Hi everyone. This week has been pretty busy, as I just moved out. It means I’ve been learning and experiencing new things this week. Like: doing all the cooking and meals, with all the flipping planning that involves; being mistress of your own space, the sole person responsible for keeping it clean and so on; following your own schedule and being accountable to yourself only. Oh yeah and paying rent! šŸ˜›

On top of that, my Occupational Therapy MastersĀ has just started up for the year. It’s the reason I moved! It’s a bit earlier than some other courses start up, but that’s okay. It’s an intense course from here on in. I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

One of my recent posts was about goals. It’s a bit ironic then that just yesterday, one of my classes focused on goal-setting in a therapeutic context. I thought I’d share a bit of what I learnt – after all, explaining things different ways is supposed to help learning, right? šŸ˜‰

Goals are defined as statements that people make about what they want to achieve. In a clinical/therapeutic context, they are established collaboratively between a client and therapist.

Goals work best if they are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-dependent. I also have to think about them in an occupational context – what does the goal help the person toĀ do as an achievement? Ā In contrast, a physio or different health professional might be more focused on the biomedical context.

Something interesting that was covered in class was the idea, from Park (2011), that there are four different types of goals, each with a slightly different purpose as denoted by their time periodsĀ (from the immediate to the aspirational). The four types areĀ tasks to complete; short-term goals; long-term aspirations; and dreams. They can lead on from each other or be separate

  1. Tasks to Complete
    Immediate things that need to happen in the next day to week. Like “paying rent”, “cooking dinner” or “doing a load of washing”.
  2. Short-Term Goals
    Things that we want to achieve over a time period of weeks to months. For example, “continue blogging several times a week”, “become more familiar with new house routines to become a good housemate”, “find some good walking routes near my new home”.
  3. Long-Term Aspirations
    Things that we see ourselves doing in a few years or more. For instance, “work as a OT, eventually in Paediatrics”, “volunteer with refugees in a professional capacity”, “get married one day”.
  4. Dreams
    These are things that might not happen but are nice to think about – probably in order for the dream to come true a number of other things would have to fall into place. These include: “travel the world without worrying about money”, “have my books be as successful as J.K. Rowling” šŸ˜›


  • Gives clarity on how to achieveĀ aims
  • Provide a time frame
  • Gives purpose & direction, accountability
  • Measure results
  • Reference point which can be reviewed later


  • Lack of motivation to complete goals
  • Uncertainty about capabilities leads toĀ overconfidence or lack of confidence impeding goal realism/achievability
  • Lack of connection to a time-frame
  • Difference in needed goals and wanted goals (i.e. if someone needs to do something but they want to do something else, contradictory to the need)


  • Person whom goals are for must take ownership of the goal-setting process
  • Give time to validate your own experiences and concerns in order to explore your goals
  • Reframe the goals differently to focus on your interests (more interest = more motivation)
  • FindĀ examples of successful goal achievement (from others and yourself)
  • Break goals into achievable parts to build confidence and success
  • Focus on a small selection of goals, e.g. tasks and short-term goals, then gradually build towards any long-term ones.

I’m definitely thinking about these things in terms of my own goals now. So if you’ll excuse me I need to go see about doing that load of washing….

Oh, if you’re in Melbourne city today come down to Bourke Street Mall. All buskers are holding a special concert of sorts in support of the Bourke Street Victims Fund (after the awful event of a fortnight ago). All funds go to the legitimate Bourke Street until 10PM! There’s even a two-disc CD being sold with one track from each busker on the CD. Ge down there!


Park, S. (2011). Chapter 8: Goal-setting in occupational therapy: a client centred perspective. In E. A. S. Duncan (Ed.), Skills for Practice in Occupational Therapy (1st ed., pp. 105-123). Elsevier Health Sciences UK.