Planning for the Spring Season
When we're in the thick of things, it can be hard to carve out time to evaluate where we've been, dream about where we're going and make a (loose) plan for our next steps as practitioners.
I've found that reflecting on the energy of each season, planning a project or theme for the season, and spending some time going over what's working and what's not every season helps so much in running the kind of practice that reflects my values.
That's why I run a seasonal dreaming and planning workshops.
In honor of the equinox today, I'm sharing the recording of the Spring Dreaming & Planning workshop that was held yesterday.
Carve out about 30 minutes and sit down with either the spring dreaming workbook or simply a few pieces of paper.
I hope you enjoy the process.
I'd love to hear what you'll be focusing your intentions on this season
Helpful Links for Practitioners
Welcome to In the Clinic with Camille. My name is Camille Freeman. I am a licensed nutritionist and registered herbalist. And in this podcast, I share little tips and tidbits that may be helpful for other practitioners. Today's episode is a little bit different from the ones that I normally post because I'm going to be sharing with you a workshop that I did yesterday. It's about 30 minutes. And this is a spring dreaming and planning workshop for practitioners. I share this workshop with people in my community because I have found the seasonal planning process to be so helpful and nourishing for me. I was thinking yesterday after the workshop, I was like, You know what? It might be helpful for some folks to have an audio version of this workshop so that it's very easy to pause, to reflect, to do some thinking and writing and journaling on some of the questions and so forth. I also would love to share this with as many people as possible, anyone who might find it useful. Here it is. If you do not feel like doing any spring planning and dreaming right this very second, or it's not your thing at all, go ahead and skip this episode.
I will be back soon with one of my more standard episodes. However, if you are feeling inspired to do some seasonal planning and setting some intentions for the upcoming season, I hope you enjoy. Please check the show notes as I will include a copy of the workbook and also my seasonal tracking form for those people who are interested. Enjoy. There we go. We are being recorded. It occurs to me that I need to turn on the captioning too. Let me just do that real quick. Okay. All righty. Wonderful. Hello, hello. Thank you all so much for being here. This is our Spring Dreaming Workshop, and we are going to jump right in because this is an efficient process, but I'm so glad that you have made the time to be here live because it really does make a difference to do this in community. So I hope that you all saw the workbook I sent out. If you did not see the workbook, that's totally fine. It does help to have something to write on either a piece of paper, a word document, a Google Doc, and access to your calendar as we go through this process.
So if you have a Google calendar or a hardcopy calendar that you use, it's great to have that on hand as we go through. So let's hop in here. Many of you know this, but not everybody, perhaps. I highly recommend planning seasonally versus annually because it allows us to shift and change as the year goes. Sometimes it's a little easier to wrap our head around one season at a time, and things change a lot during the year. So it can be hard in the dead of winter to think about how you might feel come spring, but it's a little easier to do that when spring is almost there. Same for summer, same for fall, and so forth. So we do this process at the beginning of each season, and I find that this is the best way, at least for me, to make sure that I'm staying on track and grounding myself as the year goes on, but also honoring things that change in my life and how I'm feeling as well as the seasons and whatever else is going on in my life. So first thing I'll ask you to do as we start in with this process is to just take a few deep breaths.
I know many times people have a lot going on on the weekends and your mind might be running with lots of different things that you have going on you need to do. So we're going to just give yourself 30 minutes right now to go through this process and let go of everything else. It will wait. It'll still be there in a little while. Let's take a few deep breaths. Look at these daffodils. Actually, I got some daffodils from my garden this morning. Aren't they pretty? So we're just going to relax, be present, and know that there's no wrong way to do this process. Here you are. You're exactly in the right place and let's dive in. The first thing that I want you to do is write down either in your workbook or just on a piece of paper, why are you in practice? And this doesn't have to be your beautifully crafted mission statement. It could just be like, I love plants and I want to connect people with plants or whatever it is. You have a specific passion. Why are you here doing this work? And really physically write it down. Don't just think it in your head.
