Action planning and goal setting

An action plan helps to balance activities every day. Start with planning easy-to-achieve goals or activities then prioritise the goals into three parts - activities that:

  • must be done today
  • those that might be done in the next few days
  • and ones that need not be done at all or could be done by others

Planning like this really does help to improve confidence. Watch this video to hear how some people with chronic pain have benefited.

You can also use goal setting skills – see the information sheet on this page. Make it easy and build a SMART goal;

  • S = specific activity (something active and enjoyable)
  • M = measurable (how far you or how long or how often you have done the activity)
  • A = achievable (can do it everyday at chosen time)
  • R = realistic (possible to do in time and place where you are)
  • T = time bound (set time for length of activity to reduce unhelpful overdoing or under-doing the activity)

Build up slowly and steadily. When the activity becomes very easy to do, increase the time or distance. You can also make a new activity goal or choose to maintain the same activity everyday. It can help to find activity programmes in your area to help you start and keep going, so check out the local services available to you.