Bipolar and My Goals for 2012

Marcia Purse Health Guide
  • Back in mid-August I made a list of long-term goals, things that are really important to me. I meant to refer to them every day, but that quickly stopped.


    Just now I found the goals document again and took a look. I found that for one of them I set a ridiculously short deadline and have made no progress at all. But for another, although I've missed the November 1 deadline, I have improved significantly.


    What were my goals?

    • To get my weight back to normal in two years (no progress made).

    • To cut my smoking in half by December 31st this year. That's the one with the ridiculous deadline, and I've gotten nowhere.

    • To be proud of the way my house looks every day by March 1, 2012. That's still doable, since I gave myself a lot of time.

    • To look my best at my current weight every day. This is easy if I'd just do it: Shower more often, wash my hair more regularly, and put on makeup and earrings every day.

    • To feel less pressured by my workload and tasks by November 1.

      This is the one where I've done the best. I have several jobs, all working from home. At the beginning of November I set up a schedule for the work tasks for the entire month (for example, one of today's tasks is to write this SharePost). Result: far less pressure through all of November regarding the jobs I get paid for, and I didn't have to scramble at the end of the month for the first time in ages!

    Bipolar and My Goals

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    Having bipolar disorder doesn't just affect the progress of my goals, it affected the need for at least two of them: I would not be seriously overweight if it wasn't for psych meds, and people with bipolar are more likely to be smokers than others.


    I've always been a poor housekeeper, though, partly because my (non-bipolar) mother was, so I never learned the habits. And I've hated showering and bathing for as long as I can remember (and I don't have a clue why). I don't think I can blame these on being bipolar.


    New Year's Resolutions?


    I don't make these, and psychologists say only about 12% of people who do actually keep them. But I do need to rededicate myself to these goals and revise some of the goal dates.


    The Most Important Thing


    I got this from a self-help website: "Action before feelings." That means you don't wait until you are in the mood to do this or that task. Instead, you do them because they are important, and the feeling of satisfaction will come after you've done it.


    This simple mantra can make a world of difference, especially to someone who deals with bipolarity. If you're depressed and absolutely don't want to wash the dishes, get up and do it anyway, because you'll be glad you did it afterward. If you're manic and don't want to do something tedious like balancing your checkbook, do it anyway, and you'll be glad it's done afterward.


    So I'm going to go and take a shower now, and once I'm dry and dressed, I'll go put on makeup and earrings and maybe even a spritz of cologne. Even though I may not go anywhere and nobody will see me, I'll see myself in mirrors and be glad I did.

Published On: December 06, 2011