New Year’s Resolutions: Considerations for Individuals Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Orientation and Mobility instructor with older man walking with cane

It’s December. There’s no shortage of holiday party invitations strewn around my house. Not because we’re wildly popular, but because the military has a number of traditional holiday gatherings. It’s a busy, hustle-and-bustle month I appreciate, and yet I look forward to the unruffled and uncomplicated month of January. It’s hard to believe 2014 is nearly behind us and the new year is right around the corner. You know what that means! While I’m not one to establish official New Years’ Resolutions, I am one to take full advantage of the renewed energy I organically attain come January 1. Who’s with me?

Let’s channel the motivation and consider goals (unofficial goals, if you’re like myself) to pursue.

  • I’d venture to say the most common New Year’s Resolution is the goal of losing a select number of pounds. Instead of focusing on weight loss, allow me to suggest focusing on one exercise-related goal. How about partaking in one social-fitness activity per week? Consider either a weekly exercise class or a weekly family walk. You’ll be simultaneously nurturing relationships, improving your health, and reducing work-related stress. I’m all for killing three birds with one stone, as long as it’s figuratively.
  • Is it time to restructure your cluttered workspace or lacking time-management skills? Gather tips for improving organizational skills and spend a little time rearranging.
  • If you’re fresh out of school or ready to transition to a different workplace, it may be time to focus your attention on a successful job search.
  • If you haven’t already, seek a mentor in your career field, or desired career field, who is also blind or visually impaired. Ask questions and absorb knowledge.
  • If you are seeking experience in a career field or are looking for a means to enrich your community, find a volunteer position. Now that would be a significant New Year’s resolution.
  • How are your travel skills? If they are in need of sharpening, read through Joe Strechay’s tips on traveling independently and interdependently as a professional who is blind or visually impaired. Additionally, pursue orientation and mobility training from your local service provider. If you’re unsure of your local provider, utilize AFB’s Directory of Services.

Here’s my final suggestion. Perhaps it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, whether social, vocational, recreational, or mobility-related. Decide that 2015 is a year of pushing your limits and taking measured risks. As a wise, unknown author declared, “Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.”