Phone: (08) 6156 9363 – Mobile Physiotherapy Service Across the Perth Metro Area

Therapy WA Talks

Goal Setting and Physiotherapy

17th January 2024


Hello and welcome back to our blog, Therapy WA Talks – our first blog of 2024! Happy New Year to all our readers, we hope 2024 is a joyous, peaceful and productive one for you all.


Here on our blog, we will give an insight into what it is we at Therapy WA do, shining a spotlight on all thing’s physiotherapy, the weekly happenings of our therapists and giving our amazing clients a voice.


Therapy WA is a WA owned and ran mobile physiotherapy service servicing the Perth Metro area. Our focus is on making physiotherapy accessible to all, with a patient-centred, functional, and fun approach.


This week, we have decided to talk about something that is very close to our hearts as physiotherapists – goal setting! Anyone who has worked with us will know, we love to set goals with our clients. This is not only something we prioritise to do but has also been shown to achieve the best outcome with our clients and ensure our treatment approaches are specific to the needs, wants and aspirations of every particular client. For you all to understand why this is so important, and why we place such emphasis and annoy you with it 😉 we thought it would be useful to explain how meaningful goals are set, and the research behind this approach. Enjoy 


Achieving Success: SMART Goal Setting in Physiotherapy

In the field of physiotherapy, setting goals is an essential part of the rehabilitation process. We know a lot of you may have heard of SMART goals, and in this blog we will explain some more about them, and what this actually means in practice. By establishing Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals, our physiotherapists can help our clients regain independence, improve their quality of life, and overcome physical limitations. In this blog, we will explore the importance of SMART goal setting in physiotherapy for clients, some examples of SMART goals and discuss how it can lead to successful outcomes.

1. Specific Goals:
When setting goals, it is crucial to be specific about what the client wants to achieve. For example, instead of a general goal like “improve mobility,” a specific goal could be “increase range of motion in the right knee by 20 degrees.” This specificity allows both the physiotherapist and the client to have a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished.

2. Measurable Goals:
Measuring progress is vital in physiotherapy and is why we are often very focused on outcome measures and reassessing progress. By establishing measurable goals, clients can track their progress and stay motivated throughout their rehabilitation journey. For instance, a measurable goal could be “walk independently for 10 metres using a walker.” This allows the patient to see their improvement over time and celebrate their achievements.

3. Attainable Goals:
Setting attainable goals ensures that clients are not overwhelmed or discouraged during their rehabilitation process. It is important to consider the client’s current abilities, limitations, and resources when setting goals. For example, if a patient has limited upper body strength, an attainable goal could be “perform three upper body exercises with resistance bands twice a week.” This allows the client to gradually build strength and work towards more challenging goals.

4. Relevant Goals:
Relevance is crucial when setting goals in physiotherapy. The goals should align with the client’s overall rehabilitation plan and address their specific needs and aspirations. For instance, if a client wants to improve their ability to perform daily activities, a relevant goal could be “increase upper body strength to be able to perform self-care tasks independently.” This ensures that the goals are meaningful and directly contribute to the patient’s functional abilities.

5. Time-bound Goals:
Setting a timeline for achieving goals provides structure and motivation for clients. Time-bound goals help clients stay focused and committed to their rehabilitation program. For example, a time-bound goal could be “improve balance to be able to stand unsupported for 30 seconds within three months.” This creates a sense of urgency and encourages patients to work diligently towards their goals.

This specific method of goal setting has been shown to be much more effective than general or ad-hoc goals, and achieves much better outcomes. It also allows the therapist and client to be aligned with their goals, and on the same page in terms of all we are trying to achieve. Importantly, it gives the client choice and control around what THEY would like to achieve from physiotherapy, and ensures goals are relevant to their life and environment.

SMART goal setting in physiotherapy is a powerful tool that promotes successful outcomes. By setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals, our physiotherapists can empower our clients to give their best effort to overcome physical limitations and regain independence. Through a collaborative approach, clients can actively participate in their rehabilitation journey and celebrate their achievements along the way. And we love to celebrate with you! Honestly, seeing our clients achieve their goals is one of the best feelings, so next time we pester you with new goals to set – remember how good it will feel when you achieve them!


We hope you have enjoyed this blog looking at goal setting and physiotherapy, and the emphasis Therapy WA places on setting and achieving goals for our clients.


Please reach out if you have any questions


Take care and talk soon 🙂