In 2022, we’re diving straight into goal setting to set you up for success and keep moving forward. Setting goals is important because they dictate what you can spend your NDIS funding on. In this article, we share a few simple hacks to set stronger goals to do more with your plan and achieve better outcomes.
According to the NDIS, goals are things that you want to pursue, and you may need support from the NDIS and other services to help you to do this. Your goals may include:
- building your skills and doing more things yourself;
- working or studying now or in the future;
- doing social and recreation activities; and
- building friendships or connecting with family.
As your goals dictate what you can spend your NDIS funding on, it’s important to think about them carefully when setting them. They should be clear but they should also be focused on your development. Let’s imagine you only had one goal, for example:
I want to learn to cook spaghetti.
Learning to cook spaghetti may be something you want to do to increase your capacity and remain independent in your own home. But, if that is your only NDIS goal, then in theory, that would be the only thing you could spend your NDIS funding on: learning to cook spaghetti. This is why your NDIS goals shouldn’t be too specific, but they should have an element of learning (or capacity building) in them. For example:
I want to increase my capacity to remain independent and safe in my own home.
Now, let’s look at the original goal: I want to learn to cook spaghetti. What supports do you think you would need to achieve this? For example:
I require support to learn to cook spaghetti.
You may be able to stretch this out to include:
I require support to learn to cook healthy meals, and to use appliances safely and practically.
However, you are still really limited in what you can spend your funding on, whereas if the goal was, I would like to increase my capacity to remain independent and safe in my own home, the supports you may need could look more like:
- I require support to attend to my personal care needs each morning and evening;
- I require assistance to help me to learn budgeting, so I can shop independently and effectively manage my finances;
- I require assistance to support me to organise my time and daily activities; and
- I require support to learn to cook healthy meals, and to use household appliances effectively and safely.
Some of these supports may be funded through your NDIS plan (i.e. support workers) and some may be mainstream supports (i.e. attending a local Country Women’s Association to learn cooking skills). But, if your goals are well constructed, then you have a lot more flexibility with what you can spend your funding on.
Attending a cooking class could be considered reasonable and necessary use of your funding if your goal is to learn to cook spaghetti. But if your goal is to increase your capacity to remain independent and safe in your home, you can still attend the cooking class, and so many other options become available to you as well.
When your goals are well constructed, you can also choose how you balance your funding across the various supports you may need and over time.
For example, you may want to focus on improving your budgeting and financial management skills first, so you can go to the shops knowing how much you have to spend and what you will spend it on. Later in your plan, you can then focus on how to cook the perfect spaghetti.
In short, your goals are a critical part of your plan. They help the NDIS determine where funding should be allocated for you, but importantly, well thought-out goals provide you with more flexibility when it comes to how you spend your funding.
Effective goal setting can take practice, and we encourage you to spend time thinking about this well before your first NDIS planning meeting and subsequent review. It’s a good idea to come to these meetings with a clear idea of your goals and the strategies you want to use to achieve them, to get better outcomes. And don’t forget, you can change your goals whenever you want.
Having trouble wording your goals and matching your supports to your goals?
Head to Kinora and post it up in the chat, and our coaches can work with you to see which supports would qualify as reasonable and necessary and which ones potentially wouldn’t.
Getting you goals right can be the key to getting your plan right. Goals need to be general, flexible, and outcome-focused, which will ensure flexibility in the use of your funds to achieve those outcomes.
Goal setting tips:
- Pick goals that are relevant for you
- Use language that is about building your capacity
- Generalise your goals to maximise your flexibility in funding them
- Think about the flexibility of your goal – don’t lock yourself into one specific outcome.
- Think about whether or not you have goals that cover the following key domains:
- Health and wellbeing
- Choice and control
- Daily living
- Lifelong learning
- Social participation