More than 100 million Americans resolve to make changes each new year. And while some of us stumble along the way, plenty more enjoy coming up with—and actually following through on—ideas for self-improvement. Need a jumpstart for a successful 2017? We recently surveyed some select rehab therapy professionals to get a pulse on their goals for the year. Here’s what they had to say.

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Asia Giuffrida

Office Manager at Gilford Physical Therapy & Spine Center

Rather than continue to arbitrarily go through the motions, Asia Giuffrida, office manager at Gilford Physical Therapy & Spine Center, said she hopes to better understand the “why” behind her decisions and actions in 2017. “My goal with each passing year, both personally and professionally, is to understand rather than just do,” she said. “It's too easy to get into a habit of doing everything by rote, whether that's how we interact with others or how we perform our jobs.”

Giuffrida says she’ll also make it a point to look inward about how her day-to-day work impacts others, not just herself. It’s a reminder, she says, that the learning process never truly ends. That means stopping and asking herself lots of questions. “Why is it important to do my job well? Who does it affect? Why did this person react this way? What does this code mean, and how is it different than that one?” she said. “[This process] has a twofold effect: it keeps the wheels turning and is humbling, because it reminds you that you'll never know everything!”

Michelle Underhill

SLP at Northern Colorado Therapy Services, LLC

For Michelle Underhill, a speech language pathologist at Northern Colorado Therapy Services, LLC, 2017 is all about challenging herself to pick up new skills and ensuring she has the proper work-life balance to achieve personal and professional goals. Specifically, Underhill wants to:

  1. Learn a specific new skill that she’s been hesitant to explore and that will increase her knowledge and ability as a SLP.
  2. Be intentional about listening to her personal needs (i.e., take better care of herself by not allowing “the urgent” to rule her decision-making).

Julie Freeman

PT at Columbia Rehabilitation

Julie Freeman, a physical therapist at Columbia Rehabilitation in Columbia, Mississippi, said she hopes to adopt a cash-only billing system in 2017 as a way to help her patients reach their goals more efficiently. As for her personal life, Freeman said she wants to carve out enough time to exercise three days a week. (We wish you good luck, Julie!)

Samantha Ignasiak

Billing and Office Manager at Greendale Physical Therapy

Getting out of the office and clearing your mind of work can be difficult, to say the least. Most of us are guilty of checking email on our smartphones or finishing up last-minute to-dos over the weekend. But Samantha Ignasiak, billing and office manager at Greendale Physical Therapy, hopes to restore her work-life balance this year by not checking her email while on vacation. (Please lend us some useful tips, Samantha!)

Brian Hartz

Owner of Hartz Physical Therapy

Brian Hartz, owner of Hartz Physical Therapy, has quite an ambitious plan for 2017—for both himself and his staff. Hartz’s top goals include:

  1. Presenting at a professional conference.
  2. Expanding his PT practice with a fourth office.
  3. Giving back to the community (specifically, he would like his staff members to volunteer 1,000 hours of community service).

On a personal level, Hartz said he hopes to train for an open-water swim event.

Donna De Leon

Biller at Endeavor Rehab Center

Donna De Leon’s New Year’s resolution is simple: “Live life to the fullest without regret.”


What resolutions do you have for 2017? What steps will you take to achieve these resolutions—and how will you ensure you stick to them when any issues or obstacles arise? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and keep us posted on your progress! Happy New Year!

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