At times, living with depression or bipolar disorder may make it seem difficult to set and achieve goals. It might feel almost impossible to think about the things that you hope for or care about. But goal setting is an important part of wellness, no matter where you are on your path to recovery. Work on what you can when you can.

To help determine what goals you’d like to set, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What motivates me?
  • What interests me?
  • What would I do more of if I could?
  • What do I want?
  • What do I care about, or what did I care about before my diagnosis?
  • Where do I want my life to go?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What are my dreams and hopes?

It helps to start small and work up to larger goals. You might want to begin by setting one small goal for yourself at the beginning of each day. As you become more confident, look at the different areas of your life and think about your short and long term goals.

Short Term Goals Examples

  • Be out of bed by __:00 am.
  • Finish one household chore.
  • Call or go online to find a DBSA support group to find out when and where it meets.

Possible Long-Term Goals

  • Get training or experience for a job.
  • Change a situation, e.g., find a new place to live.
  • Strengthen a relationship with a friend or family member.

Remember to break your goals down into small steps at first. A goal such as “move to a new city” can be difficult to visualize and plan all at once. Ask yourself what you need to do first. What can you do now that will help you eventually reach this goal?

Creating the Life You Want     Recovery Goal Setting – A three-part series

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