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Building Patience and Resilience: The Power of Goal Setting in Overcoming Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be an overwhelming and persistent challenge that significantly affects one's quality of life. In our previous video, we discussed two vital components—patience and resilience—that play a pivotal role in overcoming chronic pain. Today, we're delving into the cornerstone of these qualities: goal setting.

Understanding the Pitfalls of Traditional Pain Reduction Goals: It's a common sentiment among patients dealing with chronic pain: "I want to reduce my pain." While the desire to alleviate pain is completely natural, setting a goal solely focused on pain reduction might not be the most effective approach. Why? Because pain is complex, influenced by various factors like poor sleep, low mood, and lack of activities, among others.

The Wisdom of "Improving Your Game Skills": Have you ever heard the saying, "Games are won by players who focus on the playing field – not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard"? This adage beautifully captures the essence of goal setting. Instead of obsessing over the ultimate result, we should work on improving our individual skills—the factors that truly make a difference.

Deconstructing the Pain Formula: Rather than setting an elusive goal of pain reduction, let's break down the pain equation into achievable components. Think of it as approaching success—instead of merely desiring success, we work on factors like time management, networking, and financial planning. Similarly, addressing individual aspects contributing to pain can lead to more tangible improvements.

The SMART Approach to Goal Setting: To effectively set and achieve goals, consider the SMART framework:

  • Specific: Clearly define your objective.

  • Measurable: Set criteria for tracking progress.

  • Achievable: Ensure the goal is realistic.

  • Relevant: Align the goal with your overall vision.

  • Time-bound: Set a specific timeframe for achievement.

Example: A SMART Goal for Starting a Walking Routine:

  • Specific: Walking for improved endurance and overall health.

  • Measurable: Walking 10 minutes a day, four days a week.

  • Achievable: Time and suitable location available.

  • Realistic: Gradually increasing from 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Time-bound: Committing to a three-week plan.

Taking Action Now and Seeking Professional Help: Consider setting a small goal that you can accomplish right away. If this feels challenging, remember that seeking assistance from healthcare professionals specializing in chronic pain management is a viable option.

As we wrap up, remember that building patience and resilience is a journey. Goal setting serves as the foundational step, allowing us to focus on improving our "game skills" rather than getting lost in the pain reduction scoreboard. By breaking down pain into manageable components and using the SMART approach, we pave the way for long-lasting improvements in our overall well-being.



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