Goal Setting, Record Breaking

Sue Bergeson Health Guide
  • One of the sessions at the upcoming DBSA 2007 National Conference that most interests me is the one where Greg Louganis, five-time Olympic Champion, will be talking about his journey. I remember watching and cheering for him as he competed in the Olympics. I remember my complete awe at his grace and skill. What I didn’t know while I was cheering is that he struggled, just like you and I struggle with these illnesses. So, I’m looking forward to learning about his journey and how he has moved into recovery.


    One of the things the mental health recovery community seems to agree on is the need for a person-centered approach that places our hopes, dreams and goals front and center. Treatment of any kind has to fit within the life we’re seeking; it has to support our goals.

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    But first, of course, we have to figure out our goals.


    It would seem that having a goal was a very clear and powerful thing for Greg Louganis. After all, he won his first Olympic gold at the age of 16. You don’t get there without a clear goal and a lot of hard work. It’s interesting to note that, after his diving career ended with goals achieved and records broken, he moved to other dreams and goals. I, of course, am thrilled to see that he has just published a book on dogs: For the Life of Your Dog.  (I tell my sweet Cassie every day that she’ll live to be 109 years old—in people years.)


    Greg has goals….What are your goals?


    I use goals and metrics aggressively in my job. How do I know if we’re doing good or excellent work? Our numbers and our goals tell us. And, if you’re interested, in the first year of our two-year strategic plan, DBSA exceeded 13 of our 20 goals, met six and have not yet met one goal.

    But, sadly, in the rest of my life, I’m not so clear about my own goals. Sometimes, I think these illnesses can rob us even of the ability to dream. So lately, I’ve been trying to make myself dream. Maybe goals can come later. 


    Do you set goals? What helps you? How has that been successful for you in your journey?

Published On: June 19, 2007