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Setting and Achieving Goals

Hey all!

I'm sure over the lockdown break you all had plenty of time to yourselves. Hopefully you used this to freshen up mentally, getting some much needed rest. But hopefully you also got the chance to rest up physically, smashing out some rehab to take care of those injuries or little niggles you have. Or maybe you used it to just take a complete break and to get a bit of load off your daily routine.

During lockdown I had a lot of time to reflect on the first 6 months of the year and see whether I was on track to achieve the goals I set out for myself at the start of this year. But after a week off it can be difficult to get back into routine and also find motivation to get started again. So how can goals help us to keep our motivation high but also assist us in achieving our desired outcomes?

Why is it important to set goals?

Goals are important to help keep yourself focused on a task and continue doing certain things. They are a source of motivation that ultimately we need whenever we are attempting to complete something whether that be long or short-term.

What type of goals are there?

Generally, there are both short and long-term goals. Long term goals are likely our desired outcome that we want to achieve. An example of this could be returning to play football in 12 months after an ACL reconstruction. Short-term goals are goals we use to achieve our long-term goals, these are set to guide us towards our end achievement. An example could be to begin running 2 months after an ACL reconstruction. These short-term goals help to maintain motivation over a long period to ultimately achieve our long-term goal.

How do we set efficient goals?

I'm sure many of you have heard about SMART goals. This is the easiest form of goal setting that can be used. So what are SMART goals?

  • S = Specific - Specific to what you want to achieve

  • M = Measurable - You are able to measure and see your progress towards reaching your goal.

  • A = Achievable - Your goals need to be achievable to your ability.

  • R = Relevant - Your goals are relevant to your desired outcome

  • T = Time-Related - Your goal will be achieved in a certain amount of time.

By using these 5 specific points you can make it easier for you to achieve the goals you want to achieve. Using this smart process can provide a clear direction to achieve your desired outcome. But also it can improve your ability to achieve your goals as it places a time-limit or completion date on when it should be achieved.

How can goals be used in our rehab?

As a physiotherapist I use goals with nearly all of my clients who are undertaking long rehab-processes. Any long or short-term injury should always use goals as stepping stones to know when to progress your program but also to maintain motivation to keep performing rehab.

As you can see, goal setting is an extremely important process and should be used throughout your life. Whether it be for work, hobbies or even daily life. You should take your time when setting goals, they shouldn't be rushed and should be meaningful to you. In the long-term they can help significantly to achieve things you may have thought impossible!

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