Personal goal setting

The focus of each day has outcomes that we each need to achieve. These vary significantly as we age due to us being involved in different environments and different relationships. Stable goals that require daily attention are about managing our health and wellbeing. Yet these goals are incredibly broad. Yet they are also incredibly simple. Yet they are not. Showering each day can be a nightmare when your body reacts negatively to the soap, to the shampoo, to the water pressure or lack there of because of the plumbing where you live. Brushing your teeth can be uncomfortable or something that you focus so intently on because of hidden discomfort in your mouth or others having commented on bad breath before and the repercussions because of that. When do you shower? Its a simple thing. Yet its not. Does the medication that your on make you feel tired so that the heat in your bathroom which isn’t well ventilated causes you to be even more tired. Or it is that showering means that its nearly time for bed and you don’t want to go to bed because you struggle each night to fall asleep so at least if you’re ‘up’ and doing other things you’re not thinking about how bad it is and how much you struggle to get to sleep and will this ever end. Oh yes, and you’re body is really uncomfortable when you lie down too. So, if we go back to the original concept. What did you plan to achieve today? Think of it in different pathways. There are the things that have to get done and the things that we would like to get done. We design and set up our environments to make it easier for us to do these things. We limit the inclusion of things that would interfere or make our list of things to do take longer or if they would make it more challenging. Problem solving and planning require the ability to understand the sequence of steps that need to be completed and then to actively have control over the who, when, what, how etc of getting them done. Automatic pilot is helpful because it frees up time to think about other things. So the towels are kept in the same place. The shoes are kept in the same place or socks in the same drawer. Yet what if they’re not. What if things don’t have time to be packed away? What if the demands on each day are so great because there are simply too many of them. Or what if the demands of the day are simply too high a demand for the body to cope with. How to you adjust? what goals do your prioritise versus what do you ask for help with versus what do you give up on and pretend that they’re not important anymore yet you know that they are? Shifting goals based on demands that change is an essential part of Occupational Therapy intervention for any individual.