the doors to Group Practice Boss are open. To learn more go to This is a Facebook and Teachable platform membership community where group practice owners come together to help one another grow their practices. This group is led by Alison Pidgeon and myself as consultants to help you take your practice to the next level. So if you’re a group practice owner with three or more clinicians, including yourself, and you want to work less and make more money, please join this amazing community. For only $149 a month you can learn how to delegate, how to work less, how to make more, and how to kill it in your practice. So go over to Doors are open until December 31st.

Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host, Whitney Owens, recording live from Savannah, Georgia. I’m a licensed professional counselor, group practice owner, and private practice consultant. Each week, through personal story or amazing interviews, I will help you learn how to start, grow, and scale your private practice from a faith-based perspective. I’m going to show you how to have an awesome, faith-based practice without being cheesy or fake. You too can have a successful practice, make lots of money, and be true to yourself.


So I am recording this episode as we are coming to the end of 2020. Finally, I know we’re all kind of sighing a breath of relief. Y’all being a counselor during 2020 is real, real hard, right? I mean, we had to deal with the pandemic, the anti racism movement, the political election, so many heavy things that weighed on us as therapists. And if you’re a group practice center, you were helping your other clinicians go through that. But then you’re also helping your clients and holding on to that. So it has been a big year. So I hope that as this year is ending, that you’re taking the time to take care of yourself, be with your family and get a little rest in. But it’s also a really good time to look back on what 2020 was for you, maybe personally or with your family. But also think about the professional success that you had in 2020. And then also a really good time to begin to look forward to 2021, that it’s going to be a better different kind of year than 2020, let’s hope.

So as we’ve kind of been talking about Group Practice Boss the past few episodes, I just want to remind you that the doors to that are open right now. We actually spent the whole month of December working on goal setting, because this is big, right? I mean, I don’t know if you’ve read Atomic Habits, but it’s the importance of what are the small things that we’re doing to get us to the next place. And so we actually spent the month of December reading that as a group, and learning about new habits that we want to create in our lives to help us get to the next big thing. And so this, these things that I’m teaching you right now on goal setting, these are the kinds of things I just did in Group Practice Boss, and I’m saying this to you, not only because I think I’m gonna really help you and your goal setting, but this is the kind of stuff that we do in Group Practice Boss, so I want you to consider joining that community, if you are a group practice owner with three clinicians or more so that you can make the most out of that. And if you are already in it, I love that you’re there. And it’s so fun working with you.

Alright, so let’s get into this a little bit more on goal setting. You know, a lot of times, people have all these clever little ways to talk about goal setting, I’m not going to do all that because I can’t stand it right. And so I struggle with it all, I’m like, what is all this? So let’s just get simple and tangible. That’s how I think, that helps me. I’m not witty and creative the way some people are and that works for them. So that’s good. But let’s get really, really hands on here. So I did this with someone and I found it super helpful. And so I’m going to do this with you or really, you’re going to do it on your own later because it does take some time, but I want you to not only set goals, professionally, but let’s work on setting goals in other areas of our lives. And so that that’s going to be whatever areas you want it to be. So I want you to think about what big areas of your life you feel like you need to set goals. That could be your family. That could be maybe a side hustle that you have, it might be your health. It could be lots of different things.

So for me when I do this exercise, these are the areas I like to focus on. I focus on my goals for my private practice. So those are going to include like the big picture, things are going to be kind of where are we going? How am I helping my clinicians? What kind of financial place do I want to be in? Where do I want to take the practice? And then I want to focus on the next area being personal growth. So a lot of times some of the goals that I have for that have to do with my physical health, or maybe my education, maybe my hobbies that I want to do. And then the third area is family. So that’s what do I want for my family? How do I want them to be successful? And how do I want to support them? And what do I want to see maybe for my kids by the end of the year? And then another one here that I do want to mention that I also will do, or have been doing more recently, is consulting goals. So maybe you have some kind of a side hustle or other job. Maybe it’s just a volunteer thing that you do. But what kind of goals do you have for that? And we’re gonna really break those down.

So sometimes, when we start thinking about our goals for the year, the year can feel so overwhelming, right? I mean, how, how can I figure this out? So I love to really break this down, I actually usually put this on a spreadsheet and narrow it down. So I want you to consider doing that, to take a spreadsheet, get in your Google Sheets, or something like that and try this exercise. So I want you to think about where do you want to be at the end of 2021. Okay, and then break that down into each of these areas. So I’m going to kind of walk through a little bit about some of my goals that I had, back at the beginning of 2020, you know, not all of them, I didn’t meet all of them. And that’s okay, like, I did the best I could with what I had. And of course, all of us are like, wow, 2020, that was crazy. Like, where did that take me? And I’m totally at a different place than maybe where I thought I was going to be and that is that’s okay, right. Because sometimes you have to pivot your practice to do something different than you thought you were going to do. So I’m actually pulling my goals up here. And I’m going to kind of look at these as we go through it and kind of help you through this as well. And so we want to think about each area and where we want to be.

