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A new year dawns. Most, if not all of us, are downright ready to be rid of 2020. We look expectantly for this new year to be better than this last and we might begin to think about and make plans for the coming year ahead. You may think that planning, setting new goals, and thinking about the year ahead is futile given what we experienced this past year in which plans were dashed and goals went unmet. Or you may just be sick of making goals because that is something we do everyday for our patients. I understand that sentiment well and commiserate with you! But the goals we write are all for other people and not your personal life.
Yet, I believe there is still value in setting some goals for the upcoming year. So, I want to encourage you to set some goals for the 2021 year in four different categories. These are categories that I’ve been thinking about and categories in which I will set some goals. This way, we can encourage each other.
A Spiritual Goal. Most of us will likely create and write down some spiritual goals. It could be praying more consistently, reading through the Bible in a year, doing a specific in-depth study, or memorizing a certain number of passages. You would do well to do this! Your personal faith walk will benefit greatly. But, I would encourage you to also make an evangelism goal for all of your time in the clinic with patients. Maybe it’s a goal to pray with four patients over the course of the year (1 patient every quarter.) Or Maybe it’s a goal to share the gospel with 1-2 patients as the Lord leads over the course of the year. If it’s your first time setting a goal like this, start small like the examples. If this is a practice you regularly incorporate then add to it and let’s see what God does was with these goals.
A Reading Goal. I didn’t alway used to read a bunch but many years ago I was challenged with a book reading plan and I decided to set a goal of 6 books per year or about 1 book for every 2 months. I found this goal to be very attainable. And the cool thing with this goal is it can be any kind of book! I personally enjoy biographies, christian discipleship books, histories, and leadership books. But there are also good books about physical therapy that give us good food for thought to enhance our practice. If you need a good starting point, I would encourage you to pick up a copy of “Rehab The World.” It’s a short, easy to read book that will not only help you in your daily practice but also get you to think about your work place as a mission field. Point being, there is so much to learn and we need to recapture the love of learning through books.
A Professional Goal. Not only would be this a good idea for your career advancement but also for general knowledge of our field and healthcare business writ large. Maybe you could find a PT management course or an introductory to healthcare business class. Maybe you could work out an apprenticeship with management in your facility. But as our field continues to expand and develop it is important to make sure we understand all of the back end work, if you will, of clinic operations, insurance, management, and leadership in the variety of fields in which you work.
An Education Goal. This will be easy because we are always needing CEU’s to maintain our licenses. But try to find a course/class that will really impact your practice and make you a better clinician no matter the field of PT in which you work. We always want to be practicing at the highest level for our patients sake.
As you think about the year ahead and goal setting, always make sure that your goals are attainable and tailored to you, your clinic setting, and your interests. Happy goal setting!