Five reasons why goal-setting is important for seniors
GOAL. This four-letter word has been used by us all at some stage of our life.
What is a goal?
One of the simplest definitions of the word “goal”, as defined in the dictionary, is “an aim or purpose”. A goal is a target for achieving a particular result. In fact, we rely on goals every day without even realising it. This leads us to conscious and subconscious goals.
We all have created a conscious goal at some point in our life. Most of the time, however, our goals are subconscious.
Conscious goals are ones that we have put great thought and consideration into, for example, saving for the holiday of a lifetime, your dream wedding or that retirement adventure you’ve had your eye on. These are conscious goals because you have actively thought about every detail needed to make it happen.
For example, in the case of that retirement adventure, you would have thought about all the beautiful and interesting places you would like to visit. The famous landmarks you would like to explore; the new and exotic meals you would like to try, tours you would like to be part of and “pocket-money” for souvenirs, gifts and other unexpected expenses you would like to account for before working out a budget and time-frame for this savings and holiday plan. It is a well thought-out plan and takes time and effort to achieve.
Subconscious goals are ones that we don’t realise we are making and over time become a habit – for example, making meals for yourself at a particular time each day. Or getting ready for an appointment that you need to be at.
At The Physio Co we set memorable and achievable goals every day with our clients.
It is a task that can easily be overlooked. Why is it important to set goals, you may ask?
Here are 5 reasons why setting a goal is important
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar
- Goals create focus
Goals are like road maps. If you don’t have one, you are travelling aimlessly. Having a goal in mind allows your brain to subconsciously “be on the lookout” for everything that will help support your goal. If you want to get into the science of it all, search online for “the role of the reticular activating system (RAS)”. Having a goal streamlines your centre of attention so you focus only on what is important and avoid wasting effort on activities and tasks that will not lead you to your desired result.
- Goals measure progress
By having a goal, you are working towards a desired result. One way of knowing that you are achieving your goals is to measure your progress. The most relatable example is one of weight loss. Body measurements and photographs are usually taken at the start of a weight-loss challenge and compared with what has been achieved at the end. By measuring your progress, you know if you are on the right track towards achieving your goal and can then tweak your activities as needed to make progress. This could be a goal of walking 1000 more steps each day and having only one sweet treat (so you are getting back to healthy eating and physical activity) because last week you had a several catch-ups with friends, eating cake and biscuits over tea.
- Goals help you avoid procrastination
When you set yourself a goal, you make yourself accountable. This is different from tasks based on a whim because it doesn’t matter then if you complete the task or not. Goals stick to your mind and are like alarm clocks that remind you to do activities that will help you stay on track towards your goal because you now have deadlines and a result in mind.
- Goals keep you motivated
Goals fuel motivation and drive. It is like rocket fuel to help propel you forward in life. By setting a goal, you give yourself a concrete end point to aim for and get excited about.
For example, at the 10-week mark of a weight-loss challenge, you are tempted to have a whole slice of cheesecake. Having measured your progress over the past few weeks, you can see that your healthy habits have led you to drop 8kg and you are a lot closer to fitting into that pair of pants you want to wear on holiday and now feel fitter and more confident to embark on your next adventure!
- Goals give you a reason to celebrate your achievements
The best bit about setting goals is that when you achieve them you can reward yourself. This keeps the brain hungry for more successes and challenges. Achieving your goals actually increases your self-confidence and improves your mental health and well-being!
At The Physio Co, our physiotherapists are highly skilled in helping older adults create meaningful goals.
Whether it’s a fitness goal or one related to pain management, improving your balance, preparing for a special event such as being able to dance at your granddaughter’s wedding, or to improve strength in your muscles – we can help you streamline your focus. We can tailor a goal to concentrate on your priority so you use your time and energy effectively towards achieving your goals and dreams.
Let us help you give goal-setting a go!
The Physio Co’s team of physiotherapists are available to visit you wherever you call home, and available for online consultations. We are here to help, so get in touch today for more information – please call on 1300 797 793 or email [email protected]
Article written by Esther Ram (TPC physiotherapist)
- The Mind Body College Course Notes – Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)