Lifting Your Mood Through Activity – Part 2by Dr Katherine Mollart - 5th June, 2015
In part 1, we talked about how lack of activity can lower your mood. Setting goals is an important step in helping you increase activity. Goals will help you to think about what you would like to work towards in the coming months.
It may be useful to think about goals in relation to your values. Some examples of values:
· Work, education, studying & learning
· Friends & social activities
· Family & intimate relationships
· Physical health, exercise & wellbeing
· Spirituality & religion
· Recreation, leisure & fun
· Music, art & creativity
· Community & sociality
Goals can be divided into short-term (what you would like to achieve in the next 1 or 2 weeks), medium-term (6 to 8 weeks) and long-term goals (6 to 12 months). Have different goals to work towards, to make your life as balanced as possible. Rather than working on one particular area of your life, such as work, ensure that your long-term goals have a mixture of activities. Remember that activities for pleasure are as important as work and chores. Be wary of being too ‘driven’ or ‘ambition orientated’ when setting your goals.
Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed). Ask yourself the following questions:
What am I going to do? (Be Specific!)
How often do I want to do it?
How long am I going to do it for?
Who do I want to do it with?
How will I know when I’ve done it?
How to set goals
1. Write a list of things that you would like to work towards over the coming months.
2. Prioritise your list into four areas, e.g. work, social, exercise, leisure.
3. Ensure that your goals are clearly defined and specific.
Examples of clearly defined goals
● to swim twice a week, for half an hour each time
● to do voluntary work three times a week for at least two hours each time
● to go out with friends once a week, for up to three hours
● to do gardening three times a week for half an hour each time
● to do an hour of chores every day (such as ironing, washing, cleaning)
● to sit and read the paper/ magazine for half an hour every day
Examples of not clearly defined goals
● to go out more socially
● to be more active
● to feel better
Break down your goals into manageable steps. For example:
To do something relaxing for myself for an hour every day
Steps to achieving goal:
● leave work on time each day
● ask other family members to help with the chores
● leave non-urgent activities for another day
● plan a list of pleasurable things that I would like to do each day
Your therapist at the British CBT and Counselling Service will be able to support you to work towards your goals and lift your mood.
To recap the first part of this article, click below to navigate.