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How to Set Goals for Fibromyalgia Recovery


Do you feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and alone when it comes to setting goals for chronic pain and fatigue recovery? 


I'm gonna be completely transparent here…as a fellow fibromyalgia warrior, I have experienced frustration when it comes to setting goals for managing my fibromyalgia symptoms. The process has taken me years to find the right balance and tackle my “someday list” with enthusiasm rather than defeat. 


Ditch those goal-setting fears once and for all as I share with you how I went from living with excruciating fibro pain in my body each day to being energetic and living life while consistently managing symptoms without flaring. 


You might be thinking, why should I set goals? Goals can provide a sense of purpose and direction, helping you feel energized to focus on relevant activities, and allowing you to persist through the tough days to reach your desired outcome.


These simple goal planning strategies will help you “live out” your someday list with less stress so you can focus your energy on recovery vs. illness.


Here are three strategies you can implement today to feel better tomorrow:


#1 – Visualize your Best Self

Visualization is a technique​ that brings focus, inner empowerment, and clarity to your life. Similar to meditation, it will help you relax, define your goals, and can ultimately help you reach your full potential.


When it comes to your chronic pain and fatigue recovery, what do you wish were true? 

Here’s a simple visualization exercise:

  • Set aside 3-5 minutes; grab a pen and paper 

  • Find a quiet spot with no distractions (using some headphones and calming music may help set the tone)

  • Close your eyes and visualize your recovered self (the more detail, the better)

    • Be honest with yourself 

    • Use all of your senses as you imagine each step

    • Be the star of the movie

    • Keep it positive

    • What are you thinking? How do you feel? 

  • Take a moment to write down no more than three goals/activities you want to achieve from visualizing your best self

  • Write down your plan to make it happen. 

It may look something like this:

Goal/Activity 1: 

My plan to reach this goal is: 


Goal/Activity 2: 

My plan to reach the goal is: 


Goal/Activity 3:

My plan to reach the goal is:


#2 – Create Restorative Habits/Routines 

Let’s say you have a goal of drinking more water each day. Determining your own “why” for this goal is vital to putting it into action - think about these questions and write down what comes to mind:

  • What about drinking more water is important to you? 

  • What barriers or obstacles do you face with increasing your water intake each day?

Your answers will trigger your mind to begin solving this problem and help you overcome any obstacles you encounter with drinking more water.


Imagine yourself doing the new habit each day. Now schedule it on your calendar as an appointment or set a reminder on your phone until it becomes part of your daily routine. 


#3 – Find an Accountability Buddy (person or productivity app)

This is not the time to go it alone — an accountability buddy will increase your chance of successfully reaching your goals by helping you stay focused and on track.

  • Choose someone you trust who will be consistent and support you along the way — gentle persistence.

  • Reflect on and adjust your activities to accommodate how your body is reacting (it’s a balancing act!). 

  • Shift your focus from what you can’t do to what you can do.

What’s your next step?

We've created a free step-by-step guide so you can start getting back to doing what you want to do without flaring!

 

Disclaimer

Fibromyalgia is not a "one size fits all" diagnosis. What works for some doesn't work for

others. The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Should you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician or other health care provider promptly.

 

Teresa & Hannah are fellow fibromyalgia warriors. Teresa is a certified dietary manager and wellness coach. Hannah is an occupational therapist. Together, we're a mother-daughter duo on a mission to empower others to fight against fibro.

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