PVA From the Top: Setting Goals For The New Year

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News January 2019

Starting a new year and goal-setting

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I’m writing this article knowing you’re starting a new year, and many of you may be reflecting on the past year.  

Many of you who have deployed for war or have done foolish hijinks in your youth (like me, some of you fall into both categories) are probably surprised you made it through 2018 and are seeing 2019.

Depending on our health, 2019 should live itself out like years past, with personal content, environment and other factors shaping our experiences.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to plan for goals and events, whether they’re personal or business, for 2019. January, for me, is the time I pull out a calendar, a list of significant dates, a goals list and a family/personal events list and draft a schedule for 2019. I find that preparing a list now will save grief and headaches down the road.

Goal-setting is easy to do, but
realize factors you’re not aware of may prevent you from achieving all of them. I say go for the gold, but a silver or bronze is pretty good, too!

Been on a cruise or taken a vacation lately? Want to go overseas? Want to pick up a sport or compete in a sporting event? Want to write a PN article? (The PN gang would love it!) Want to volunteer with Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) or be an advocate for PVA at a local, state or national level? These are just a few examples of goals I’m sure you all have, in addition to many others.      

It’s hard enough for most able-bodied people to plan for goals and events. But for someone with a disability, the difficulty factor is much greater, though not impossible. You just have to prepare and plan more.

If you want to take a vacation, volunteer or advocate, there are plenty of resources to help you plan ahead. Look on the internet, through old issues of PN or SPORTS ’N SPOKES magazines for accessible vacation stories or sporting opportunities, or check in with your local PVA chapters or with the PVA national office.

When you come up with your ideas, lists and events, always write down the fixed dates first (birthdays, parties, meetings, etc.), add the others with as much flexibility as you can and firm them all up later. Remember to be realistic and not to load up your calendar with more events than you can accomplish (less is usually better).

Always leave some room every month for random pop-up events, family visits, concerts, etc. Remember that unforeseen events will likely happen. Just prepare the best you can. Before you finalize your draft calendar, scrutinize it a few more times and let others you trust scrutinize it some more.

Those of us in the military were used to facing challenges and leading by example after thorough planning and preparation. Don’t let disability deny
you an opportunity to be active and adventurous. Plan on doing something great, fun
and memorable!



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PVA From the Top: Setting Goals For The New Year


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