Just a few words is fine. But I want you to reconnect with that reason, even if you can't articulate it as beautifully as you might if you had more time. Okay? And then once you've had a chance to do that, I also want you to remind yourself or just think of how you want to show up in your practice. And this is specifically relating to your particular gifts or strengths that you bring into your work. So for me, curiosity is a big way that I want to show up in the work that I'm doing. For some people, prepared is a big word, or evidence based, or connection. Of course, we could all probably come up with lots of adject, but a couple of adjectives that are really important to you in terms of the way that you want to be present with your clients, with yourself, with your practice. Again, just jot these down. You can flesh them out later if you'd like to. Okay. Along the way, if you want to share in the chat, you can. For many people, this is very internal work and it doesn't feel good to share it. But if you'd like to share it, you're welcome to.
Otherwise, jot it down for yourself in your workbook and you can always go back and flesh some of these answers out a little bit more later. All right. Before we start our planning, it's really important, I think, to do some reflections on the season that's wrapping up. So we're going to think a little bit about the winter. You can define this however you want to. So some people will like to say, oh, about three months. So in this case, maybe December, January, February, think about that period of time. Some people like to do it by the actual seasons. So between solstice and equinox, or equinox or solstice, whatever it is, that's fine. You can do that. And other people have a different way, like your winter, whatever that means to you. So we're going to think about the winter season in these next reflections. The first thing that I want you to do when we're reflecting, there's a big old page for this in your workbook. We are not going to have time to do all of this here together. But I do want you to just review what are the big things that happened over the last few months in your practice or in your life.
So if you started a new class, if you got your first new client, if you started a website, if you graduated from school, these are the types of things that you want to be like, oh, yeah, that was a big thing. Sometimes we just move right past the big things and onto the next thing without taking a moment to be like, Wow, yeah, a lot happened. This could also be like, I turned 50 or I got a divorce, I got married, whatever. You went on a big trip, big things. So ideally, what I would like for you to do is to make a big old list of especially your wins, the things that you did accomplish or the shifts that you made in your own mentality, in your practice, all the good little things that you did, big or small. Sent out three newsletters, got four new clients, adjusted that one thing that's been hanging over my head for so long, whatever it is. All right, so I'm going to give you just a few minutes to write down a few. You don't need to get 20 in this time, but I'm going to stop talking.
And I want you to again, don't just think them, physically write them down. At least three or four wins, personal or business, over the last few months. Okay. So I hope you got just a few at least. I really encourage you to go back and keep going. You'll get to the end and you'll be like, That's it. And I want you to keep thinking. Look back through your calendar, look through your journals, look through your notes. And even if it's like, Oh, I invested in a new chair so I have somewhere comfortable to sit, or anything like that. Got a new label for my tincture bottles. These are the types of things. I want you to really have a list of the good that you're taking out of the winter that's coming from the work that you've done in this last season. It's really important to do this. The next thing we're going to do is, this is meant to be a fast spur of the moment top, whatever comes to your head, you're going to put it down. You'll see in your workbook, there's a small line for each of these. I'm going to read them out loud to you.
I want you to just give yourself a rating for the past season on a scale of 1 to 5. One is, this area is not working for me at all. And five is, I feel great, no change is needed. The first one is description or design of the services you offer. So do you feel confident that you have a great variety of services that are working for you that are clear, everybody understands what they are. Give yourself a rating, 1 to 5. Don't think about it too much, just whatever comes to mind. Okay, next one, providing exceptional care for your clients. Do you feel like you really know what you need to know that you are doing the best job you can in providing care. 1 to 5. Next one, whatever technology or software you use. So this could be things like, are you using a calendar for scheduling? Are you using a practice management system? Are you using Skype or Zoom or whatever else? Again, is it working smoothly for you? Do your clients know how to use it? Do you know how to use it? Is it easy in helping you versus hindering you?
