Goal-Setting Practice That Works

William J. Cioffredi, PT - FounderNew Year’s resolutions: most of us make them, and many fade by the first few months or even weeks. In our work, throughout the year, our purpose is to help people achieve their goals. We track every client, and our percentages are pretty high on helping people hit their target. This kind of goal-setting practice has reached beyond my professional life, and while I don’t profess to have great wisdom on the topic, I can tell you what has worked for me personally.

It’s pretty simple, and involves three steps.

1. Make your ‘resolution’ a specific goal that you can achieve. It’s something you can complete and is done. If your resolution is to exercise three times a week, that’s something you do—not an end result. What is your purpose with the exercise? For example, if you’d like to be able to spend a week exploring the coast with your grandkids in August or bike the Prouty in July, now you’ve created a purpose for exercising three times a week. When people come to us for help and we ask them what they want to accomplish with our treatment, oftentimes their response is something like, “reduce my pain and feel stronger.” While these kinds of responses are understandable, often one of our first tasks is to help the person identify the real purposes behind their goals (lifting their child, carrying groceries, stacking firewood?). Continue reading