Create Your Vision for Wellness in 2012

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Happy New Year!

Like most people, I am in a reflective mood this week. I’ve been reading the usual articles about people setting New Year’s Resolutions, advertisements for helping people be healthy. It happens overnight, they say. Does it?

We’re all dreamers. For the most part, New Year’s Resolutions are a rite of passage. Something we do each year with little thought to how we’ll accomplish it. To top it off, if you’re anything like me, you dream BIG.

Typically my goals and resolutions are mostly about my own health. This year, though, I have big goals for Andy’s health that will truly impact his quality of life, health, and his community connections. They all seem do-able individually. But what about when I put them together?

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If left unchecked, my New Years dreams are so ambitious that it takes a 48 hour day to accomplish them. I think this is part of the New Year’s tradition. That tradition rarely leads to long-term results for anyone. This is especially true for families that include a person with Down syndrome and related disabilities.

Face it. We’re not like other people. We have all the same issues, with a teeny bit more. Focusing on ourselves, on our health, is harder. Focusing on our family’s health and creating a quality life for everyone can feel like climbing Mt. Everest.

It can be done! And you do not need to do it alone.

From my observations as both a parent of a child with Down syndrome and autism, and health care professional, we can do it when we create a vision that includes the extra pieces we experience. We can shape our families to live a healthy, quality life in the same way.

The barrier? Not being able to share. Sharing your vision and creating the goals toward that vision with someone who is skilled in wellness coaching and understands the uniqueness of your life gives power to your vision. You need someone to walk beside you on your journey to wellness.

Many years ago, I looked for someone I could talk to. My marriage was in trouble. My health was a mess. I hired a counselor recommended by a friend. I found that I paid more money to educate this person on why I could not do what she suggested to reduce my stress than receiving support because she had no idea what it meant to be a parent of a child with Down syndrome. So I looked for someone else. The second person chose worked in the disability field before going into private practice. What a difference it made! I didn’t have to describe an IEP, explain that I can’t leave my 11 year old in charge of his brother so I can go for a fitness walk, or that I needed to spend time advocating for my family so we could live a quality life. It made the world of difference. Is our life picture perfect? Of course not! But it’s 100% better because I had a coach who understood the influence of disability on life.

The second lesson I’ve learned is that the disability community uses some terrific tools such as person-centered planning and MAPS/PATH tools. We also endure other planning methods like Individual Education Plans and Individual Support Plans (for adults). Our family has experienced all of these. In fact, we use a Person Centered Plan to guide us in the bigger goals for our son.

One of my good friends, the Executive Director of the Northwest Down Syndrome Association, shares her opinion that a person centered plan for someone under 18 is really a family centered plan. It’s true. But I believe it is always a family centered plan. Seriously. If my kids aren’t living a quality life, no matter their age, I am not living a quality life.

Even so, when I see these tools used and implemented, they are missing a key element: Wellness.

It needs to be an integral part of the plan! In fact, it’s why you do the plan!

This is what led me to name my coaching services the Wellness Walk and to focus my practice on creating quality lives, quality health, with a community vision….for you. You and your family deserve no less.

Join me for a free webinar to create your vision for quality living for you and your family. Together we will explore the elements of wellness so you can see how it all fits in to quality living, quality health, and a community vision. You will leave with a next step in mind and a tool to create your vision of health for your family.

As always, the focus is on practical tools you can use.

We don’t have time for anything less.

Webinar iInformation:

Create Your Vision for Health for Your Family - and  You - for 2012

Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012


Time: 8am HAT, 9am AT, 10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET

Place:  On yoru couch, in the living room, at Starbucks...anywhere. It's a webinar.

Click here to register


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