You Don’t Have to Change This Year. But If You Do …

You Don’t Have to Change This Year. But If You Do …


Living Life with CP

We are just over a couple of weeks into the new year. I know you are likely feeling the pressure to be all sorts of things that you aren’t. This time every year, we as a society are bombarded with all kinds of messages — diets, resolutions, and goals. Get fit, lose weight, pay off debts, buy a new car, move, travel the world. The possibilities seem endless and, often, unrealistic.

Small steps to achieve big goals

New year, new me.

Did you roll your eyes? Me too. But truth is, the possibilities are endless and they don’t have to be unrealistic. You can lose weight, travel the world, pay off your debt, buy a new car, move, whatever you want to do — as long as you take those big goals and break them down into small steps.

What is one sugary thing you could cut out of your diet each week over the next month to help you lose weight? What item can you cut from your budget to steadily decrease your debt every month? Start searching for your new house and a new car. Break out your map and draw a huge “X” over all the places you want to go to this year — because you can. 

You don’t need to change

Don’t want to be a “new you?” I’m going to let you in on a New Year’s resolutions secret: You do not have to be. But if you do change, you should be changing for you, because wanting to be better for yourself is the best way to make real change and success happen.

You’re not off the hook, though. While you can remain the same you for good reasons, being scared of what someone will say or because changing is too much work are not legitimate excuses.

Pick a theme for your year

This year, I chose a “focus word” as a theme for my year. My focus word for this year is “honesty.” I really want to do things that are true to who I am. Choosing a focus word takes a lot of the pressure off having to list out all of your goals to people — you just state your theme and act in accordance with it.

I also have secondary themes: Hold myself accountable and work on consistency. To do this, I’ve made a list of three to five related goals I want to check off each month. Mid-month, I’m going to reflect on how I’m doing. Let’s see what I can do! And I wanna see what you can do!

Don’t let disabilities add unneeded pressure

People with disabilities are always pressured to do things that feel out of reach. This time of the year, we feel the pressure more than ever.

You are not alone. You are enough. You are worthy.

Gentle reminder: You do not have to change “XYZ” about you just because everyone around you is pointing out your flaws or trying to make fresh starts with the new year. You can make a fresh start anytime. If your time is now, I support you. If it isn’t, I still support you. And I remind you of your right to stand up for yourself and say no to the things you are not comfortable with. But don’t let your fear of the unknown, hard work, or pressure stop you from making changes to better yourself.

Remember your disability does not define you. You are worthy of leading your best life, of going after all the things that you want and desire. Go forth. Go forward. Move on.


Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.

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