Mental illness should never prevent you from reaching your fullest potentials. This is what I keep telling myself every day. Sure, there are times when working while dealing with anxieties is more difficult than usual. I’m bipolar, so mood swings can affect work just as severely.

These are mere challenges. I can honestly say that overcoming these challenges is great for many reasons, chief of which is that you will be able to feel better about yourself. There is no better time to start setting and pursuing your goals than today.

Small and Big Milestones

Start by setting the goals you want to achieve in the first place. Dream big; don’t hesitate to set goals that are not as easy to reach as your everyday objectives. You can, for example, choose to pursue a nurse practitioner doctorate degree. This is a degree that allows you to do so much more in the future, including helping others with mental illness achieve their own goals.

Once you have a set of goals in mind, it is time to set your milestones. Milestones are important moments and smaller goals you can achieve along the way. If the goal is to get a master’s or doctorate degree, completing every semester during the course is a milestone.

Smaller milestones are great for keeping you motivated. Whenever you feel down or you lose the motivation to pursue your goals, look at the closest milestone you can achieve and aim for that. Once you have reached the milestone, aim for the one after that. Just keep going; you can do it!

Finding Ways to Get There

Planning your journey towards realizing your goals is just the first step. Next, you need to figure out how you can achieve those goals. Using the previous example of pursuing a doctorate degree in nursing, you can start looking into the best DNP programs available. You can also compare universities with online doctoral nursing programs, such as Bradley University.

Don’t hesitate to get into the details. If you’re like me and you easily get anxious about certain things, planning everything to the last detail is actually a fun process to enjoy. You can choose the right course to take, the next step to complete and work out other parts of getting to your goals.

Prepare some contingencies, too. If you’re trying to go on a trip overseas, for example, you can list alternative destinations that are easier to reach as backups.

Making the First Step

Once everything is in place, take that first step and reach the first milestone. Once you have found the right online course to take, enroll into the program and work your way towards earning a degree.

Remember, your main focus is reaching that first milestone, whether it is completing the first semester or going through an entire week without smoking a cigarette. Be sure to pace yourself, though, as there is no point in doing everything all at once and not having the power to finish in the end. The results are just as important as the process.

These tips will help you get started with pursuing your own goals. You’ll be surprised to discover how helpful having a mission or a set of goals – and a lot of things to do – really is to people living with mental illness.

Guest Blog: Pay Attention to Your Physical and Mental Health
Gabe Howard: Mental Illness Speaker, Writer, & Activist