Goal setting is especially important when recovering from depression, but are the goals we set too high for ourselves to achieve? When we are depressed, setting goals helps us to edge ourselves out of the depression we are in, gives us a sense of purpose and makes us feel like we have achieved something. But the problem with goal setting is that we tend to set the bar too high for ourselves, setting ourselves up for failure. When we are depressed, we become our harshest critic and become perfectionists, and often when it comes to goal setting there is no grey area, so if we don't achieve our goals we immediately see ourselves as failures. Sometimes it is not about achieving the big goals, but achieving smaller goals that end up building towards the bigger picture. To do this we need to set ourselves smaller but more realistic goals. The SMART Goals tool can help set realistic and achievable goals. Specific - Be very clear in what you want to achieve. Consider breaking the goal down into smaller steps. For example, "achieving wellness" is not very specific, but, "Going for a walk in the park for an hour every day" is more specific and to the point. Measurable - How will you know when you have achieved your goal? What will you be doing at that times? What will others notice you doing? What will be different? What will you have started or be doing regularly? What will you have stopped doing or be doing less of? Achievable - Ensure your goals are not set too high and you set yourself up to fail. Consider setting smaller goals on your way to achieving a bigger one. Celebrate your successes. If you don't achieve what you set out to do, then ask yourself what you could do differently, what would make it more likely to succeed next time? Realistic and Resourced - Is this goal achievable with the resources I have? Are there any other resources you need before you can, or to help you achieve your goal? How can you access these resources? What problems might you have? What can you do to minimise those problems? Time Limited - Set a reasonable time to achieve your goal. 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years? Consider different (smaller) time limits for smaller steps. So that is how to create a SMART goal. Why don't we all share our SMART goals and successes in this thread???