Goal setting is a powerful tool that research has shown can be highly effective in helping people going through post injury rehab to stay motivated in performing their exercises. However this is only the case if the goals are set up in a proper manner.
It is easy to get bored with many of the exercises that are given to you by a Physical Therapist or Athletic Trainer. Many of them seem tedious and boring, but all of them are important to perform in order to have a full recovery of an injury. Realizing that every exercise serves a purpose in your over-all goal is going to play a pivotal role in motivation.
Now let's discuss how to properly set up goals.
The key to every good goal setting program is that it needs to be S.M.A.R.T.
Specific: State what exactly you want to improve on.
Measurable: A countable change or improvement from where you currently are, most often numerical.
ive yourself some leniency on your goal so that if for some reason you can't achieve your exact goal, you can slightly alter it so that you're still focused on improving yourself.
Realistic: Be honest with yourself. If you set your goals too high then you will become discouraged and probably give up. Also don't sell yourself too short because if your goals don't take much work to achieve then you're not benefiting from your goal setting.
Timely: There needs to be a time frame to make you accountable for how hard you'll have to push yourself to achieve your goal. If you don't have a set time frame then you will continue to put off the steps to helping you reach your goals.
Example of a SMART goal: "I will increase my squat by 15lbs in the next two weeks."
It's specific because I said one aspect of my program that I want to improve on i.e. squats. It's measurable because I gave a numerical change in ability that I want to achieve i.e. 15 lbs. It's adjustable because even if I can't achieve the total 15lbs increase I can adjust the goal to 10lbs or extend the time frame in which to achieve the goal. It is realistic because I am setting an increase in which I know I can achieve or at least strive for without going far beyond my physical capabilities. It is timely because I gave myself a specific time frame to achieve my goal.
You can set goals for any exercise or even all of them. It is important to set up both short and long term goals; long term goals being your over-all motivation and short term goals as the stepping stones to reach that final goal.
I hope this will be a tool in which you can utilize to help you achieve all of your goals, not only in a rehabilitation setting but in all aspects of life.