Goal Setting

Goals are things you want to achieve and are important to you.

When you have chronic pain, your biggest goal is often to be pain free, but this might not be possible. Focusing on getting back to living your life and to the activities you enjoy despite your pain is more realistic.

Setting goals can help to focus and motivate you to manage your pain. It can give you a sense of purpose, keep you on track and help you feel more in control of your life. Follow the five steps below to set your new goals.

Step 1 – Choose your long-term goals

To work out your goal, think about what you have given up or stopped doing because of the pain. This might be a hobby, leisure activity, work, household job or social outing. Start by thinking about what is important to you right now, and what you would be willing to work to on.

Step 2 – Make your goal SMART

For goals to be SMART they need to have a few key parts – each letter of the word SMART stands for a part of the goal.


Step 3 – Break it down into smaller short-term goals

Short-term goals are little goals that build up to a long-term goal (like the rungs on a ladder). These smaller goals will help you get started and move towards your long-term goal.

Start by thinking about these shorter goals over a four-week period.

Things you need to think about include:

  • what it is you must do
  • where
  • when
  • how often and
  • how long you will do the task.

Step 4 – Make a plan

Now you can put this all together into one plan.

Head to the Goal setting guide to read tips on setting SMART goals, then use the tools to make a My SMART goal plan to help you get back on track and learn to Be Pain Smart.

Use the links below to download the files