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Setting Goals


Updated May 23, 2005

Goals and Rehab:

Setting goals is the best way to achieve a successful rehabilitation outcome. When starting physical therapy, you must think what is it that you want to accomplish at the end of your program. Goals are often very individualized, but then again so is the rehabilitation process. Once you have set your goals, it is important to sit down with your therapist on the first visit and discuss them together.

Determining Goals:

The goals you set should be ones that are important to you. However, they must also be realistic and attainable. If you do not abide by this rule, then you will be disappointed in your rehabilitation program as well as the outcome.

How to Set Goals:

After determining your goals, these should be described as your long term goals, the goals that you want to achieve at the end of your therapy. Then, make several short term goals that will help you achieve your long term goal. For example, if at the end of therapy your long term goal is to walk 200 feet without an assistive device, make 2 short term goals of: 1) walking 200 feet with a cane, then 2) walking 100 feet without an assistive device.

Time Frame:

Your therapist will help you determine an appropriate time frame for achieving your goals. This also should be within a realistic time frame and will depend on the gains that you make during your rehabilitation program.
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