Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year's Resolutions for People with Bipolar Disorder

Making goals is different if you're Bipolar. You can't expect to be able to accomplish the same amount when you are down as compared to when you are normal or manic.  It's just not a reality.

If you are manic or hypomanic, you may make a goal that you can not complete once your mood changes.  If you can look at what you've accomplished in the last year, and then just aim to do a bit better, you have a greater chance of succeeding.  Remember, you want a goal that you have a very good chance of accomplishing!

Julie Fast says that her goal for the year is stability, and I think it is also my New Year's resoltuon.  Sure, I have a long list of other goals, but as she says, "When we (and the people we love) are stable, anything is possible." 

Aside from that, I have one other resolution which I think is very possible: A walking goal.  I feel better when I walk, and over the past year, I have been able to walk either 1/2 mile or 1 mile on most days. However, there were weeks when I really slacked, either because I didn't feel well, or because the weather was just terrible, so when figuring out my New Year's resolution, I try to calculate in the percentage of days where I just won't be walking, so that I can come up with a goal that I think is actually realistc. 

Remember a goal should be motivating, but not daunting!  

An alternative to having a New Year's resolution is having a series of monthly goals. Focus on accomplishing one task for January, and then in February focus on a different goal. These can be cumulative, or progressive. Whatever works for you.  Setting montly goals also allows you to re-evaluate your plans every month, so you can see if you are still on the right track.  It also gives you a dozen chances to "do better."

Happy New Year to you!  

Surfing photo above is credited to 
Licensed by Creative Commons via Flickr.

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