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  • Writer's pictureKirsty

The Benefits of Goal Setting after Cancer Treatment

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

It can be difficult reassessing our goals after cancer treatment has finished. Often goals that were important to us pre-diagnosis may now seem unattainable or no longer align with who we are after treatment.

When you finish cancer treatment you are left to navigate life with all the ‘baggage’ that cancer and its treatment may have left you with. A member of our community summed it up perfectly when she referred to feeling 'rudderless' after treatment came to an end.

When you don't know how to move forward, how do you start to rebuild your life and focus on the future after cancer treatment?

Moving forward after cancer treatment

It can be difficult moving forward and looking ahead to the future after cancer. Cancer can have a massive impact on our sense of security and leaves many of us living with the fear of uncertainty. When we feel powerless, taking positive action towards recovery helps us regain a sense of control.

Taking stock of who you are after treatment and what you want to achieve allows you to focus on any shifts in your perspective, goals, values or dreams. You may now have physical challenges that you need to navigate as well.

If you are struggling to visualise what you'd like your life post-cancer treatment to look and feel like, we would love to invite you to our free 6-week coaching programme. We work together over 6 online workshops to help you to fulfil your potential after cancer.

Reassessing your goals after cancer

Reassessing your goals after treatment can be tough as it deals with processing loss and change as a result of cancer. If you continue to focus on goals that are no longer achievable, it may leave you feeling discouraged, if the goals are not aligned with who you are now, this can lead to a lack of drive and motivation.

Take time to connect with what now matters to you, allowing yourself to create new goals and put energy into working towards what you really want to achieve.

Setting achievable, meaningful goals will help lead to feelings of success and confidence that propel you forward to rebuild a hopeful, healthy outlook on your life after cancer.

How to set monthly goals that will last.

To make sure your goals are clear and achievable, you could follow the SMART goals structure. For each goal, ask yourself :

  • Specific - What exactly do you want to accomplish?

  • Measurable - How will you know when you have reached the goal?

  • Achievable - Do you have the time and commitment to achieve? Have you the resources? If not, how will you get them?

  • Relevant - Why is this goal significant to your life?

  • Timely - When do you want to achieve the goal by?

When goals become part of our daily routine they begin to shape our lives.

Breaking down bigger goals into flexible weekly and monthly activities is a great way to work towards a bigger plan.

Setting achievable targets such as walking daily for 15 minutes, will be much easier to stick to, even on days when you are busy or fatigued.

Knowing that your daily actions will be achieved in 15 minutes means you need much less motivation. These small, daily actions are your baseline and you might find that you automatically start to push yourself without much additional motivation.


If you are looking to set goals aligned with who you are after cancer, we'd love to welcome you along to our free monthly goal-setting workshop.

Our Life after Cancer goal-setting workshop, for adults who have finished cancer treatment, meet online on the first Thursday of each month to clarify and prioritise our goals for the month ahead. The session is facilitated by a Life after Cancer coach who will guide you through the session and pair you up with an accountability buddy.

Check out all of our free events and drop in on a session whenever you would like to set your goals, get support or simply talk to others from the Life after Cancer community.

Don't forget to sign up for our mailing list if you want to keep up to date with all our events and our monthly mental wellbeing newsletter from Life after Cancer.

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