Realistic Goal Setting - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Realistic Goal Setting


Since the person may tend to focus on goals that are unrealistic (e.g., “My only goal is to walk unassisted.”), it is the responsibility of the rehabilitation team to provide adequate emotional support while educating the person about the importance of realistic goal setting for meeting his or her priorities. Trading unrealistic goals for realistic ones can be a painful process. The person may need the additional support of a psychotherapist at this time, particularly if his or her reluctance or inability to engage in realistic goal-setting is blocking the rehabilitation process.


Unrealistic goal-setting: The client wishes to walk unassisted to the library and if unable to do that, will not go to the library at all.

Realistic goal-setting: The client will walk with a walker independently to and from the library in order to attend sotry hour with her daughter -- 4 weeks.

Goals can and should included the support partner/family


The client and family will establish two safe, appropriate situations for assisting and not assisting with wheelchair transfers, based on the 0 to 10 fatigue rating scale, ensuring safety and optimizing independence -- 4 weeks.