You Don't Have to Jump Off a Cliff: How to Transition from Your Current Schedule to an Ideal Schedule

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I have to tell you — I’m not a huge advocate of being reckless.

As much as I love the idea that if we take bold steps the Universe will meet us where we are and propel us forward, I’ve seen that it doesn’t always pan out that way.

Back when I was an English teacher, my husband and I did the unthinkable — we both quit our jobs, and then we decided that we would move to wherever one of us first got a job.

He was an editor for USA Today at the time, so he sent resumes (this was back in the day, mind you — resumes were sent, not emailed :) to newspapers around the country, and I registered for an international schools recruiting fair.

I ended up being offered a job in Berlin, so after talking it over with Ranald for about 20 minutes, we decided that’s where we would go.

Now, from the outside, that looks like a huge, bold decision, which it was, but there was a LOT of careful planning and preparation that went on beforehand that allowed us to make the move.

We had each done a ton of research on different schools or newspapers where we wanted to go. We gave our employers plenty of notice that we were leaving, so that they could easily transition our positions. We started selling our belongings about 8 months before we had to leave, so we had a better idea of what our financial situation was going to look like.

While we had to take a HUGE leap of faith to make such a fundamental change in our lives, we also took steps to prepare ourselves for our new lives.

I thought of this recently when a therapist in The Bodywork Project asked the group for feedback.

We were working through a lesson about our Ideal Schedule — what would our bodywork schedule look like if we could set it up EXACTLY how we wanted.

The therapist was working at a spa, which she loved, but she was also thinking about going out on her own and opening her own practice one day. Her Ideal Schedule was to one day have her own business that was filled with clients she loved who were helped by the work that she did.

The group was discussing the popular idea that in order to make big changes in your life, you must take crazy-big chances. But I suggested that we don’t have to make all these big changes All. At. Once.

Instead, I told the therapist to think about her Ideal Schedule as an endpoint — she didn’t have to get there tomorrow. I asked her what one baby step she could take now that would point her in the direction of her big goal.

She could decide to work one day each week on attracting clients to the modality she wanted to specialize in. Or she could decrease the number of days she works at the spa, and use the time to begin working on business development for her own practice.

There are so many options to consider that don’t include quitting your job outright, and then struggling to make a go of it in private practice.

And there’s no shame in taking incremental steps to get where you want to go.

Joseph Campbell says, “Jump! And the parachute will open.”

And I would add to that to be sure your parachute is in good working order before the jump.

Yes, you have to jump in order for the parachute to open, but you need to jump with your eyes open, knowing as much as you can before you actually take flight.

When my husband and I left our jobs to travel the world, we may have jumped off a cliff — but we first made sure our parachutes were in good shape.

And I suggest the same for you: you don’t have to jump off a cliff to be moving in the direction of your dream bodywork business.

Just because you don’t quit everything outright, doesn’t mean that you won’t get where you want to be.

Keep taking baby steps in the direction of your ideal practice, and you won’t believe how quickly those steps will begin to build momentum.

Be clear on where you want to go, take inspired action, and keep moving toward that practice that you know in your heart you were meant to have.

If you'd like to learn more about the steps you can take to build your massage or bodywork practice, take the Bodyworker Clarity Quiz. You’ll find out where you are on the Bodyworker journey, and you’ll receive a free Quickstart Guide to help you along the way. I’m holding you in my heart, and I know you can do this!