Goal setting for stroke recovery is wildly underestimated.
It’s likely that your therapist told you to start with a goal, but you never really understood why. Sure, it’s great for motivation, but no one really talks about how it can improve the quality of your life.
Seriously, it’s that powerful.
In today’s article you’ll learn how your brain behaves towards different goals and how you can use goals to change your behavior and accomplish more.
Understanding the 4 Types of Goals
Every goal that you set during stroke recovery can be categorized into 4 types:
- Important & Urgent
- Important & Not Urgent
- Not Important & Urgent
- Not Important & Not Urgent
The way we behave towards each type of task is greatly different, and understanding this difference is the key to a successful recovery.
The Goal Setting Dilemma
Our brains are wired to tackle Important & Urgent matters. Everything that’s Important & Urgent gets done – always.
But what about the Important & Not Urgent things? These tasks usually take backseat, yet they’re the most important for improving the quality of your life.
Working on improving your balance? It’s important, but not urgent. So you’ll get to it when you feel like it (which could be never). Doing research on stroke prevention? It’s important, but not urgent. So you decide to work on the prevention stuff later (which could be never).
Do you see the pattern? You can greatly benefit from the Important & Not Urgent things, yet we never get around to doing them.
Proper goal setting can end this pattern.
Aside from developing self-discipline, you can get yourself to do these things by making them Urgent.
And you do this by making it a goal.
Why You Really, Really Need to Set Goals
You need to set goals. It’s absolutely essential for your highest recovery.
When we identify our goals (i.e. the Not Urgent things that we need to get around to) and identify a completion date, it makes our brain turn those tasks into something Urgent.
And they’ll get done that way.
So take some time to identify what matters to you. What are your goals? What would make your life better?
Do you want to be able to use your hand again? Do you want to spend more time researching different aspects of stroke recovery?
Whatever your goal is, write it down and pick a date to finish it by.
This way your brain recognizes it as Urgent, and it will get done.
How Goal Setting Can Boost Healing and Happiness
Once you start setting goals for the Important & Not Urgent things in your life, your stroke recovery efforts will start reaping larger benefits.
Although the Important & Urgent things will make you functional again, the Important & Not Urgent things will make you better again.
They will improve the quality of your life and make you happier.
And you’ll be much more motivated to pursue a full recovery that way.
Do you set goals during your stroke recovery?
Have you noticed a difference in your ambition or quality of life when you do?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!