SMART goals in the face of adversity

Two gruelling days of plunging 30 foot into freezing water and navigating cave pools gave two HCML employees the chance to push their minds and bodies to the max, and reflect on the striking parallels of their personal charity challenge and that of their rehabilitation patients’ personal recovery journeys.

 Andy White and Andy Pepler hadn’t realised how much of a trial it would be to take on the ‘Go Wild for Headway Corporate Challenge’, working in a group of around 12 to complete the activities while raising over £1,000.

Account manager Andy White said how it was enlightening to relate their challenge with those faced by some of their patients. The two of them tackled “everything Mother Nature could throw their way”.

He said this could be related to the challenges that some of their patients have to overcome on a daily basis during rehabilitation, like pushing their bodies to learn to walk again or climb a flight of stairs. Both needed total commitment to stretch expectations and ambitions and tap into personal levels of motivation, he admitted.

Every day, HCML manages the recovery of patients who have suffered from life changing injuries such as brain injury and its case managers help coordinate their patients through their personal rehabilitation battle.

Its work involves signposting patients to Headway where they can attend local groups or seek counselling and financial support from local branches, when patients are struggling to get this support elsewhere and it’s holding back their recovery.

“The two key lessons you learn from challenges like this is the importance of setting yourself a goal and reflecting on how far you’ve come,” he added.

He said: “We use the same belief for a patient’s recovery too. We agree with them SMART goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely, as a technique. We and they must make sure they’re being realistic about what can be achieved and that they sign up to these goals and ‘own’ them. We can then gauge progress to ensure rehabilitation is heading in the right direction. It is all about boosting their motivation by making them discover they can hit tough goals.

“It was the same during our charity challenge where some individuals had a substantial fear of heights or were claustrophobic. It was a team effort to get them over the line when faced with adversity and we broke down the goal to make it more manageable.

“Everyone cheered each other on, working together to complete the challenge and celebrate their personal achievements.

“It was extreme in every way and we all went through every emotion possible. The cliff jump into an icy quarry was a particular challenge for me as I’m not the strongest swimmer.

“The exercise was also a great way to meet other people within the personal injury industry, get other’s insights and hear their stories about new ways of thinking about recovery.”