Daily Symptom Management Goals

One thing being inpatient tends to do very well is kick my depressed butt back into a routine.  I took a lot of what worked from inpatient, and this time I implemented it when I got home.  It gave me a sense of safety/comfort going through some familiar motions.

The most important piece of this routine was setting daily goals.

Goals were set around symptom management skills we were learning or implementing.  Sometimes it was in reference to assignments we were working on with our individual therapist or psychiatrist.

We outlined 2-3 goals (no more than that) for each day.  Some were the same day after day, if it was a concept we were struggling learning.

Here are some of the goals I practiced while inpatient earlier this year:

  1. Work on my Crisis Continuum.
  2. Increase motivation for safety.
  3. Internal Communication to identify safe places.
  4. Work on a System Map.
  5. Hold at least 1 Internal Meeting.
  6. Share (at least the 1st section of) my System Map with therapist.
  7. Make a list of my accomplishments from working in therapy.
  8. Rework internal space to include an anger room.
  9. Cognitive Distortions assignment regarding the thought “I’m overreacting”.
  10. Boxes of Control regarding grief/loss.
  11. Cluster Journal one time today.
  12. Do Grounding Checks every 30 minutes.
  13. Make a list of Grounding Techniques based on age-appropriateness for different parts.
  14. Make a list of Self-Soothing strategies.
  15. Make a Containment strategy.
  16. Do Feelings Checks every 30 minutes.
  17. Do a Past vs. Present on loud noises as a trigger.
  18. Read Chapter 5 of the Coping book.
  19. Create an Orienting Card.
  20. Create a list of early warning signs that a flashback or increase in dissociative symptoms may be coming.
  21. Practice Dialing Down.
  22. Create a BDA for the shower.
  23. Create a Bedroom routine (for going to sleep).
  24. Create a Nighttime routine (if I wake up in the middle of the night).
  25. Maintain safety by using Opposite Action if I want to isolate.


  1. Excellent tools in your tools kits. I noticed I felt very tired & overwhelmed after reading your list. I am familiar with these approaches & I have tended to work on one at a time, baby steps for me otherwise I get triggered, overwhelmed & frozen. I do maintain self-care. I slowly build on my AM & PM routines. I have developed over time a routine when I wake at night, I had to stop obsessing on going back to sleep & also ignoring what my thoughts/ rambling mind were doing. Thus I meditate, contemplate, pray. Reprogramming myself.

  2. Thank you for this list and idea. I usually make daily productivity goals I have to reach but not therapy based goals. This is likely to be very helpful. Would you be able to explain some of the tools you listed though? Like the crisis continuum, orientation cards, and BDAs. I don’t quite know what those are.

  3. Thank you for this post. I’m just starting to actively work with my system and your list of goals/assignments is a great resource. I really appreciate your blog. It’s been challenging to find out how other systems do this work. Finding your blog feels like a huge blessing.

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