The importance of goal setting
The importance of goal setting
So, you made the important first step of seeking help and getting a neuropsychological assessment, and up next comes the neurorehabilitation. One important aspect of this neurorehabilitation is goal setting, which can have a drastic impact on the effectiveness of your treatment. Goal setting is used to direct rehabilitation towards specific outcomes, that are achievable and meaningful. By setting these goals, you are inciting the belief that you are able to change your behaviour, which can therefore instil a sense of motivation, building up a positive base for your recovery. The goals should be decided by you, guided by our team of experienced clinicians, and will explore exactly what you want to achieve and how everyone can work together to achieve this goal.
During a neuropsychological assessment, our team will be able to identify areas that you perform particularly well in, and also areas that you are struggling with. By identifying these difficulties, we have a great starting point for your neurorehabilitation, as we can see what we need to focus on. By being as specific as possible when setting your goals, we can also explore a potential timeframe for achieving this goal, as this can increase motivation and allows your goals to be monitored.
When thinking of potential goals to set, the acronym SMART is often used, standing for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timed. This means that you want to clearly define your goal, in a way that allows for it to be consistently measured. It is also important to be realistic, and make sure that your goal is possible, rather than aiming too high to begin with. Relevant focuses on ensuring that your goal is important to you, and that it will have an effect on your quality of life, while timed focuses on setting the timeframe mentioned earlier. By following this goal setting system, you have an increased likelihood of your goal being successful and creating a positive impact on your daily life.
Reiterating the importance of your goal being achievable, our neuropsychologists will encourage your main goals to be broken into smaller steps, creating more achievable small goals. This will allow you to reach your goal in a stepping-stone like manner, rather than trying to take a big leap and feeling overwhelmed. For example, if you are struggling with social anxiety and your main goal is being able to attend a party, you are much more likely to succeed if you break down this goal into smaller subsets. One smaller goal could be going to a café with a friend, and practising breathing techniques to ease your anxiety there. Once that has been achieved and repeated a few times, you could move up a level and do something that is slightly trickier for you. With time, you will find your smaller goals have allowed you to build up the confidence to achieve your main goal.
At the London Neurocognitive Clinic, we believe that goal setting is crucial for providing effective treatment and supporting individuals on a case-by-case basis, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch!