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“What I liked most about today is being able to see my objectives and plans and start to be able to plan how to achieve them through small, realistic and achievable steps. I’ve learned that I can and will achieve my goals as I understand they don’t need to be impossible – start off small!”

On Wednesday 30th May we talked about setting goals, and what can help and hinder us in achieving them.

Some of the things which people identified as barriers included –

  • Impact of epilepsy and the uncertainty of when seizures may happen
  • Long term effect of epilepsy on self-confidence,as well as the side effect AED’s/ medication
  • Not having positive people in your life to help encourage and motivate you
  • Other people over protecting you because of your epilepsy or sabotaging your attempts to make changes
  • Making plans too complicated or too big
  • Having low confidence or self belief

Sharon (from group one) was taking part in her role as a peer mentor and spoke about how she had learned how to make positive changes in a realistic way, and this led on to a discussion about what else can help us


  • Having a game plan – knowing how you could break big changes down into smaller steps
  • Getting support from positive people – if not in your life, then from other group members
  • SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time focussed
  • Changing your thinking about yourself – “I can” instead of “I can’t”
  • Give yourself a reward for achieving every small step you take
  • Research the changes you want to make – knowledge is power

We finished off with a pairs discussion about personal goals  from being involved with Epilepsy Futures.

Those who felt comfortable sharing offered the following ideas –

  • Learning something new – maybe at college
  • Getting volunteering experience so I can work towards getting a job and become more independent
  • Making new friends by socialising more
  • Feel more confident using a computer, etc
  • Getting out the house more/ having new routines
  • Maybe think about moving to a smaller house long term
  • Learning how to deal with set backs
  • Creating a sense of momentum for myself
  • Feel better about me and who I am, have better self- esteem, confidence and self -belief
  • Not feel like I am a failure because of my epilepsy

We ended up by talking through a weekly goal planning sheet, to help people think how they could create a sense of positive change for themselves as they go through the next six months.

Peter Dale