In the early stages following an amputation, you may require assistance from your healthcare team to help you to set your goals. Your team can work with you to help you to achieve your goals.
Setting effective goals can be made easier by following a goal setting system. One type of a goal setting system is the SMART system. ‘SMART’ are goals that are:
Specific: something that is directly related to what you want, and makes it very clear what needs to be achieved.
Measurable: describe what you need to do to achieve this goal.
Achievable: something that is realistic, how much time there is, what resources are available to help you achieve your goal.
Resourced and Realistic: the goal must be important to you and something that is of benefit to you, your family, and your health.
Time sensitive: set a date or target to achieve your goal.
“I want to get physiotherapy sessions (resourced and realistic) to be able to walk 500 metres (specific and measurable) by January 2018 (time sensitive and achievable) without my walking stick (specific) so that I can walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding”.
Goals that have a time frame around them usually come as three types. An explanation of these can be found below.
These goals include the things that you may achieve in a short space of time. For example, when you first get your prosthesis, having the ability to stand up for short periods of time, and/or managing to walk the length of the parallel bars a number of times.
These goals include the things that may take a little longer to achieve. For example, having the ability to walk the length of a corridor and back again with a walking aid, or getting used to walk around safe areas of your house (like the kitchen) without a walking aid.
These goals include things that you will gradually aim to achieve as your confidence with the prosthesis improves over several months. For example, feeling confident enough to walk through a busy shopping centre, using an escalator, going to the supermarket on your own and/or going on a holiday with your family.
If you need help setting goals, seek assistance from your therapist or provider.