Setting Goals

Goal setting involves making an action plan that helps to guide a person towards achieving a goal. It takes account what you want to achieve, the work or support needed to help you get there, and the time needed to achieve it.
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Goal setting can help you in any area of your life. Setting goals is an important part of seeking funding for prosthetics, assistive technology and other supports you might need to live an active, independent, safe and fulfilling life.

Who can help you to set goals?

In the early stages following an amputation, you may need assistance from your healthcare team to help you to set your goals. Your team will work with you to help you to achieve your goals.

It’s a good idea to write goals down so that you don’t forget! The Amputee Diary is a good resource to help you do this.

What are the benefits of setting goals?

  • To help you to define a clear pathway ahead
  • To be in control of what you are aiming for
  • To guide your team so that they can give you the help you need
  • To plan how to achieve certain tasks and work out how long each task may take
  • To help keep you motivated
  • To help you measure your improvement

What are SMART Goals?

Setting effective goals can be made easier by following a goal setting tool. One type of a goal setting tool is the SMART goal tool. ‘SMART’ are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Resourced and Realistic
  • Time sensitive

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 2021 (time sensitive and achievable) without my walking stick (specific) so that I can walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding”.
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Time-bound goals

Goals that have a time frame around them usually come as three types. An explanation of these can be found below.

Short-term goals

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.

Medium-term goals

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.

Long-term goals

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 healthcare team.