Yes, I know that it’s a Physiotherapy business blog, but hear me out. What I am about to tell you might change your entire life. And no, we are not talking about biomechanics (the physics of physiotherapy). We will talk about inertia. Somewhere along your educational journey, you might have heard about Newton. He was the man who got hit by an apple sitting under a tree and came up with the concept of gravity. Well, he came up with three more fundamental physics laws, Newton’s laws, and one of them is inertia. I won’t bore you with the details but the essence of it is that there is a natural tendency for objects to keep doing what they are doing. Hold on. Why all this talk about inertia? Because… you are subject to inertia of your habits on a daily basis. If you tend to hit that snooze button and refuse to listen to the shrill of your friendly alarm clock, you will continue to do that. If you have a healthy habit of exercising, you will generally keep it up despite the circumstances in your life.
In order to become a successful physiotherapist and manage your practice/business, you have to establish great habits early on in your career and your life. If you do that, Newton has your back the rest of the way with inertia. Great habits tend to attract great results and once you are in a positive spiral, there is nothing stopping you from achieving your goals. What habits should you develop? Read on to find out the top 3 areas to invest your resources.
1) Invest in your health
Regular sleep, proper nutrition and consistent exercise will lay down the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately for us, there are only 24 hours in the day to get all of our endless tasks done. Aaand… we need a third or fourth of the day to sleep to recharge. Just like food and water, our bodies must get proper sleep for optimal energy. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that we need to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day. Getting less sleep or even more sleep provides us with adverse health effects like weakened immunity, trouble concentrating and weight gain. Also, we have to keep in mind that sleep REM cycles occur in 1.5 hour intervals. This means that you will wake up more energized at the end of a REM interval. By that logic, 7.5 or 9 hours would be ideal. Now, lets bring it back to our conversation about habits. To have the most control over your sleep, you have to take the numbers stated above and put yourself on a regular bed time and wake time. Doing this consistently will allow your body to adapt its circadian rhythm to this pattern and you will be running like clockwork, literally.
To keep this section simple, I am going to lay down for you the same piece of advice my professor of Nutrition taught me. He said, if you follow the rule of “everything in moderation”, you can never go wrong from a nutrition standpoint. This means that your meal plate has to contain some colour from fruits and vegetables for optimal minerals and vitamins. It also needs to contain carbohydrates (ideally complex ones), fats (ideally polyunsaturated) and protein (ideally lean). That seems like one massive plate but what we are talking about is components of a meal.
All physiotherapists are experts on exercise and movement. So, let’s keep this section short and sweet. In the words of a famous actor, Shia Lebeouf, “Just do it!”. I do not know if he got the permission of Nike for that slogan but the message is powerful. If a big component of our profession is based on it, why not benefit from our own advice.
2) Invest in your vision
Brandon Bruchard speaks about the importance of clarity as one of his 9 key habits in an excellent book called “High Performance Habits”. Keeping your sights on what you want to achieve as a physiotherapist and more importantly as an individual, is crucial. Start with outlining your dreams. This is where you can have fun! Writing them down on paper actually materializes these dreams. Now that you’ve written them, outline an action plan on how to achieve these dreams. Make sure that these goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely), so that you can track your progress. If this works for your patients, it will work for you too. Once you have your goals, think of the ONE most important step you need to take to achieve them. According to the Paretto Principle, 80% of your gains come from 20% of your action. That’s why looking for one major action is going to keep you focused and move you towards your goals. The last and most important step is to actually execute what you have planned. Without execution, nothing will ever be accomplished and your dreams will remain just that, dreams.
3) Invest in quality relationships
It is strange to think about the concept I am about to introduce because we are all unique individuals with our own ability to live as we choose fit. However, Peter Voogd said it best when he stated that, you are the product of the five closest people in your network. If your network consists of people who love to exercise, you will likely start to exercise as well. If your network is made up of top performers, you are either a top performer yourself or you will become one in the near future. This is a phenomenon that fascinates me but it has been proven time and time again, even in my own experiences. When you are looking to achieve something great no matter what that entails, reach out to the best in that field. Many people are intimidated to take up an “important” person’s time. However, the worst case is that they do not return your email, social media message or phone call. What’s the big deal? Then, you can assume what you were already thinking: they are too busy. If your message gets returned, you have just made in-roads with a high performing and well established individual who may be glad to help you due to the fact that you took the initiative to reach out. Build your top 5 relationships with care and surround yourself with people who will challenge you to get better every day.