Goals can bring back direction to your life. Completing a goal, however small, can give you a sense of achievement and encouragement to continue. One of the things that people with pain often say is that they ‘can’t do anything anymore’ and ‘have nothing to look forward to’.

Realistic goal setting is a way to help you get back to doing the things that you want to - despite the pain.

As with many people who have on-going pain you may have stopped doing a range of activities that you used to do, maybe without even realising it. These might include pleasurable activities, such as going to see a film or going on a bike ride. It can also include responsibilities, such as housework or childcare. Your husband, wife or partner may have taken over some of these responsibilities, making you feel down, frustrated, useless or hopeless.

Setting goals can help us to complete and enjoy these activities whilst managing pain effectively. This factsheet will give you more information about setting goals, and you can record your goals by clicking the ‘Goal Setting’ link on the ‘Take Action’ section of the patient online platform, available for patients registered with the pain service and accessible through the Pain Service website. You can also set goals on paper – read on to find out more.