Mental health is important. I learned recently that not taking care of your mental health can lead you down paths you really don’t want to go down. You need to take time out for self-care and to spend just as much time resting and doing things you love as you do working. If you love your work, all the better.
I am fortunate to love my work. However, I do have Bipolar and I was just recently diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder as well. This complicates things when I try to do too much work at once and when my goals get too lofty. Again, that complicates things as I am constantly striving to better myself and reach for more.
Setting Goals Using My Mental Health as a Guide
I have therefore limited myself to setting three goals that I know I can push myself to achieve within the month (from the 1st to the last day of the month). Then I set weekly goals to achieve the monthly ones. My daily “goals” look more like a To-Do list of things I need to accomplish each day (like Dr’s appointments and meetings) and things that I set myself up to do so that I can accomplish my weekly goals on time.
Through this schedule of daily To-Do lists, weekly goals, and even bigger monthly goals, I have worked on constantly achieving more, while also limiting my horizons so that I am not reaching so far beyond my reach that I am hurting myself.
How Limiting Myself Helps
Some people sit down and write down ALL of their goals for their entire month, or even their entire life, and this motivates them to work really, really hard to achieve them. For some people, this works. For other people, this works for a short time and then they start to feel overwhelmed, like me.
This happens a lot with people who have mental illness and have to balance their mental health with their physical health and other aspects of their life.
Bipolar Disorder often leads to people biting off a bit more than they can chew as far as goals when they are manic, and then feeling that they can’t achieve any of it when they are depressed. By limiting myself to a few goals that I know I can achieve (even when I’m depressed) with just a little push, I know I am constantly striving for bigger and better things without overwhelming myself.
Determining What to Make My Goals
Borderline Personality Disorder has many facets but the biggest issue is that of unstable relationships. I always try to make one of the three goals I make each month focus on my relationships whether it be to strengthen the relationship-building in my Perfectly Posh business, or to work on my relationship with my fiance by being more open and honest with him about how I’m feeling, or even to just talk with my therapist more about my relationships (past and present).
I always free-write for about twenty minutes about things that are bothering me so that I know what issues I have to tackle with my goals for the month. If I focused on something for a long time, I know I need to talk to my fiance and therapist about it more, and perhaps write about it on my personal blog about it. If I am worried about finances, then I know I may need to set a goal to make a certain amount of money with my Posh business and my freelance writing. If I am stressed, then I know I need to set a goal to work on self-care a bit more. I will analyze my free-write for what I need to accomplish in the upcoming month so that I can set my goals accordingly.
I am glad that I have found a way to set realistic goals and not overwhelm myself. Goals are meant to push your limits, but not to the point of risking your physical and mental health. If you would like more information about how I set my goals or if you would like to discuss your own goal-setting, please comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.