Scale of one to five. The next one is systems. This is a little bit different from technology in that they may or may not involve technology, but the system is, if a new client schedules, you have a procedure, so you know exactly what needs to happen. There's a way to make sure it happens. Everything gets checked off the list. Same with do you have a system for billing people? Do you have a system for checking in with clients who haven't heard from in a while? That thing. Again, give yourself a rating, 1 to 5. Five is hardly anything ever gets missed. Systems are great. I feel very confident in them. Everybody knows how to do what they're supposed to do. Cool. And one is, I don't know what you're talking about. Okay, work life balance, daily routine. Do you have time to sleep? Do you have time to do things that you love that are not work related? Do you have time to spend with your family and with yourself to do things that are creative and fun for you? And the flip side of that is, are you procrastinating and hardly spending any time doing the things related to your practice or the other things you want to do?
Right? So again, one to five, just top of mind. Physical space. Do you have a comfortable desk? If you have an apothecary, if you've got files, if you have an office, how pleased are you? Can you access what you need when you need it? Do you know where to find things? Is it clear? Does it help facilitate your work or hinder you? A scale of 1 to 5. Next one is connecting with and finding new clients. So are you feeling like you have ways to meet people who don't already know about you? Are you connecting with people who are already following you in one way or another? Scale of 1 to 5. Next one is community and support. So do you have people to reach out to if you have a question? Do you have people that can support you when things are challenging? That thing. Again, scale of one to five. This could be things like referral networks or mentors groups, accountability groups, classmates, anything along those lines. And then lastly, cash flow. Are you having enough cash flow to sustain yourself or to meet your goals for your practice? And again, that's a scale of one to 5.
Okay, so hopefully these are just rolling out. Don't worry about trying to get them perfect. And now what we're going to do is take a look at what you wrote down. You should have a bunch of numbers between 1 and 5. And I want you to find the top three that you might need to support or focus on over the next little while. All right. So basically, these would be your lowest three numbers. Sometimes people go through this process and they're like, I have all ones. And that's okay. If you have all ones, just pick the three that are jumping out at you as the most in need of support. Right. So for me, when I did this, the big three that came out to me were the physical space for my practice, work life balance, and then also it was a tie between a couple of others. But those two were really big for me. So you're going to be picking... You can star them or circle them or whatever you want to do. Top three areas and then write them down on that next page of your workbook, or just write them down in Google Doc or a piece of paper or something like that.
So those are the three that are bubbling up to you as important right now. And again, if they're all the same, you could just pick three that you want to work on that you feel like might be the most fun or interesting or that are calling to you right now. Okay? And so now we're going to hold that for a second. We don't need to make any further decisions about that. But now I want you to think about spring in general and what is spring like for your practice and for you as a person. Okay? First of all, look at your own schedule coming up. Do you have a trip planned? Do you know that you always get seasonal allergies in the spring? Do you have a big anniversary or birthday coming up? Think about what is on the docket for you this spring. Some of us, for example, me, spring is a time when I really want to spend a lot of time in the garden. So I want more time to be outdoors and planting and getting my hands dirty. Sometimes people hate spring and they're like, I have allergies. I want to stay inside and never go out.
I have tons of time because I'm just burrowing in. So what is spring for you? Do you have a bunch of religious holidays coming up? Anything like that? Just make a note of it. It doesn't have to be formal, but what is Spring for you? What is it bringing for you? And then also think about what does Spring mean for your clients? So for example, do you have a lot of school aged people and they might be going on spring break? So you know there's going to be some disruption in most of your client's lives because of spring break. Or do you know that you have a lot of clients who are faculty members at universities and spring is a very busy time because it's graduation and the end of the year and all this stuff. So are there any particular things with your practice or with your clients that you need to make a note of? Just jot those down here. And then what I want you to do is take all that into account. So we've got the three things that are your top three things where you're like, Yeah, I could use some support here.
And then you also have to balance that with what's going on for you and what's going on for your clients. With all that in mind, think about what's one intention or focus that would make sense to work on over the next few months. Okay, so we want to focus on just one intention. You could do a bunch of I'm not saying you only do one thing, but just for a big picture intention, I really recommend one thing that you can come back to. Here are some ideas. If there's something that you really want to learn more about, so maybe you have a bunch of clients with CBO and it's new to you and you're like, I'd like to dive into that more so I can provide better care. Maybe you feel unmoored and you would like to connect with a mentor or a small group of other people doing this work. Maybe you are completely overworked and on the verge of burnout and so a big focus for you needs to be rest centering. Maybe you need to get a system in place. Maybe you want to start your newsletter or being more consistent with your newsletter or work on your onboarding for new clients.
