The trick to setting the right goals in an NDIS plan

The trick to setting the right goals in an NDIS plan

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plans come in many shapes and sizes because they are designed to support your specific circumstances.

Key points

  • Your goals are what your NDIS plan revolves around, so you need the best goals to get the best results
  • There are several factors you can consider when deciding on your goals
  • Other people can also support you to explore what goals you want to achieve

An important part of getting the individualised NDIS funding that suits you is setting the right goals that reflect what you want.

You need to have at least one goal included in your NDIS plan, but there is no maximum limit to how many you can have and it can be helpful to have a mixture of short term and long term goals.

Tips for goal setting

With the importance of setting the right goals in mind, here are some top tips for how to go about thinking of goals.

You can have short term goals to achieve within the next year, such as joining a sports club, or long term goals, like moving out of your parents’ home.

If you set a big goal, like completing a University degree, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get more funding than if you set a small goal, like attending a single day course to get a qualification, as funding still needs to be reasonable and necessary.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) also does not have to give you funding to chase your goals and you can have goals in your plan that will rely on supports that are not funded, such as informal supports from family members.

Having all of your goals listed in your plan - no matter whether they are linked to funding or not - helps to make sure all of the supports in your life are working together.

A good NDIS goal is one that:

  • You have chosen because it is important to you
  • Will lead to positive feelings, like happiness or satisfaction, when you achieve it
  • Gives you enough time to achieve it so you don’t feel rushed
  • Is focused on the outcome not the supports you will use - for example a goal to apply for a job rather than to use employment support services
  • Is not too specific - for example a goal to improve your health is better than a goal to specifically go for a walk each day, as more supports will fit the health goal
  • Is measurable
  • Can be broken down into steps for you to take

To find your goals you will need to think about the future and what that looks like to you.

Your goals can be focused on any part of your life - from where you are living and who you are living with, to studying, building your independence by learning to drive or training for employment, spending more time out in the community, meeting new people or working on your family connections.

In saying this, your goals don’t have to be to change how you are currently living, they can also be to keep living how you are if that is what you want.

There are some questions you can consider to start thinking about your future planning and goals:

  • What is working well for you now and how can this continue?
  • What are you not happy about in your life and how do you think this could change?
  • What is the most important thing to you right now?
  • Are you currently working or studying and do you need support to continue this or change the work or study you are doing?
  • Would you like to start working, studying or volunteering?
  • Do you feel you have enough opportunities to participate in the community or would you like to do more?
  • To access any activities in the community do you need to learn new skills, for example using public transport?
  • Do you have any dreams that you would like to work towards?
  • Is there something you have been working towards already that you would like more support with?

Start thinking about whether you’ve achieved your goals so far, or are likely to achieve them, a few months before your scheduled plan review so that you have time to think about what your new goals might be.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to have achieved a goal before your next plan review to keep receiving any funding it is related to and you can take the goal out of your plan completely if you don’t want it anymore.

Examples of goals

Here are some examples of goals that might help you to think about your own:

  • Moving out of your family home, group home or residential aged care into a different kind of housing or a different location
  • Learning to manage your own money
  • Getting a job
  • Going to University or TAFE
  • Building daily living skills like cooking, shopping, gardening or personal care
  • Improving your mobility or communication
  • Improving your health or wellbeing
  • Meeting new people or strengthening existing relationships
  • Doing more activities, either social or recreational
  • Going on a holiday

Who can help?

Your family members and friends can help you to think about what you want to achieve and form this into goals.

There are also professionals involved with the NDIS that can help you to talk through your ideas for goals.

For example, a NDIS plan manager, support coordinator or your local area coordinator might be involved in the process.

No matter who you get help from, your goals when they are written into your plan will be in your own words and the person writing them will check the wording of the goal with you to make sure it is what you want.

You can also write your goals out yourself and supply them to the planner.

What else would you like to know about your NDIS plan? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:
What support can I get?
What happens at a NDIS planning meeting?
Preparing for your NDIS planning meeting