How to Set Goals During Depression


Depression can make people feel like they are drowning in a sea of hopelessness, suffocating under the weight of their thoughts.

Finding the motivation to do anything can be challenging, let alone setting goals for themselves.

It is almost impossible to think about what you hope for or care about.

But goal setting is a crucial part of wellness, no matter what point you have reached on your path to recovery.

Taking the time to set goals during depression can be a powerful strategy to help you regain control of your life and lift your spirits.

Whether you are seeking support for bipolar disorder or simply trying to cope with the blues, these strategies can be an invaluable resource to aid you in moving forward.

One thing to keep in mind when you want to set goals during depression is to consider seeking outside perspectives.

Consult your friends or loved ones when you want to set goals to get different perspectives.

Sometimes when people want to set goals, they get ahead of themselves and set unrealistic goals and deadlines, especially when trying to achieve too much too quickly.

It is always advisable to break plans into manageable chunks to avoid being overwhelmed.

Additionally, depression can make people feel worthless or incapable of achieving their goals.

But it's important to note that your worth is not determined by your accomplishments or lack thereof.

Read on to learn more details on how to set goals during the depression.

Depression Therapists in Colorado

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Sarah Lawler, LPC

Sarah Lawler, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Alex Wiley, LPC

Alex Wiley, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Clarissa Mendez, LSW

Clarissa Mendez, LSW

(720) 449-4121
Stephanie Kol, LPCC

Stephanie Kol, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Maria Roncalli, LPC

Maria Roncalli, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Marta Schmuki, LPC

Marta Schmuki, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

Seek Outside Perspectives

Depression can make it difficult to see beyond your thoughts and feelings, leading to a distorted and narrow view of the world.

Seeking outside perspectives can help break you out of this mental trap and provide fresh insights and perspectives that can inspire you to set new goals.

Talking to a therapist, for example, can provide a safe and supportive atmosphere to explore your thoughts and concerns.

A therapist can help you to identify negative patterns of mindset and behavior that may be holding you back and provide you with tools and strategies to overcome them.

Furthermore, they can help you set realistic objectives consistent with your values and priorities and provide guidance and support as you work toward them.

Talking to a close friend or any loved one, on the other hand, can also provide you with significant insights and views.

They can provide you with a fresh perspective on your position as well as inspiration and motivation to set new goals.

They can also assist you in identifying your abilities and talents, which can be beneficial in defining practical goals that are both achievable and matched with your interests.

Breaking Things Into Manageable Chunks

When someone is depressed, the mere concept of setting and completing goals can be daunting.

In some cases, they may be tempted to postpone taking action entirely, or they might set excessive expectations that leave them feeling discouraged and hopeless.

Breaking things down into smaller tasks can help you get started toward reaching your goals and gaining the momentum you require to keep going.

If you want to declutter a space or your home, for example, you may feel overwhelmed with the prospect of tackling the entire house at once.

Instead, divide the task into smaller steps, such as decluttering one area at a time.

This allows you to focus your energy and attention on a single area and feel a sense of accomplishment when you start making progress.

You are more likely to stay motivated and avoid feeling overwhelmed if you approach each room this way.

Breaking down goals into smaller bits helps you avoid becoming paralyzed by perfectionism.

Rather than attempting to achieve perfection, you will concentrate on taking small steps toward your goals.

Maintaining Your Stability

Your stability should always take precedence above all other considerations.

This involves paying attention to your mental health requirements and ensuring you have the right support to maintain your well-being.

It's essential to understand that when coping with depression or other mental health disorders, creating goals and accomplishing them can be difficult.

This is why putting your stability first, whether that entails going to therapy frequently, taking prescribed medications, or engaging in self-care practices like meditation, is essential.

You are providing yourself with the foundation necessary to move forward and work towards reaching your goals healthily and sustainably.

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Remember Your Worth

When you are dealing with depression, it can be easy to feel like you're not good enough or that you're incapable of achieving your goals.

However, it's essential to remember that your value isn't dependent on your successes or lack thereof.

Regardless of what you may have or may haven't accomplished, you are valued and deserving of love and respect.

Try to recognize the things you have accomplished and the strengths you possess rather than dwelling on what you still need to do.

Maybe one day, you were able to get out of bed, or you asked a friend for help with something.

All of these accomplishments are noteworthy and should be celebrated.

By keeping in mind your value, you can improve your self-worth and boost your sense of empowerment to establish and meet realistic goals.

Don't Put An Expiration Date On Your Goals

When you're struggling with depression, it's easy to feel like time is slipping away and that you need to achieve everything quickly.

Setting unrealistic deadlines for your goals, however, will make you feel more stressed and anxious.

Try concentrating on moving forward at your own pace rather than giving your goals a deadline.

For instance, if learning a new language is your goal, focus on practicing for a specific amount of time each day or each week rather than telling yourself you need to be proficient in six months.

As you progress toward your broader objectives, remember to always be patient with yourself and celebrate your tiny wins along the way.

You can develop momentum and advance toward your goals without feeling hurried or overburdened by taking things one step at a time.

Always remember that no matter how modest it may seem, progress is progress.


It can be beneficial to set goals during depression episodes because goals are a powerful tool to help people regain control of their lives and lift their spirits.

With the right support for bipolar disorder and mindset, you can overcome the challenges of depression and work towards a brighter future.

A few ways to set goals during depression include seeking outside perspectives, breaking things into manageable chunks, keeping practical goals, remembering your worth, and lastly, don't put an expiration date on your goals.


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May 25th, 2024

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