Maybe you haven't been able to find new clients very easily, and so that's going to be a focus is how do I meet new people? Or maybe you are working on recrafting a service or revising a course or a service you already have. It could be something not on this list, but these are just giving you some ideas. So pick one thing for your focus over this coming season. If you had a focus before and it didn't happen, I recommend making a smaller focus. So if you were like, Yes, I'm going to create a newsletter and a YouTube channel and a podcast, maybe you say like, Okay, instead of doing that, I'm just going to try to write a newsletter once a month, and that's going to be my big focus in addition to my daily work that's already happening as a baseline. So write it down and I even recommend putting it on a Post it note and maybe putting it on your computer or having it somewhere so you can see that this is your focus that you want to be working on or bringing into your practice over this coming season. And now we're just going to spend a little bit of time thinking about scheduling and the day to day because it's easy to do this right now and be like, yes, I'm going to create a new onboarding process.
But then what's going to happen tomorrow is you've got clients and things are busy and you forget until the next time we do this in a few months. And you're like, oh, shoot, I forgot to do that, or I never was able to find the time to squeeze it in. So let's talk about that. First of all, it would help not right now, but eventually, maybe tonight or later on tomorrow, something like that. Write down all the things. So if you want to do an onboarding process or if you want more work life balance, spend some time brainstorming what that might involve. Sometimes you can do some of the things, not all the things, but I really want you to think about what could that look like and what are some of the things that would move me in that direction. So now we're going to think about just on a day to day level, how do we weave this in? I recommend that folks do weekly planning and intentions. This is something that you can either do on your last working day of a week or at the beginning of the next week. So I personally like to do this on Sundays, so I actually did this this morning.
But sometimes people like to do on Fridays and close the week out so that they're ready to go again whenever their week starts. Maybe Monday, maybe Sunday, maybe Tuesday, whatever it is. But put a time in your calendar, essentially every week you probably need 15, maybe 20 minutes to do this process. And again, I recommend just scheduling it in. So it's like a block in your calendar that you put this in right now for the whole spring season. It doesn't always have to be on the same day. So here's what I do during that time period. First of all, I look back over the past week and think about how did that go? But second of all, I look to the coming week and I say, okay, how many hours do I have to work on my practice this week? It varies. I have children, I have trips, I have things that are happening. So some weeks I have more time than others. So first I want to look and see, generally speaking, do I have 10 hours? Do I have five hours? Do I have 20 hours? What's my time look like over this coming week?
Then what I do is I say, okay, what are the fixed buckets such as times when I'm working with clients directly? So that's not really changeable. I have a client tomorrow from 9 to 10 AM. That is not changing. So you take the time that you have and you say, Okay, of the 10 hours I have, four of them are going to be spent with clients. And then I probably need another couple of hours to write up notes and that thing with the clients. So you subtract that time. So let's say I have 10 to 12 hours, I'm going to spend six of those with clients or working on client stuff. That leaves me six other hours. And with those six other hours, I want to spend about half of them finding and connecting new clients, and then about half of them doing admin stuff like website billing, email, that thing. Okay. So then I can just schedule those in. And what I want to do is ask myself, am I building in some time to work on my seasonal intention? So when I rewrite, I usually rewrite my seasonal intention and then say, okay, it depends on what your intention is, which bucket it might fit into.
For me, my seasonal intention this spring is that I really need to do a better job on creating boundaries around work time. So one of my seasonal intention pieces is I want to have a time every morning before I check email, before I do anything where I'm just doing my own meditation and journaling and that thing. Then I also want to have a quitting time every day where I turn everything off and that's it, and I'm not working anymore. So that's one of the things I'm doing. But really think about this at the beginning of every week, have you built in at least a little bit of time to work on your seasonal intention? So write out the intention, look at how many hours you've blocked for clients, and then the rest of the time, split it half and half between connecting with new clients or people who either don't know about you yet or know about you but haven't become clients. How can you connect with them? And then the other half is admin like writing websites and writing on social media, that thing. Okay? So that's what you do every week. Here's the problem that a lot of people run into with this.
