Excuses are worthless! 5 ways to stay on task and stop making excuses!

Anyone who knows me realizes that I hate excuses! I really just have no tolerance for excuses. My kids always have excuses, especially my son. Now I realize he is only 9, but at some point he has to realize that just isn’t going to fly. He never seems to admit when he is wrong or that he didn’t do something to the best of his ability. There is just always an excuse with him. I get the same thing from some of my patients as well. What’s the reason that you couldn’t seem to find time to do your home program that I worked so hard setting forth for you? “Well, I had a long day and I couldn’t seem to find my exercises that you gave me.” Well, we all know that isn’t true because I use an exercise app that I have you download in the clinic so that you always have access to it. WRONG! Try again! Or the best is… “I had no idea I was supposed to do this stuff at home?” All typical answers that I deal with all the time. In general, I have a pretty good understanding from my patients but I still get the occasional excuse on why things just didn’t happen. I decided to put together a list a list of just 5 things that you can do to try and stay on task and stop making excuses. This goes for everything not just for physical therapy related home exercise programs.

Set goals, 1 month, 3 month, 1 year, 3 year etc…

I have always been a procrastinator! When I was in school I would wait until that last possible minute to get things done. I still procrastinate from time to time. Up until recently I never really set goals for myself. I would say I wanted to do something specific, but rarely accomplish it because I would never give myself a timeline to finish it. Try to set goals for yourself. They can be weekly, monthly or even yearly. If you have a fitness goal set a date and try to reach it that way. You would be surprised when you just set a date on something how much easier it is to make it.

Focus on one task at a time

Sometimes we get so ambitious that we have 4-5 things going on at once and we never put our full attention into one of them. If you have 2 or 3 goals that’s fine, but try to stick to one at a time and it will make your life a lot easier.

If you have questions find someone that can answer them, ex. A mentor

Chances are you are going to have questions at some point. We drive ourselves crazy trying to find the answers! My suggestion is to ask someone that has been there before. Find a mentor that can guide you through the process. If it’s a fitness journey, find a physical therapist, Crossfit coach, nutritionist or personal trainer. If it’s something career related find a mentor that will show you the ropes.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Things are going to happen and they are going to make you upset. Failure will happen, but count this as a learning experience and move on. Try to become stronger from it and use that as fuel to take you to the next level.

Just say F$#@ it and go for it!

At this point you just have to stop bullshitting yourself and go for it! Stop the excuses already and just say “F” it! Like I said above failure will happen at some point, but so what. This should just drive you to want to do more. Be better and prove to yourself that you are not just full of excuses!


Do you have a mentor? If not…get one!

Do you have a mentor Nick? That was a question that a colleague asked me a year out of school. At first I thought why would I need a mentor? I had just gotten out of PT school over a year ago, and I was doing just fine. What do people need mentors for? At the time I was the typical 1 year removed PT that thought I was going to fix the world of all of it’s musculoskeletal problems! I was going to cure everybody! I felt that I worked with a few other PT’s so if I had a question I could just run it by them. Although I did have a few really good clinicians that I worked with, they still were not the mentor type. They hadn’t been through it all yet. They had questions just like I did about things in the PT world. They didn’t know about the other aspects such as business, marketing, patient acquisition and patient retention. At the time I had only one desire and that was to work hard and get every patient I saw better. That worked well for a while, but just like a lot of PT’s in my field you grow to want something more. You want to be more involved, make more money and you don’t want to get burned out.

I see this a lot with PT’s just out of school or 2 – 3 years in. They feel they know it all and are already set in their ways. The biggest problem they have is that they have no guidance. They graduate and get a job, but are never really on the track to set them up for success the way they should be. They work and work trying to prove their worth. They work late hours and come in early seeing way too many patients and wonder what they are doing wrong when they don’t feel rewarded or appreciated. The problem they usually run into is that all they know is to treat patients…that’s it! They have no one showing them what this great profession has to offer. We are all set up to come out of school and treat patients, but never shown that we can do this on our own. So what can we do in order to prepare us for this? Get a MENTOR!

Getting a mentor was never on my radar. I have been practicing as a PT going on 12 years and up until 10-12 months ago I still had no idea that I needed one. One day I was thumbing through Facebook feeds and a sponsored ad caught my attention. So I clicked on it. I watched a 5-10 minute video of this PT in a super hero shirt talking about the profession that I love. He was so passionate with his words. You could tell he loved what he did and he loved to help others. After the video was over I thought I need to check this guy out some more. So I found him on his professional page on Facebook and started watching all his videos on there. I found his website and did the same thing. I then went to Periscope, a live streaming social media app and found him there. I started following him daily listening to his words of wisdom, advice, dos and don’ts and anything and everything I could listen to. I became obsessed with his content. He just made so much sense. It was like I had been looking for someone, but I had no clue that I needed him. It just so happened that he has this online course called Smart Success PT. It is geared to help Physical Therapists leverage their careers. So I started researching those as well. It took me 7- 8 months of following him until the night before his next course was going to launch. I had this feeling like I had to buy this course! You know when you get that certain feeling like this just feels right? Well I had that feeling that whole week leading up to the launch. So I told my wife I’m going to buy this course and I don’t get reimbursed from the company for it, but I just have this feeling I have to take it. She without question said get it! So I did and I was blown away! This course is by far the best investment I have ever made for my career. It not only has changed the way I practice, it’s changed my entire mindset about what we as a profession need to do to survive. I have done so much in the past 4 months that I never thought possible! I have changed the way I approach patients, I have changed my day to day outlook on things, I have worked on my personal development and mindset. I would have never thought I would have my own website, or my own blog, but now I do! I have learned the business aspect of PT and understand how salaries are set. I have recently signed a contract to consult with a tele-health company and I owe it all to my mentor and this course. I could go on and on about all the things that I have learned and done it’s really amazing how this has changed me. This guy, this mentor that I am referring to is Greg Todd! I really wish I would have met him 10 years ago. I wonder what I would have been able to accomplish if I had. He is the true definition of a mentor! He cares about each and every one of his students and wants you to succeed. He is now there for me when I need him. He has been through it all and has the advice that most are looking for. If you follow him you have no choice but to rise up!

Having a mentor is a game changer! I’m not just talking about one for PT. I feel that all professions need one. Who are you going to go to when you need advice or guidance? A mentor is meant to help you make the right decisions. They use their experiences to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes as they did. They are supportive, nurturing, protective and give you honest feed back. In my opinion everyone should have a mentor. My career is forever changed because I decided that I needed one. Thank you Greg Todd!
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