January 11, 2019

S.M.A.R.T Goals

Author: Dr. Michelle Steege

It’s 2019! The beginning of a new year. The gym is busier than usual; people are eating a little healthier; and a New Year’s Resolution has at least crossed your mind. Making change is hard! It takes time and dedication. But there are ways to set yourself up for success.

Setting goals is a huge part of making a change and making it stick. Having a few short-term goals that move you toward your long-term goal will increase the likelihood of success. Another tip? Write your goals down and tell someone else to hold yourself accountable. Additionally, make sure your goals are SMART goals!

SMART is an acronym for: specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

  • Specific: Try not to make the goal too broad. The more precise it is the more likely you are to stick to it. Instead of saying that you’ll exercise more, say what type of exercise you’ll do.
  • Measurable: Make sure you have a meaningful and motivating target. Maybe that’s being able to run a 10K instead of just saying you’ll run more.
  • Attainable:  Is it possible?? You want to set goals that are challenging but also achievable, this is especially important for short term goals as they can help give you motivation to keep working towards your long term goal.
  • Relevant: Is the goal meaningful to you? It should be worthwhile, as you will likely be spending time and energy to accomplish your goal.
  • Time-bound: Give yourself a time frame and stick to it!

As a physical therapist, understanding a client’s goals is one of the most important pieces of information we can gather. The entire plan of care will concentrate on determining how we can achieve these goals. This is also part of what makes two people with the same injury have a plan that may look completely different. This, my friends, is what patient-centered care looks like!


Dr. Michelle Steege

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” —Orison Swett Marden