Magic lever – Setting a goal for best health

By August 13, 2012Caregiver, ePatient, Clinician

A best health goal is a milestone in a health journey. These goals can be set individually or collaboratively with a health team. Goals can run the continuum from lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months to make an appointment with a dermatologist to stay alive until my grandson’s wedding. The goal can be one of several, such as walk 50 feet with assistance, manage pain without IV’s or injections, and have meals brought to my home so I can be discharged. Goals need to be specific, measurable, possible, and explicitly stated. One of the characteristics of valued members of my health team is that they help me set goals and attain goals. If they can’t do this, they aren’t part of my team. The goals that I have set with my team this past year include lose 35 pounds in 9 months, walk at last 5 miles per week, do eye exercises 10 minutes every day until the double vision decreases, and stretch my quads twice a day. I have been able to meet all but the last one. Factors for success for me have been that the goals were stated and written; I kept a log of my activity and progress; and these goals were discussed at every opportunity when I met with members of my team, including my wife and my family. As a nurse it’s inexplicable to me how disconnected goal setting can be from the patient. While every profession has a treatment, care, discharge plan, often the patient and family don’t explicitly collaborate in setting the goals and mapping progress happens in the patient record or between professionals and not consistently with the patient and family. How can we get better at setting explicit measurable goals with our health team?


  • Mike Brennan says:

    Took care of a lady in the ER with recurrent diverticulitis in Chicago. She was in with a fever and belly pain, and had been admitted in similar circumstances thrice before. She really wanted to go home, but the numbers were the same, and the docs wanted to keep her . She was crying, and I was out of tricks, so I asked if she wanted to pray together. She did, and we did, holding hands and speaking aloud our hope for God’s intercession to reach her goal of going home. An hour later, the docs concluded that she might be well managed with oral antibiotics and catlike vigilance at home. Was it God, was it levaquin, was it docs responding to a sincere but forlorn goal? Do not know, Danny,thank you for sharing, and providing a chance to continue our long, disjointed dialog- m

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