How To Define Your Rehabilitation Goals

Rehabilitation Goals: What's Yours And Are Your On Track? @occupationaltherapybrisbane

Rehabilitation Goals

Here’s 2 Areas Missing Out Of Most Peoples’ Rehabilitation Goal Planning Efforts.

Are you on track with your goals? Be it for life or rehabilitation goals? Are you achieving the small steps to get where you want to be?

So you’re down on your first month of the year! I don’t know about you but it has flown for me.

But whatever the time is right now for you, are you squeezing the most out of your rehabilitation goals?

I caught myself chuckling at the old Castrol Oils Ain’t Oils ad recently. Don’t ask me why, but it just came to me, ok :).

It prompted my attention about Goals. And the power of the right goals especially for your rehabilitation efforts. Stay with me.

The Goals of rehabilitation will vary form person to person.

The Goals our clients say to us are often specific, very practical and this makes tangible sense. Such as… To be able to hold a cup and drink from it,. Be able to shake a hand., Be able to remember where I am and not get lost in super market.”

But does this inspire and motivate? Will it be the crow-bar to bigger results?

For some people it does, but for most it doesn’t.

1. Rehabilitation Goals To Inspire and Have Meaning

You see it lacks the emotive and time ingredients. How will you feel when xxxx is achieved. Experiencing, imagine-ering,  what it feels like when you achieve X is part of the special sauce of goals.

I worked with a client 6 years after a dense stroke which left her with persistent tone, loss of movement in her arm as well as loss of expressive speech. Her goal, to use his stroke affected arm to drink a beer and to taste the yummy cool Corona beer flavour at Christmas time( 9months) with his family.

There is a lot in this but it has the basics as well as a sensory imagine-ering of the outcome.  As well as time- the when will it be done.

2. When Will You Achieve Your Rehabilitation Goal?

When?  In 1 year or 3 weeks? Parkinson’s Law suggest that for any given time bound period, you’ll find activities to fill it to achieve the desired goal.

For example, how many times have you had a deadline months in advance but inevitably you’re furiously doing the final touches in the 11th hour.

I am finding keeping time tight to a maximum of 90days has really helped my clients to rally their resources to focus on the steps required to achieve their goal, whatever that is.

So, does the term “Rehabilitation Goals Ain’t Rehabilitation Goals” apply? We think so as it is a powerful tool in the recovery process.

You’d appreciate the right goals of rehabilitation are powerful tools along the neuro-recovery and reablement journey. It helps cement a commitment to a course of action. It helps define the tools and resources needed to achieve a goal.

The Rehabilitation Goal- determines the tasks and the tasks determines the team and tools. Have you got the right team and tools in place? That’s for another conversation.

If you’re on the neuro- rehab journey here’s other information that people found helpful.

  1. Recovery After A Stroke One Year (Plus) Later: 6 Resources For Your Recovery One Year (Plus) After A Stroke Years after a stroke, is it too late to improve? Recovery after stroke is commonly a long journey.
  2. Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms: 7 Resources To Help You Get Up To Speed About What Are Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms.
  3.  2 clinical literature pieces with a focus of rehabilitation goals.
    1. Patient centered goal-setting in a subacute rehabilitation setting.  This article offers a multidisciplinary view of goal setting.
    2. A 2011 systematic review of rehabilitation goal setting following a stroke: A systematic review and synthesis of the quantitative and qualitative evidence behind patient-centred goal setting in stroke rehabilitation.

Contact us today on 1300 783 200 to discuss your personal situation and see if we may be able to assist you with your rehabilitation goals.


The Occupational Therapy Blog is a news and health promotion initiative.  It by no means aims to be a source of medical or therapeutic advice. The information contained on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, or intervention.  Always seek the advice of your GP or qualified therapist with any questions you may have regarding your personal situation. Never substitute or delay seeking professional advice because of information you’ve read on this website.

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