Resolutions or Goals: Having a Focus is Key to Thriving with Bipolar Disorder

Resolutions or Goals: Having a Focus is Key to Thriving with Bipolar Disorder



Bipolar Disorder wrecks havoc in our lives.


The constant roller coaster of the ups and downs with our moods, energy levels, and motivation interrupts everything.


Each year, around the first of the year, the vast majority of the population makes resolutions.


Generally, these resolutions relate to health, finances or relationships.


The idea of resolutions in and of itself is fantastic.  However, many do not know the best way to create a resolution.


For a mind unaffected by mental illness, this process is straightforward.


If you have bipolar disorder, for example, the process of making a resolution can be daunting.


As an individual suffering from bipolar disorder, I have found ways around this process.  I no longer use the term “resolutions” in my vocabulary.  I replace it with “goals”.


This may not seem much of a change, but simply changing the vocabulary of your perspective can provide a different way of dealing with the new year.  It does not have to be so overwhelming like the majority feel who make these resolutions.


You see all of these gurus shoving down your throat that you have to make resolutions.  They are so important.  To get anything out of life, you need to make resolutions. 


If they work for some, great.


Most do not understand how the mind of someone with mental illness works.  They can pretend to, but when it comes down to it they do not know.


Goal Setting


I have always been a proponent of goal setting.  If you are going through an episode, you can forget it.  You are not in the right mind at that point.


After you are no longer just surviving through an episode, it is important to have at least one short-term goal and one long-term goal.


You can have many short-term goals that correspond to your one long-term goal.  If a long-term goal feels too daunting, just focus on your short-term goal.


Your short-term goal needs to be specific in what you want to accomplish, specific in the timeframe to accomplishment and attainable


Specific to What you Want to Accomplish


The best way to be specific about what you want to accomplish is to use numbers.  For example, let’s say you want to lose 10 pounds.  Losing 10 pounds is the specific accomplishment.


Another example may be to write one blog post each week.  One blog post each week is the specific accomplishment.


Specific in Timeframe to Accomplishment


Make your timetable realistic.  If you make it too short, you risk overwhelming yourself.  If you make it too long, you may actually lose interest and end up not finishing it anyways.


To lose 10 pounds, it is realistic to reach this goal in anywhere from 5 to 10 weeks.


The blog post example already has the timeframe built-in.  Each week, write one blog post and this goes on indefinitely.




Attainable goes back to how realistic a goal you have chosen.


If it takes anywhere from 5 to 10 weeks to lose 10 pounds, and you are just starting a workout program, it may be good to choose the 5 weeks.  Generally speaking, you can lose 1-2 pounds per week in a healthy way.  When you first start a workout program, it is easier to lose weight than if you have been working out for years.  5 weeks is attainable in this example.


Again, create a long-term goal and short-term and create it based on the aforementioned criteria.


Never add a lot of undue stress to your life.  The body reacts to both positive and negative stress the same.  Your body does not discriminate.


This is very important to take into account.  If you are just getting out of an episode, ease back into life.  There is no rush.


Once you are in a good spot, get back to creating your goals.  You need to be a stable point in your life.


The good thing about goals is that they provide hope and a reason to move forward.


Goals are something that you can do throughout the year.  They can help provide a focus for your life.


Resolutions are made at the beginning of the year.  Did you know that individuals who make a fitness-related resolution generally quit by February 15.


Set yourself up for success and not failure.


We have a different perspective having a mental illness.


Remember, having a focus is key to living with bipolar disorder.

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