A Therapist’s New Year’s Resolution

Posted on December 28th, 2012 by Denise | No Comments

A Therapist’s New Year’s Resolution


Denise Koonce OTR

It is truly hard to believe that 2013 is almost here.  I despise, yet I agree, with the old adage of “Just wait ‘til you get older and see how fast time flies.”  Well I’m older and I do not like how fast the years go by now.  Regardless, a new year is almost here and it will provide us with an opportunity for a fresh start.  A New Year provides a designated moment to evaluate and reflect on where we have been and where we want to go next and for some, it includes making a New Year’s resolution.  According to history, the act of making a New Year’s resolution began in pre-Christian time with the Babylonians.  However, they used the month of March to signify the beginning of the year.  Later Julius Caesar, after creating the Julius calendar which we use today, started the calendar year in January.  The act of creating a New Year’s resolution has continued for centuries and was meant to encourage the better use of one’s self and talents or for self improvement.  Below I have listed some ideas or areas which can offer you an opportunity to grow and improve in your professional life. 

Continuing Education

There are so many wonderful continuing education opportunities available now throughout the year.  Some come to our community and some we have to travel to attend.  Plan ahead this year and determine which area of practice you need new information on or additional advanced training.  Determine your top three areas or choices and check the websites of the organizations which provide the course you are interested in and see where and when it is being offered.   If it is not coming to your community, call the organization and see if they have interest in providing a course where you live but just have not done so.  If you have to travel to the course find a couple of other therapists interested in the same topic and travel together therefore lowering your overall cost.


Mentoring is your opportunity to give back and there are always ways to mentor.  You can agree to supervise various levels of students at your place of employment.  You can encourage teenagers who show interest in your profession by inviting them to work with you for a day.  Supervise high school students who are seeking volunteer hours  in areas that are of interest to them, as they may chose to become a therapist someday.    

Join a State or National Professional Organization

If you have never joined either your state or national professional organization, maybe this year is the year to do so.  Plan ahead so you can budget the cost.  You can also join a multitude of other therapy and medical related organizations such as American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association, or the Down Syndrome Association just to mention a few.  

Volunteer for a Committee or Board Position of a Therapy Related Organization

Volunteer your time and talents by participating on a committee or board position for your local, state or national professional organization.  If your heart pulls you more towards a specific patient population then volunteer for one of the numerous non-profit organizations which supports and assists that population such as Autism Speaks, or one of the organizations mentioned above.

Professional Speaking Opportunities

Speak to your peers at your place of employment regarding an area of expertise you may have, or submit an application to speak at your local therapy organization, state conference, or specialty conference.  You can also speak at a diagnosis specific parent/family support group.  Provide a lecture or lab class at a nearby university which offers your professional degree.

Please consider as you contemplate areas in your personal life, the areas in your professional life which you can build on.  I hope for each of you a full and engaging 2013 and may your professional New Year’s resolution reflect the best use of your time and talent.  It is also known that if you share your New Year’s resolutions with someone you will have accountability and therefore a greater chance of success.  So, please share with us some of your professional New Year’s resolutions and Happy New Year!!!!!

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