Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Goal Templates

therapy goals

Part of a therapy plan of care requires PTs and OTs to establish appropriate Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy goals.  As a PT, I work to create specific Physical Therapy goals for every patient based on their needs.

As a clinical instructor, I realized that therapy goal setting is not always a strong suit for my students or soon to be new therapy grads.  

This lead to the creation of the Efficiency Formula and eventually the Therapy Goal Templates which you can find below.

My goal here is to introduce you to the Efficiency Formula so that you can produce a well written therapy goal that is defensible and appropriate for your patients.  For over 80 examples of therapy goals broken down by body region, take a look at the Therapy Goal Templates Guide at the end of this article.

The Efficiency Formula: A Goal Setting Template

Any therapist can become efficient in writing great goals when they understand the Efficiency Formula for goal writing. This formula identifies the most important elements of a therapy goal and will help you to produce highly specific and smart goals that are clear and measurable.

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Goals

When you approach goal writing with this formula, you can reduce the time spent writing Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy goals, by 15 to 30 seconds each. That may not seem like a lot of time, but if you see 3 new patients in a day and write out 5 short term goals and 5 long term goals, you are producing at least 30 new goals. Saving just 30 seconds per goal translates to 15 minutes of your time every day.  Of course, you’re saving even more time with the templates because you no longer have to start with a blank slate anymore!

The Efficiency Formula:

The patient will _______ (measurable achievement of functional ability), within ______ (time frame) in order to improve the patient’s ability to ________________ (functional impact).

Therapy Goal Setting Examples:

The patient will demonstrate independent ambulation with a FWW on level surfaces up to 500’ within 3 weeks in order to allow patient to safely walk to the dining hall independently.

The patient will demonstrate increased Right shoulder flexion AROM to greater than 110 degrees within 4 weeks in order to improve the patient’s ability to reach into overhead cabinets at home.

The patient will demonstrate increased strength to R LE to 5/5 by discharge in order to transition safely from a seated position to ambulate with assistive device.

The patient will achieve 90 degrees of knee flexion AROM in 2 weeks in order to facilitate improved ability to rise from a chair with proper LE support and alignment.  

Therapy Goal Templates

Most documentation templates lack actual examples of defensible documentation that reflect the true skill in your treatment.

New therapy graduates often lack the experience in knowing how to write defensible documentation and goals that are efficient and reflective of their treatment.

therapy goal examples

Enter Therapy Goal Templates 

These well crafted therapy goal phrases save you time by providing you with inspiration on how to phrase the therapy goals required for your treatment plan.

You can copy and paste directly from the PDF, and modify the phrases to fit your documentation style and to reflect the goals you establish with your patient.

This goal template provides you with real goal template phrases and paragraphs used in making assessments of goals for progress and discharge note. Of course, you should always provide accurate documentation based on the skill you provided.

You can spend an extra 30 minutes a day typing similar goals over and over. Or you can modify these templates to create a time saving system for documenting your skilled treatment.

What’s Included:

  • Creating Goals: Efficiency Formula
  • Over 60 Goal Example Templates for:
  • Neck
  • Shoulder
  • Back Pain
  • Hip & Knee
  • THA & TKA
  • Balance & Gait
  • Progress Note & Discharge Statements on Goals
  • 19 pages of time saving goal documentation examples

These goal templates are a must have for new grads or current therapists who want to save time so they can enjoy their life outside of the clinic.

Download the Therapy Goal Templates and save time and mental energy so you can reclaim your evenings.

Tim Fraticelli, DPT Physical Therapist

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.