When struggling with your mental health, it can be so incredibly challenging to get things done. I am currently struggling with pretty significant postpartum depression and have lived with depression for the past 10 years. When my depression gets bad, I struggle to find the motivation to do much of anything.
Not doing anything doesn’t makes me feel worse. Yet I don’t have the energy or motivation to follow through and as a result, I get down on myself. I’m sure if you are reading this you are very aware of the vicious cycle I am speaking of.
In this blog post I am going to talk about writing SMART goals for your mental health. These are simple, actionable goals to help you accomplish SOMETHING on your tough days. These goals are written in a way which makes them easier to achieve as planning goes into each one. Since you may find it difficult to set goals when you are struggling, I have created some basic smart goal examples that you may find useful.
What are SMART Goals?
S.M.A.R.T Goals are an effective way of goal setting that help you to be more successful in accomplishing your goal. SMART goals are:
How to we create SMART Goals?
Let’s pick a general topic. When my mental health struggles I often find that the house struggles too. So let’s make housework the focus of our goal. Remember this is going to be a very SIMPLE goal that is easier for accomplish on tough days.
I have created a FREE SMART Goals Worksheet to help you create goals that you can actually accomplish!
How not to set a goal = I am going to clean the whole house
(You will notice an ‘X’ beside the parts that have not been achieved in the written goal)
X Specific- What does cleaning the house include?
X Measurable- How will I know when I have reached my goal?
X Attainable- How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Relevant- Is this a goal worth trying to achieve? Yes! In the sense that the house is a mess but I also know it’s too overwhelming considering my mental state
X Time-specific- when do I want to complete this by? Today, a week, a month?
With this goal, I have only met 1/5 parts of a SMART goal. If I keep this wording, I will most likely not be successful in getting the house cleaned.
SMART Goal = I am going to fold a load of laundry at 3 pm today.
This goal is specific – pertains to laundry
This goal is measurable – I will know it’s done when one load of laundry is folded
This goal is attainable – This is not too big of a task to complete
This goal is relevant – I have tons of laundry and getting one pile folded will make me feel like there is less clutter
This goal is time-specific – I will do it at 3pm today.
More Examples of SMART Goals for Mental Health
- I will take my prescribed medication and vitamins at 8 am each morning. I will set an alarm to help me remember.
- I will grocery shop on Monday evening using a list of meals for the week so that I have healthy food in the house this week.
- I will unplug on Sunday afternoon for an hour and read my book to help me relax.
More Tips to Help You Acheive Your SMART Goals
- Write your goals down and look at them often!
- Write items in your calendar and set alarms when necessary to help you remember
- Believe you can accomplish your goals and stay focused!
- Tell someone about your goals, this will help keep you accountable!
If you didn’t already, please download my setting SMART Goals Worksheet!