The first years after my injury saw TBI improvement.
Fatigue diminished, psychological aspects improved, and my limitations were less noticeable. However, there seems to be a period of time after most TBI improvement happens that any more improvement seems much smaller and less noticeable.
This is the most crucial time period of psychological wellness and continued improvement. The most important aspects to remember are to always set goals, keep focused, and establish accountability.
Always set goals for TBI improvement
There should always be a goal you are working on for the week or month. It is easy to give up because you do not see improvement in a short time period. Many TBI Survivors do not formally set a goal because they think daily living requires all the objectives to get better. Survivors fail to see the long term benefit of always being able to identify the goal(s) they are working on.
Make the goals realistic according to your situation and injury. It may be having to rest less during the day or exercising in the gym. It may be extending your fingers on your hand to improve motor movement. Every goal will be different for everyone. More prominent goals may be to drive again, finish school, or go back to work part time.
Set a goal that is realistically doable and one that you have to work at to achieve. If things go wrong, don’t be afraid to readjust the goal appropriately.
Keep focused for TBI improvement
Success is dependent on your ability to keep focused on your goal over the time you are working on it. Don’t be distracted by discouragement or other irrelevant events. Be persistent and if discouragement comes, shake it off as a learning experience and keep going forward. A survivor will find that lack of a constant and unshakable focus on a goal is often the most difficult aspect of TBI improvement and the greatest predictor of success.
Establish accountability for TBI improvement
Accountability has a twofold purpose. First, it keeps you on track by recording daily progress. For example, if exercising at a local gym, I always record the date, equipment, indicate speed, (treadmill) repetitions, (weights) or other information that will indicate any improvement. Secondly, when the Survivor sees the progress in written form over four to five months, he will be encouraged and motivated.
The best motivation for improvement is internal motivation. When you actually see improvement written down over several months and can actually feel that improvement, the Survivor will continue to keep at it no matter how slow the TBI improvement.
Keep these three ideas in mind: to always set goals, keep focused, and establish accountability. Actually doing them will keep a person on track for further TBI improvement.