Goals

We all have goals, even if we do not recognize them

By Marion Trimble, SCIL Education & Outreach Coordinator

Setting goals can make a difference in our lives and we all have goals, even if we do not recognize them.

The secret to success, whether large or small challenges, require effort to overcome them. The tag line of the Southwest Center for Independent Living (SCIL), “Choices and Empowerment for People with Disabilities” represents what a Center for Independent Living provides every day.

The philosophy behind “Consumer Control” promotes that you know your needs best. SCIL staff offers people with disabilities information on any disability topic and works one-on-one and in groups to help find the appropriate choices to achieve short and long-term goals. The belief of “each one, teach one” creates a partnership between you and SCIL staff who provide support and encouragement throughout the process so you can make your goals a reality.

With New Year resolutions fresh on our minds, you may think that your challenges do not need a plan, but you will need a plan and follow through to accomplish your goals. Once you feel comfortable with creating goals and planning steps you will find more confidence in yourself and satisfaction in life.

For example, suppose you want to go out with a friend to dinner this week. That is a goal. You have decided to do something in the future and will need to complete small steps along the way to accomplish this goal. Steps could include checking with the person that you want to eat with to see if they are available, decide where to eat, arrange transportation and budget for the expense.

In the end, going out is a small goal, which you can probably achieve without spending too much time on preparation. Other goals can involve more complex steps and take longer to achieve like living independently, utilizing accessible transportation, modifying your home for a wheelchair, learning more about your disability, finding adaptive equipment or devices, gaining life skills or using personal care attendant services. Short or long-term, the process remains the same with a goal and steps to complete.

People with disabilities live most of their lives in the goal setting process becoming problem solvers whether they realize it or not. These solutions equate to how we live our lives.

The Life Area Self-Checklist below will help identify areas that you may want to change and set a goal. Read the list and consider how happy you are, or are not, in your own life:

  • Physical independence: your ability to live and  function independently
  • Daily activities: your ability to spend time in productive or enjoyable ways
  • Personal relationships: your ability to find and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships with others
  • Finances: your ability to come up with enough money to live independently
  • Emotional and spiritual health: your ability to maintain a sense of purpose and happiness in your life
  • Physical health: your physical conditionDid you notice problems or challenges related to all of these areas that limit your achievement and satisfaction?

That does not mean you need to “fix” everything in your life. In fact, this step just helps you start thinking about your choices and the process of setting goals. Soon you will be on your way to personal progress.

The next steps involve reflection to clarify what you want for yourself, planning the steps you need to get there and finding needed resources to be successful.

  • Write a clear goal statement naming the difficulties you face in each area
  • Include steps of action for each List the people or organizations that can help you achieve these goals

We all have goals, even if we do not recognize them. As you start 2013, remember that SCIL staff can assist you accomplish all kinds of goals through our programs and services. Just ask us! 417.886.1188.