As we ring in 2014 have you set any resolutions for the new year? New Year’s resolutions often start out as good intentions and for many lose momentum as January fades into February. This year, instead of “resolutions,” why not create a list of new opportunities that you want to try in 2014? Want to take your health to the next level but not sure you can find a workout routine that will accommodate your disability? Interested in expanding your social circle but not sure how? Have you wanted to become a more active disability advocate in your community but not sure where to start? Check out the list below for some ideas to get started creating your list of ‘new opportunities’ that you want to tackle for yourself or the disabled community in your area in 2014!
Step up your workout routine. For many of us with disabilities trying a new exercise regime can be intimidating. Gym equipment may be too difficult to maneuver or we may not have a lot of experience in a gym atmosphere or finding a group class that can accommodate participants with various abilities. How about trying out different workouts at home to see what you like? Check out amazon to explore various workout DVDs that you can do in the privacy of your own home. Many workouts like yoga, Pilates or even Zumba incorporate slower paced movements so you can ease your way into exploring what works for you. Don’t think that working out is all or nothing. If you can’t perform all the exercises in the video, don’t worry! Do what you can and skip over those you’re not comfortable with. Starting a little at a time can help you discover what you like and what makes you feel good.
Look for opportunities to become a disability advocate. Have you wanted to get more involved in advocating for disability causes in your community but not sure where to start? Do your research. Consider subscribing to your local newspaper, join online blogs and Facebook groups for your area. Do a google search for non-profits with a disability focus and see if they are looking for volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and can open up more doors to get involved in causes that are important to you. You might also consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Awareness is a great way to spread information about disability causes. Also remember that the best way to become an advocate for larger issues is to start with yourself. Set a goal for yourself this year to take steps that will allow you to advocate for your needs. Perhaps it’s being more assertive or asking for help or asking for what you need which will allow you to live your best life.
Network to expand your social circle. ‘Networking’ doesn’t have to be a scary word! It can simply mean opening yourself up to making a new friend or contact. The best way to start is by asking questions. People love to talk about themselves. Have a list of 5 – 10 questions that you can ask anyone to get to know them better. Look for places that you can meet new people – it doesn’t have to be formal! Waiting in line at the grocery store, while shopping, or at the post office. You never know when a new contact may turn into a job lead or a new opportunity.
Have you set any new year’s resolutions? What opportunities are you looking forward to in 2014? Share in the comments!