One is too much time per client. So you're like, oh, Camille, I've got only 10 hours to work this week. I have two clients, and I'm going to spend those whole 10 hours working on those two clients. Well, that isn't going to work. We got to figure that out because only about 50 % of the time of a practice is realistically spent with clients, and you need another 50 % of the time to run the whole thing. So sometimes it's really important to streamline the time that you're spending on either meeting with clients or doing protocols and research and that thing. Another big problem here is that sometimes people are not spending half of that other half of time. So essentially 25 % of your working time at least connecting with and finding new clients. A lot of times we want to hide behind the website, be like, oh, I'm writing a blog article. That's not a direct way to connect with a new potential client. So this would be things like giving presentations, reaching out to people one on one, working on referrals. You want to spend a good chunk of time every single week doing this, connecting with new people and staying in touch with the people who are already following you personally, individually, one on one as much as you can.
And then, of course, the flip side of this coin is too much time on administrative tasks. So you cannot spend 30 hours on the font on your website because that's not going to be fulfilling your practice. So we need to be non perfectionist when it comes to our administrative tasks and really limit yourself to that 25 % of your working time. Once you reach that, you got to stop until the next week and use your time in other ways. The very last thing that I will say is that in addition to just building in 15 or 20 minutes at either the end or the beginning of each week for a weekly planning is I also recommend a seasonal planning process, which we're doing now and a monthly planning process. The monthly review, there's a link to the form I use in your worksheet, workbook that I sent out for this. And essentially at the beginning of each season, I recommend that you say, okay, here's how many clients I'm hoping to have in each of these three months. Here's how much money I'm hoping to bring in. Here's how much money I'm hoping to spend.
Here's how many newsletters I want to publish, etc. And then at the end of each month, you go in and fill in your numbers so that you're keeping track. You can add lines to that form that specifically talk to your seasonal intention. And I want you to be keeping dibs on it. No, that's not the right word. Anyway, keeping track of it. At the end of each month, saying, Oh, okay, I wanted to send out two newsletters. Did I do that? And if not, what can I do next month in order to move toward my seasonal intention? So you want to spend once a month, you're going through your books, you're looking at how much money you made, how many new followers you have, or how many outreaches you made, whatever it is that you're tracking, do that once a month. And again, schedule that into your calendar now. Like we get off this webinar and you can put these weekly and monthly reviews, put them right in your calendar so that you know, okay, it's time to spend 20, 30 minutes max on this monthly review. It doesn't take a long time, but keeping track of it makes such a big difference.
And ask yourself when you do that monthly review, hey, am I moving in the right direction? Do I want to do something a little different this coming month so you can make adjustments. All right. So that is the end of our seasonal planning process. Like I said, it's a fairly quick process, but it can make such a big difference. For folks who need more support, I know some of you who are here already in Monday mentoring, but if you're not, we will be opening up again later this spring, and that is a great place to come and ask questions, get help, do that thing. If you're like, I need to get some support on some parts of this process. Anyway, if anybody has questions, feel free to reach out to me. free to post them in the chat, or you can reach me later. You all have my email from all these reminders I've been sending you. But I hope this has been a helpful process and that this is something that will bring you into the spring feeling like you've got an intention, you know how to fit it into your process, and you have reconnected with a sense of, Okay, I've got one thing I'm going to really focus on, and then I've got my underlying daily, weekly tasks that are going to weave in to my work going forward.
All right? Thank you all so much for being here live. I love doing this process with other people. I found that it makes a huge difference for me in my work, and I hope that it does for you as well. All right. Bye, everyone. Take care. You're welcome. Thanks, Maggie. Thanks, Karen. You're welcome. I'll talk to you all soon. Thanks for listening to In the Clinic with Camille. Hey, did you know that I write a weekly practitioner note for herbalists and nutritionists? If you would like to get that in your inbox, you can sign up at camillefreeman. Com newsletter. I'd love to have you join.