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How to Successfully Set Goals

As we’ve talked about in the past, many people are not set up to succeed with their physical therapy treatment plan.  The best way to succeed is to be consistent.  It is actually pretty simple:  Go to your appointments, listen to your therapist, do the exercises, and be patient.  It is four simple “rules” but we constantly see people falter for the same reasons over and over again.

So what is the solution?  How do we set our client up for success? One of the things we do is make goal setting a priority.  What is the patients “why?”  Sometimes it may not always be what they initially say.  For instance, we had a client that hurt their back a few years ago and he wanted to get healthy so his back would stop hurting. Sounds logical, right? Come to find out, he had a 9 year old that was into baseball and he really wanted to play/coach with him.  THAT was his goal. We had to ask a few questions, but being emotionally connected to your “why” should give you that boost and commitment you need to be successful with your program.

Here are our goal setting rules:

  1. Emotionally Connect to Your Goal. Come up with something that is not just on the surface, but something that is important to you.  Whatever your initial goal is, keep asking “why” and it will help you get to the root of it.
  2. Set SMART Goals
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time Bound
  1. Write it down. It has been scientifically proven that when goals are written down there is a higher rate of success. It may help to read the goal daily to keep it at the forefront of your mind.
  2. Action plan. This should be done in cohesion with your therapist. Come up with a plan and then execute on that plan.  Sounds simple right?!

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