So let’s just go ahead and start with our practice, because we’re all practice owners, or you’re wanting to start a practice. So think about what do you want your practice to look like at the end of 2021? So some questions that you could think about are, how much do you want to be working? I am amazed how many people do not think about how many hours they want to be working. So think about how many hours you want to work. And you’re going to create a plan to get there. How much money do you want to make? How much revenue do you want the practice to bring in? And then you can think about how much money do you actually need to pay yourself? How many clients do you want to see? And then maybe think about if your group practice owner, what about your employees? Like do you have any goals for them? So maybe you want to get a group going and have two groups run for couples by the end of the year, or maybe you have some webinars you want to put on. So those are all things to think about.

So for me some goals that I had, actually. So here’s where I’m going to get real and actually tell you about what did and didn’t work. One of my goals for my practice was to hit a certain income level, which it’s not quite the end of the year, and I’m gonna get super, super close to that number. So I am super excited about that. Because we all know that earlier this year, we thought there’s no way I’m ever going to keep going. I mean, financially, we probably thought, oh, is it gonna be okay, like, are people gonna be able to pay for mental health, and we’re cash pay. So I was pretty concerned. And that was that lull there, back in March and April. But then hitting this last part of the year, I mean, people have been in such need, and I’m really glad we’re there for them. And so I’m going to meet my income goals, which is super exciting. And also the ability to pay myself, that’s something else that I set out for a year end goal. The other thing I actually really wanted to do that did not happen was a TED talk. And I’m just gonna have to apply for those again. And obviously TED talks are a little different right now, I don’t even know if they’re doing them virtually, I think some places are and some places aren’t. But that is another one of my goals. But this was a very different kind of year that didn’t happen.

So then I take some of those goals that I have, and then knock them down. Okay, well, if I have a revenue goal of this amount, what am I going to have to do to get there? How can I make more revenue? Well, I can make more revenue by seeing more clients or I make more revenue by running intensives or hiring another clinician, okay. So I want you to think about when could you do those things, and then I want you to break it down into quarters. So within your spreadsheet, you’ve got quarter one January to March, quarter two April to June, and quarter three July to September, and quarter four October to December. And at least what I did this year was okay, so my goals in January, I’m just going to focus on the financial one but I have other other goals that you would put in there, and then really narrow it down for each one, what you’re going to do each quarter to get there. So I knew that if I wanted to have more income in my practice, I was going to have to hire another clinician. So I went on ahead and decided at this time, I’m going to post the ad. By this time I’m going to hire somebody and have them trained, by the next quarter I want that person seeing at least 10 clients, here’s my plan for getting them to 10 clients. So I want you to really think about actionable steps to help you get your practice to your one year goal. Okay.

Now, let me share this with you in a different kind of way, because this will also help. So another area that I really wanted to work on for 2020 was Practice of the Practice, that I want to really be a good consultant and get my name out there, be able to run some mastermind groups, get some consulting clients, and make at least a little bit of income off of this, right. So I had a goal for what I wanted for my income and I put that in. And I decided, hey, I think I could get to this if I ran two mastermind groups and if I had this many consultees that I think I would get there. So I broke that down. Okay, we’re going to run a mastermind in June, I mean in January, I’m going to run another one in the summer, I’m going to try to get one consulting client a month, whatever that is. So you’re going to break that down, and how you’re going to work to get those people. So I’m going to set up free consulting calls, I’m going to have a podcast, I’m going to get all my social media. So then you’re really narrowing down what is your game plan for getting there?

So that might be I’m going to create an email list. Well, if you’re telling me you’re going to create an email list for your side hustle, I want you to tell me when you’re going to do it. So maybe you find that the first quarter is a really busy time of year for you, make it April, make it May, make it definable. And by going backwards, by setting that goal and going backwards by quarter and narrowing those quarters down in the months, you really can see how you can get a lot more done. Sometimes your goals feel overwhelming, how can I get it done, when now you’ve got the action steps, and you know what, print it out and put it up in front of you so you can see it all the time.

