Goal setting: What’s the big deal? – Lauren Turner AEP

set goal, make plan, work, stick to it, reach goal – a success concept presented with colorful sticky notes

When making any change in regime; one key to success is setting appropriate goals. The main reasoning for this is to outline a pathway to accomplish the original reason for the change. Specifically, when waning to start an exercise regime, there are many reasons to set goals not only for the person making the change but also the practitioner helping to accomplish the end result.

From a practitioner’s point of view, by setting clear and outlined goals allows the exercise program to become client-centred. This means that the exercises program prescribed can be tailored specifically to work towards what the client hopes to achieve through the intervention. Creating better outcomes and a more successful exercise program.

In addition, providing client focused goals allows progress to be tracked. Through the development of goals, the supporting practitioner can select appropriate physical assessments that best represent the physical elements required to achieve the outlined goals. This can be useful information for the practitioner when developing a program as they can highlight areas were the client may lack (eg; balance, strength, endurance) and when retesting the assessment throughout the course of the intervention; adapt the program accordingly. 

Most importantly by setting goals and being able to track progress, can help to enhance and reinforce motivation throughout the intervention. As goal setting is similar to outlining stepping stones on a pathway to the ultimate end goal, it can provide reassurance that your objectives are being met and providing feelings of satisfaction when each stepping stone goal is met, particularly if the ultimate goal may take a long time to achieve.

When starting to develop goals that are appropriate for you, firstly you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What would you like to change?
  2. Why would you like to change it?
  3. How are you going to achieve this?
  4. Where would you like to be in the next few months?
  5. Where would you like to be in the next year/s?

Setting goals is a useful process when taking on a change in routine. It can help design the appropriate intervention, track progress and reinforce motivation and adherence. If there is something you would like to change or implement into your daily life give goal setting a go.