David Gardiner & Associates 045-853726

It is 2018, and the New Year means resolutions! Weather it is loosing those last 10 pounds, moving more, eating better, quitting smoking or taking charge of your back pain – we all set goals to make 2018 the greatest yet!

However, if by then end of February you find yourself unmotivated and frustrated you not reaching your goals, you are not alone. The reality is that change takes time, and focusing on the end big result can make it seem like we will never achieve our goals.

Goal setting is one of the main focuses in physiotherapy. Studies show that physiotherapists working with patients to set appropriate short-term goals can help patients to to achieve their larger goals and get back to what they enjoy. This approach is not just for physiotherapy though. By setting and meeting these smaller milestones, we can keep are motivation into the New Year and stay on track!

Where to start- make your goals SMART!

S – When setting goals make then SPECIFIC

For example, “ Walking 30 minutes 5 days a week” is more specific then “Moving more”

M – To see if you meet your goals, make then MEASURABLE

For example, using a watch to measure how long you walk for is more measurable then estimating


A – Goals should be challenging but still ATTAINABLE

Studies show that goals what we make that are achievable can help motivate us to keep working towards our goals. However, learning how to set goals takes practice. If you do not achieve your goal do not worry- focus on making your next goal more attainable.

R – Your goal should be RELEVANT to you

For example- do you enjoy swimming? If so, focus on setting a fitness goal focuses on swimming rather then less enjoyed forms of exercise will help to keep us excited to stick with our goals.

T – TIMELY is where our long term and short-term goals come in!

It is important to set goals that have an expiry date that we can work towards! Having short term goals every one to two weeks can build up towards are larger goals that can be weeks to months in the future.


Some of our tips that help reach our goals include

“ I write my goals down in a place I see every day- this way I do not give myself any excuses or chance to forget” – Tara


“ I make weekly goals in order to track and see my progress ”- Colm

“Work to achieve your goals with a friend!”- Emma


By: Tara Moore MISCP




SMART Rehabilitation goals:  Bovend’Eerdit, T. et al. Clinical Rehabilitation, 2009