So actually, with the podcast here, my goal was to launch a successful podcast so I wrote this goal out before my podcast was launched. So this was the very beginning of 2020. Or I might have written this at the very end of 2019. And my podcast actually launched at the end of January 2020. And my goal was to launch a successful podcast and to me success meant at least 500 downloads a month, and to release 50 episodes. So I’m excited to say that’s about where I am, or I might have a little bit more downloads than that. So thank you for helping me get there. And then 50 was my goal for episodes. And I think I think this is Episode 62. So I had a couple of bonus episodes throughout the year too. But I knew that was gonna be a lot of work to get there. So I really broke this down. Okay, well, in the month of January, I’m going to release the first five episodes from Joe’s podcast and release my intro. And then in the month of February, I’m going to record 10 episodes that month and release those. And then also just thinking through what I can and can’t do each month. So maybe I knew the month of March, I was going to take a week off. So then I’m going to have less episodes going out. But really having your plan for okay, well if I want 50 episodes to go out, then I need to record, I don’t know, if I’d said 60 would have been 20 a quarter. So I need to record 15 to 20 episodes a quarter. And that means about one a week, right? I mean 50. That’s right, about one a week to be able to get enough episodes out. So it’s really really figuring out how you’re going to do that.

And, and then as far as more goals. Let’s see, I also did some life goals for saving for retirement, how much I wanted to put away. I also had some goals of my schedule, I wanted to start working less on Mondays, which now I actually work half days on Mondays. Then I had some goals for personal things such as running and so hey, I want to train for a half marathon, which all were canceled, but I had it on my list. So it’s like okay, well if I want to run a half marathon, I’ve got to be able to run this far by this amount of time and just getting that on there. I also had some goals for my kids. I had a goal for my daughter. She has special needs. I don’t know how much I’ve talked about her on the podcast, but she’s four and she’s autistic. She also has a hearing problem. And so my goal was to get on a special Medicaid program and I know that sounds like not a huge goal but to tell you the honest truth, this program is really hard to get on. It’s tons of paperwork, you have to get lots of information from doctors and so I’ve made myself a goal. I’m going to get this application turned in and get her on this program. And that means in the month of January, I need to fill out the initial forms. In the month of February, I need to get these to her doctors. In the month of March, I need her therapist to return this paperwork to me, I’m going to apply in April, and then that’ll give me a couple months for the application to come back or for me to make changes.

So when you think about what are the things that you want for your family, what are the things you personally want for yourself, and come up with some goals. Another one I have, and this is honestly my goal every year and it’s a big goal for me, is to read 12 books. I love reading, but it is hard to find time for reading between everything that’s going on. So I set that one book a month, if I do more than that great. And then I’ll have those 12 books read and I even knock those down into what types of books I want to read. I don’t want to just be working all the time. So I want you after this episode to really sit down and think about what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish, and really narrowing those down and writing them down. Statistics or research really proves that when we write down what we want to do, we’re a lot more likely to actually accomplish that goal. And then if you actually share that with someone else, you’re way more likely to accomplish that goal. I want to say it’s like over 80%. And I can’t remember where I read that at the moment, but you’re more likely to accomplish it. In fact, after I do these goals, I usually review them with like a mentor or maybe your therapist and tell them what your goals are. I do this with my clients too. And they do the same pattern for creating their goals at the beginning of the year. And we talk through that together. And then being able to look at it on a regular basis, I look at it on my computer and every month try to remember okay, these are the goals that I set. Do I need to adjust anything? And I try not to adjust unless I need to. Because I do want to set really good goals and not go into it thinking I can just adjust everything. But there are going to be times you might need to adjust something or maybe you accomplish the goal faster than you realize and you can add something else into it.

So just to recap, I want you to come up with three to four areas. And that could be your practice, your side hustle, your family, personally, that you want to accomplish. Break those down into quarters, break those into months, and what you’re going to accomplish each time. As you go backwards, you’re going to be able to move forward with your goals. So if you’re thinking one of my goals is to really get my group practice in line, I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, I’m not sure I’m managing the money really well, then please consider joining Group Practice Boss because we can help you do all that and more. I know in 2021 we’re going to cover topics such as how to manage finances, how to hire the right staff, good SEO and marketing through our website and through working with referrals. We’re also going to talk about how to have a practice culture and how to hire the right clinicians and how to actually keep the clinicians without having so much turnover. So these and other things we’re going to be focusing on in Group Practice Boss and so the doors are open right now. I want you to go on over to and join that community today, because we’re gonna be killing it in 2021. I’m super excited.

So good luck on accomplishing your goals. Please enjoy the rest of these two, three days at the end of the year. Relax, consider your goals, take a break, and I appreciate the time that you take to listen to this podcast.


Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also, there you can learn more about me, options for working together, such as individual and group consulting, or just shoot me an email Would love to hear from you.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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