How to Set Realistic Goals

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If you've ever run a long-distance race, you know how hard it is to pace yourself. Standing at the starting line, adrenaline is pumping. All those nerves are channeling energy into your lungs, muscles, legs and feet, which are twitching with anticipation. So when you finally hear "Go!" you lurch forward—rushing, racing and moving at the pace of everyone around you.

Experienced runners know that this is moment when great amounts of discipline and restraint are required to slow down, pay attention to your own pace and not focus on keeping up with everyone else. But they do it, because they know that too much excitement can get you in trouble. They know that slow and steady wins the race.

When I first got into yoga, I would push myself so hard that I would be exhausted halfway through the class. I was that excited to work. With the help of my peers and instructors, I quickly learned that the point wasn't about showing off like a peacock until I had nothing left to give. The point was honoring the process and putting in a true, sustainable effort that helped me achieve my goals slowly over time.

Experienced hairdressers know that sustaining their best in this business takes just as much pacing. We are part of a marathon—not a sprint. So we must look for ways to pace ourselves and know when it's time to dive into our work or take it slow.

My career wasn't built in a day. All my salons didn't open at once, and I didn’t lead teams at Fashion Week from the get-to. I worked slowly and steadily toward my goals, pacing myself until each dream crossed the finish line.

A great thing happens when you strive for your goals gradually. You suddenly achieve them. And better yet—you live to tell about it. Then it's on to the next goal, the next challenge, the next race. Because the natural high of steady, sustainable success only leaves you wanting more.

About: Jon Reyman, Co-founder of Salon Pro RX and Owner of Spoke & Weal Salons, has been a pioneer of change in the beauty industry for the past 20 years. He’s introduced a comprehensive online technical library for beauty professionals and salon owners with more than 900 educational videos, and has launched salons in five cities. Jon’s work and salons have been featured in publications and outlets such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Refinery 29, E! and Access Hollywood.