Your NDIS Plan is based around your goals. Your NDIS goals help you work towards a more independent and fulfilling life. You can see the progress you’re making and you get a great sense of accomplishment when you achieve them.
But how do you work out what your goals are? You could start by thinking about the things you enjoy and would like to do more often or more easily. You can also think about the things you dislike and would like to overcome somehow. Once you have some general ideas, you can turn them into firm goals that are specific and achievable with support from the NDIS.
Read on for our examples and tips for setting your goals.
NDIS: Tips for Goal Setting
When it’s time to create your NDIS Plan, it’ll be based on your goals. But how do you work out what those are?
What are Goals?
Your goals are something that you want to achieve using your NDIS funding and other support.
The NDIS aims to support you in the way that you want to live. That’s why your NDIS funding is linked to your goals. It means you can use the money for the things that matter to you, rather than the things that matter to someone else.
Everyone’s goals are different. They vary depending on your interests, skills, independence and ability. But there’s something quite motivating about having a goal. It gives you something to work towards. It opens your eyes to the progress you’re making. And there’s a great sense of satisfaction when you achieve your goal.
Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
The NDIS asks you to think about short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals can be achieved in less than a year while long-term goals may take several years.
Sometimes, it helps to think about the long-term goal first. If your long-term goal is to get a job, then your short-term goals might be getting some work experience or job training.
How Do I Set My Goals?
Some people have clear goals that come to mind almost immediately. But most people find that they have to spend some time reflecting on their life to work out their goals. Often it starts with a general idea like ‘I’d like to make more friends’ which you then develop into a specific goal like ‘I would like to join a photography club’.
Here are our tips for setting goals in your NDIS Plan.
What Do You Like Doing?
You can base your goals on things you enjoy doing and would like to do more often or more easily.
What are your hobbies and interests? What’s your favourite way to spend time?
If you like changing your scenery, you might set a goal of learning to use public transport so you can go out more often.
If you like painting, you might set a goal of completing an art glass or joining a local artists’ group.
If you like sport, you might set a goal of seeing an exercise physiologist each week to build your fitness so you could try out for a team.
What Frustrates You?
It seems odd, but the things that bug you can help point you towards your goals. If you hate waiting around for a ride then it might be time to get your driver’s licence.
If you’re tired of relying on others, then you could increase your independence by learning to cook your own meals or shower alone, for example.
Still unsure of your goals? Ask people you trust what they think could be good goals for you. They might have some good suggestions that you could consider. You could ask your family or friends. You can also ask your carers because they’ve often worked with other people in your situation and can offer you some ideas.
Set Specific Goals
When you first start thinking about your goals, they’ll probably be a bit vague or woolly. You might think of things like ‘I’d like to get fitter’ or ‘I want to spend more time with animals’.
Take those ideas and make them more specific. They need to be focused on the actions or new things you’ll put in place. That means you can see if you’re on track to meet your goals or not.
So, ‘I’d like to be fitter’ might turn into ‘I’d like to work with a personal trainer twice a week’.
And ‘I’d like to spend more time with animals’ might turn into ‘I’d like to take weekly horse riding lessons at a therapeutic riding school’.
When your goals are specific, it’s easier to turn them into a reality.
Set Achievable Goals
Achieving your goals should be a challenge – but not a huge one. Look for something that stretches you a bit beyond your comfort zone but is still achievable with perseverance and the right support in place (which is what your NDIS Plan provides).
Setting Your NDIS Goals During COVID-19
COVID-19 has made it trickier to achieve some goals. It’s hard to expand your horizons when you’re having to stay at home more. It’s not easy to make new friends when clubs and group activities are on hold.
Restrictions are gradually easing around Australia so it’s likely that you’ll be able to do many of the things that matter to you soon.
But the new coronavirus will be with us for a while. Maybe one of the best goals for this era is learning to use technology. It’s a useful skill for many workplaces and it’s also a way to develop your interests and connections. You can include funding for assistive technology in your NDIS Plan.
Being able to use apps and social media helps you stay connected to people even when you can’t see them in person. It means you can join groups of people who share your interests, such as posting your photos to a photography club group. You can also complete some training online, improving certain skills or gaining a particular qualification if that’s your goal.
How Focused Health Care Can Help
At Focused Health Care, we’ve helped many clients work out their NDIS goals in preparation for their planning meeting.
We start by listening to you, finding out what you like or dislike and trying to spot ways of turning those things into specific, achievable goals that form the basis for your NDIS Plan.
Your NDIS Plan is reviewed every year. That means we can help you look back on your achievements with your current plan and then look at what you’d like to do in the year ahead.
Setting your goals needn’t be scary. It’s actually a great opportunity to decide what matters to you and to organise your life around those important things. If you’d like help with it, please give us a call on 1300 201 351.