Today marks seven days before the year 2020 takes flight. If you are anything like me, as 2019 is ending you are analyzing the goals you might have fallen short of and celebrating the ones you crushed. This process sets the tone and excitement for the new year — and new decade — as we start to set our next goals and create a new energy that will hopefully launch us into the express lane of success and happiness.
Studies show the number one New Year’s resolution is to become healthier. Gym memberships soar as the new year kicks off, cigarette sales take a dip, personal savings accounts see an increase, and personal planners complete with many ample to-do lists become a popular purchase. We all have great intentions to become the best version of ourselves, with high hopes of a better future, but most steer towards the wrong approach. We create high ambitions of changing our habits as it relates to eating, exercise, job execution, personal spending, and living a balanced happy life.
I set a lot of these same goals over the years and when the end of December came around, I found I wasn’t meeting the benchmarks I set for myself. I have learned it begins with mindset, so I wanted to share with readers some insight into how to start your own personal reboot into the new year.
My monthly blog posts start taking shape the moment I become inspired or moved by things that are happening around me. It causes me to panic at times, because that moment of clarity comes in the last hour of the deadline. This inspirational article was driven by recent motivational talks with staff, excitement for upcoming speaking engagements, and reflection on my own personal goals as the new year approaches. As I began to write, I thought it would be difficult relating this article back to the intentions of all my articles, disability awareness. However, I found myself in Starbucks chuckling because what I am about to share with you has everything to do with the journey I have taken to develop myself in becoming a leader of a movement and finding my purpose. Pour yourself a full cup of coffee, and let’s get inspired!
Did you know it was only 29 years ago that the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by President H.W. Bush, transforming opportunities for those with disabilities? My brother, who has a cognitive disability, was 8 years old when the law was passed. Prior to the ADA law, those with disabilities were shunned. The doors of disability classrooms were closed with drapes covering the windows so no one could see in. Doctors told parents their child with a disability should be placed in an institution because they wouldn’t amount to anything. People didn’t understand disability, often looking the other way and excluding families because of the difference. How do I know these statements to be a fact? Because I just described what my parents were told by their doctor, my brothers’ first years of education, and the reactions of others when my family would go into public. Here we are 29 years later and although we have made strides, we still have work to do to change a community to become more inclusive and accepting.
All across the world, lives have been impacted, changed, and empowered in ways many would think unimaginable even just a few years ago. Change is hard. Change means learning new habits, discovering what you thought you knew to be different, shaping your beliefs, rediscovering your faith, all while matching it with effort and determination to shift your mindset. Behind any social movements, community change, or development of something new are people who demanded and wanted more. People who believed they could make a difference. People who became determined to find ways to teach and educate the change in others. People who had faith in their purpose.
These people in history who we could say by name, are the people who each of us should strive to become daily. As the year ends and the new one begins, I am reminded of the history of the ADA as I strive to tear down barriers and offer awareness. In order to do this, my personal goals each year become about having healthy mental strength and personal development within, because I know adversity will be right around the corner.
So I challenge my readers as they set their 2020 goals, to dig deep within and focus on shifting and shaping your mindset. In my opinion, the healthiest and happiest people are the ones who are constantly reflecting and redesigning their mental approach to accept change and embrace the power within themselves.
In conclusion, I will share a few of my insightful tips in the hopes that one of my readers will be inspired to become the best version of themselves, by starting with shifting their mindset.
Tip one: Stop waiting for your defining moment for your life to happen. The defining moments of your life have already occurred and keep occurring around you daily. In your search for finding them, you are missing them.
Tip two: Allow fear to be your fuel. Fear can be self-destructive if you let it hold you back from taking chances and maximizing opportunities. Learn to channel your fears into actions that move you forward, instead of holding you back.
Tip three: We all have self-doubt! What makes others get past it, are the tools they use to deafen the negative self-talk that resides within them.
The world is always changing, are you? Become inspired to rewrite history, push a movement forward, and become a part of something that sets your soul on fire. Make 2020 the year that you become better not for anyone else, but for yourself! Happy New Year! Let’s make year 2020 EPIC!