Goal setting

You might instinctively think of SMART goals when it comes to goal setting. The SMART process helps you form systematic goals which makes developing an action plan easier.

If SMART goals are new to you, you’ll pick up on the notion pretty fast.

Specific – A precise goal helps to clarify exactly what you want to achieve

Measurable – Quantifying helps you know when you’ve reached your target

Achievable – Don’t be afraid to stretch your abilities (reach for the stars!). But be (somewhat) realistic too

Relevant – Does your goal matter to you? Is it worthwhile?

Timely – When is your deadline?

Reach for the stars!


“To increase my caseload to 40-45 patients perweek by June 7”

  • Specific: To increase patient caseload
  • Measurable: 40-45 patients per week
  • Achievable: 8-9 patients per day
  • Relevant: To develop clinical reasoning skills by seeing more patients
  • Timely: By June 7

“To complete ten hours of professional development (PD)in the women’s health field by August 18 (three months away)”

  • Specific: Women’s health
  • Measurable: Ten hours of PD
  • Achievable: Less than one hour of PD per week
  • Relevant: Important for a physio specialising in women’s health
  • Timely: By June 7

Hey, it’s just advice

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom to keep in mind before you get started on your own goals:

– Less is more –

Don’t get carried away planning goal after goal. Set yourself one to start with or maybe two (and no more than three).

– Don’t focus just on the clinical –

Include a non-clinical goal too. This could be centered on improving communication or report writing, for example.

– Think about practical ways you can move towards your goal each day –

You’ll notice a section on the following pages that asks you to jot down the habits that’ll help you achieve your goals.

These depend on your goals. The practices should be easy enough to work into your day.

Here’s an example that ties together what you’ve learnt so far regarding goal setting:

My goal is…

“To increase my caseload to 40-45 patients per week by June 7”

The daily practices that will help me to reach my goal include:

  1. To get my hands on the patient in the first session and take away some or all of their pain in order to build trust
  2. To develop a written management plan after the first appointment with a new patient. This will provide me with direction and it’ll give the patient confidence
  3. To discuss my caseload and re-booking with a senior physiotherapist once a week

Here’s how it might look in your journal:

OK. Now, it’s your turn.

PS. Post your goal pages below for inspiration!

Author: Andrew Cammarano

Andy writes about anything that comes to mind. Oftentimes, he repeats himself. So, if you read a post and ask yourself, "I feel like I've read this before." Chances are you have. Apart from writing, he eats a diet high in peanut butter, he exercises (and suffers from a chafed butt from performing too many sit-ups in pursuit of a six-pack) and comes up with many fantastical ideas, like his peanut butter-based chafe cream. Reach out to him to share your opinions (or if you'd like to become his chafe cream business partner).

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