Goal setting for osteoarthritis

adult writing on a notepad

Setting goals helps you to identify where you are now compared to where you would like to be, and gives you a specific focus so that you do not become overwhelmed.

Set long-term and short-term goals

Set a goal over a longer period (e.g. 2 or 3 months) and then break it into smaller achievable or short-term goals.  Example:

Long-term goal
In 2 months, I want to be able to walk for 20 minutes. 

Short-term goal
This week, I will walk for 10 minutes on three days of the week. 

Make SMART goals

A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Timely. A SMART goal is much easier to achieve. Example:

"I'm going to exercise more" is not a SMART goal because no timeline is attached, and you can never say that the goal has been completed.

Instead, a SMART goal around exercise might look like this: "I am going to walk around the park for 10 minutes, 3 times this week". The goal outlines a specific activity within a specific amount of time. Once you have finished, you can check it off your list and set a new goal for yourself!

Goal setting tips

  • Write down your goals
  • Share your goals with family and friends
  • Review your goals regularly, then set new SMART goals as you progress
  • Have a backup plan. For example, if you can't exercise outside, consider walking in a mall
  • Reward yourself! Once you achieve your SMART goal, recognize that and give yourself small rewards

Register for a free OASIS class

Learn more about managing your arthritis by attending an OASIS class. 

Register for a free OASIS class