Use this 3-step system to finally achieve your rehab goals!

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Use this 3-step system to finally achieve your rehab goals!

How many times have you made a New Year’s Resolution, only to lose steam after a few months?  You know, like when you tell yourself “I’m going to do my therapy exercises every day this year,” but then March rolls around and you’re no longer able to maintain your resolution.

Well, in my 13 years post-brain injury and in my 27 years as a human trying to achieve goals, I’ve identified a few reasons we tend to lose that resolution steam:

  1. You have a long-term-goal, but you don’t know how to motivate yourself to achieve it. Long-term goals can be overwhelming.  Remember that creating micro-goals can make each step feel like an achievement in-and-of-itself.
  2. You have a plan, but it’s not sustainable.  Remember that long-term goals require long-term plans; set yourself up with a plan that you can do when you’re motivated, but more importantly when you’re tired, stressed, busy, and sad.
  3. You see rehab as a job for patients in recovery, not as a normal part of your day. Remember that for as long as anyone wants to improve as well as maintain their limb function, exercise and movement are required.

If you fall into one or more of those categories, you’ve come to the right blog post.  Keep reading to find out how you can turn those three challenges into three accomplishable steps for achieving your rehab goals this year!

Step 1) Create Your New Goal

Your current rehab goal might look something like this: 

Re-gain function of my left fingers and wrist so that I can grasp and turn door handles.

This is a great goal to set! Maybe you motivate yourself to achieve that goal by visualizing yourself opening doors with your left hand.  But remember that that particular goal is a long-term goal — meaning it will take time and repetitions to achieve.  For that reason, visualizing yourself opening doors with your left hand might be overwhelming and discouraging. If that’s the case, I want you to put aside your long-term goal, and instead, I want you to create a new short-term goal.  A short-term goal is one that is so small, it won’t take more than a day to achieve.

Maybe your new short-term rehab goal looks like this:

Exercise my left hand and fingers using the Motus Nova Hand Mentor®.

Simple, to the point, and achievable in less than a day.  In fact, once you achieve a short-term goal like this, you might think, “that wasn’t so bad” and become motivated to continue exercising.

Visualizing your long-term goal for motivation is like picturing yourself at the top of a tall staircase.  It’s a huge accomplishment once you get there, but it can be intimidating and discouraging to look up at from the first step.

Alternatively, when you visualize your short-term goal, you mentally prepare yourself for taking a single step, and therefore the challenge in front of you seems simpler to achieve. Once you take that single step, that achievement alone can provide enough motivation for you to take another. 

Short-term goals are the answer to motivating yourself without overwhelming yourself. Once you have your short-term goal written out, you’re ready to create your plan.

Step 2) Create Your New Plan

Let’s say the best rehab exercise you can do everyday is play 10 games of Slot Machine using the Motus Nova Hand Mentor®. But is that a realistic short-term goal for the days you don’t feel motivated to exercise?

You see, the purpose of your plan is to make your goals imminently achievable. And that means imminently achievable no matter how motivated or unmotivated you feel.  What I want you to do to complete step 2 is, create multiple short-term goals and slot them into a plan so you can achieve a goal no matter how motivated you feel that day.  

Your plan might look like this:

four exercises written-out, each require more or little-to-no motivation
An example of a sustainable plan

Creating a plan like the one above gives you less of an opportunity to opt-out of daily exercises. With a proper plan in place, there is always an exercise you feel like doing even if you’re not highly motivated.  And the great news about the plan is, once you complete a simpler exercise on a no motivation day, you may get more motivation to continue doing that exercise.  That means a no motivation day can become a low motivation day.  And a low motivation day can become a high motivation day.

And, if the least you can do is a small amount of exercise, that is much better than no exercise at all (thus making your plan sustainable).

Click here to complete the assessment to find out if the Motus Nova Home Rehabilitation System is right for you.  You can save 10% off your purchase by using the *discount code ELLA10 at checkout!

Step 3) Create a New Mentality

If you’ve learned anything from the previous two steps, it’s that action — regardless of the size of the action and the motivation that helps you take it — is vital for achieving your goals.

But the last step in this 3-step system has nothing to do with action and everything to do with your mentality.  How you perceive rehabilitation can play a huge role in motivating you to exercise. 

To rehabilitate is to recover after injury (1).  When you engage in rehabilitation, you are a patient (i.e. you see a therapist during appointments and they recommend particular exercises in order for you to regain function).  That said, you likely associate rehabilitation with something a patient must do.  But what about when you are no longer a patient?  Will you still be motivated to exercise? I encourage you to create a mentality that has you looking forward to daily exercise, not a mentality that has you looking forward to the end of rehab. Personally, I am 13 years post brain injury and I am no longer a patient in the eyes of the medical community, but I’ve noticed there are exercises I must do to this day to maintain my functioning.  Even though I am no longer a patient, I am always willing to adapt to the challenges post brain injury deficits may bring.  If you want to be an adapter too, you must figure-out how to make exercise a normal and enjoyable part of daily life.

Try asking yourself this, “What do I like doing in my spare time?”  Maybe your answer is “paint”, “knit”, or “organize”; whatever your answer is, figure out how you can integrate what you enjoy doing into your daily exercise.  This way, even when your time as a patient comes to a close, you will always be ready and willing to exercise and adapt.

Will you follow this 3-step system?

If you found this system helpful and you want to learn more about making rehab enjoyable, check out this blog here on the Motus Nova® Home Rehab System.  And don’t forget to take a screenshot of this blog and share it to your Instagram story – tag me @ellasssofia and tag @motusnova so we can re-share your story and thank you for reading the post!

If you know someone who may find this post helpful, make sure you share it with them. As always, I hope you have a great day, and don’t forget to make 2021 the #YearofYou!

Click here to the assessment to find out if the Motus Nova Home Rehabilitation System is right for you.  You can save 10% off your purchase by using the *discount code ELLA10 at checkout!


* This is an affiliate code which means I will receive a small commission off each purchase, at no extra cost to you



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