Many people mistakenly believe that living with a disability means a lower quality of life. Prove them wrong and make this your best year ever by resolving to improve yourself, expand your horizons and become a fixture in your community. While the New Year is already well into gear, it’s not too late to set these New Year’s resolutions and make 2016 a year of change!
Raise the Bar
Start the new year with a list of goals that you’d like to accomplish. Write them down to help visualize the steps that you need to take to reach them. When you hit a slump and feel like giving up, look at your list and remind yourself that you may be a person with a disability, but that disability isn’t going to stand in your way.
Increase Your Knowledge
It’s easier to reach your goals when you have a solid background in the skills needed to keep moving forward. Look into online classes or courses that you can take at local colleges to expand your knowledge. Brushing up on computer and technology skills in particular makes your resume more attractive to potential employers and gives you access to an even bigger pool of educational resources.
Make New Connections
This year, seek out opportunities to meet new people both recreationally and professionally. Attend church, join a club or check out community events. Even picking up the phone and calling a friend for a few minutes every day can do wonders for your mood and outlook. You may also consider attending job fairs or trade shows to start building a network of influential contacts.
Find New Hobbies
Few things are more empowering than taking up a new craft or sport. Make it a goal to find something you love and master it over the course of the year. Whether it’s a calm hobby like knitting or an active one like playing a sport, you’ll always have something enjoyable to do in your spare time.
Volunteering has a way of changing your whole outlook on life. The simple act of helping those less fortunate by donating your time to help serve meals, working at a non-profit thrift store or visiting elderly neighbors who don’t have family in the area takes you outside your own circumstances. You get a chance to connect with others who struggle in daily life and offer comfort just by being there for them.
Make Your Voice Heard
As you meet more people in the community, you’re likely to find groups specifically for individuals with disabilities whose members not only support each other, but also lobby for beneficial legislation. Getting involved with one of these groups gives you the chance to be influential at a local, state or even national level.
You don’t have to be the best at any one thing to make 2016 a great year; you just have to put your all into whatever you decide to pursue. When you focus your energy on doing your best, you’ll leave a lasting impression on others that will make them rethink their views of people with disabilities.