January Bliss


By Bill Pfister Jr, PT, MPT, CLT

I look forward to January for three reasons. The first reason is because I am guaranteed at least two parties: my birthday and New Year’s Eve. The second reason is the Graham Sessions because they bring together some of the brightest minds in physical therapy and stimulate innovation and creativity in our profession. Third, and just as important as the previous two, is that I get to evaluate a complete year of clinic(s) performance data. The data is designed to answer the simple question of “How did we do?” Or the slightly more complicated question of “How did we do this year compared to last?” These important questions cannot be answered by data alone, but rather interpretation of the data through reflection.

As I reflect on 2014, some of my fondest memories took place at the PPS annual conference. Listening to the sessions at PPS was nourishing to the mind and experiencing the powerful keynote speakers—John O’Leary and Erik Wahl—was enriching to the soul.

Booker T. Washington stated, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, but by the obstacles which he has overcome.” Looking back on both of these keynote speakers’ presentations speaks directly to Washington’s point. They both had to overcome incredible obstacles, had their lives completely disrupted, and through their struggles had a clear vision of what they were supposed to do with their lives. If you did not have the opportunity to attend PPS this year or hear the keynote presentations, I encourage you to research each of these presenters. They both have a way of putting things into perspective that speaks to us all. I left PPS annual conference with a renewed inspiration, motivation, and passion to work tirelessly and to overcome present and future obstacles that threaten our profession and the ability to operate our private practices successfully.

January is a perfect time to re-evaluate and reflect on our health and wellness. Therefore, the focus of this issue is no coincidence. Our health and vitality are composed of several key areas: financial, physical, professional, relational, and spiritual.

  • Financial: Were we fiscally responsible in meeting our financial obligations? What can we do today to improve our financial freedom tomorrow?
  • Physical: Did we invest in our physical health and wellbeing through diet and exercise? Were we the role models that we should be to our patients?
  • Professional: Did we contribute to our profession by supporting it financially, networking, teaching, and/or being educated? Did we grow as business professionals and clinicians?
  • Relational: Did we invest, foster, and further develop existing relationships with colleagues and loved ones? Did we give as much as we took from others?
  • Spiritual: Did we invest time in our spiritual relationships?

These respective areas help define who we are today, and reflection allows us to focus on who we will become tomorrow. By doing so, we can identify what areas we excelled in and in what areas we require more growth to achieve balance. Without balance, we will not truly reach our full personal and professional potential. As business owners and professionals, the demands we put on ourselves for our patients, our employees, our employers, and our families can either foster or disrupt balance in our lives.

I challenge all of us to reflect on 2014 and identify what went well and what requires improvement. Let 2015 be a year to identify our current strengths and weaknesses, as well as a time to create a plan to improve our professional, financial, physical, relational, and spiritual lives. Let’s commit to making 2015 a bigger, better year than 2014.

Happy New Year!


Bill Pfister Jr, PT, MPT, CLT
Assistant Managing Editor, Impact
Director of Meridian Rehabilitation Center|RET Physical Therapy Group
Bill can be reached at billp@retpt.com.