Goal Setting for Adults with Disabilities

Everyone benefits from implementing goals in their life. It’s difficult to grow into our highest potential without focusing on intentions and ambitions. Goals are powerful tools, allowing us to strive to be better versions of ourselves.

Benefits of Setting Goals:

  • Provides focus and direction
  • Establishes accountability
  • Fosters personal growth
  • Creates motivation
  • Sparks inspiration

Considering the many benefits, everyone should try to make a list of goals to achieve! However, this practice can be even more valuable for adults with disabilities.

Everyday activities such as grocery shopping, bike riding, and going to work may seem like actions we develop naturally. In reality, we take these experiences for granted. Adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities may encounter obstacles during these everyday occurrences, therefore needing more assistance to reach new goals.

If you have a loved one with disabilities, consider creating a list of attainable goals that push them to foster personal growth. To avoid frustration, or even a sense of failure, it is crucial that these goals are realistic, while still motivating your loved one to venture out of their comfort zone. Let’s explore a few examples of goals that you may want to add to the list!

5 Examples of Goals for Adults with Disabilities

It’s important to remember that no one’s goal list will look the same. After all, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Cater your list accordingly!

1. Order Independently at a Restaurant

Having a disability has the potential to make restaurants more stress-inducing than enjoyable. Whether it’s the overstimulation, the anxiety of ordering from a menu, or the confusion of paying with gratuity, there are many aspects of dining at a restaurant that can make it difficult for someone with special needs.

When adults with disabilities learn how to eat at local restaurants, they are able to create community connections, explore different cultures, and share a meal and meaningful conversation. Ordering independently at a restaurant can be a great goal for someone who enjoys eating out, but hasn’t been fully comfortable with the entire process. Taking the time to focus on this goal is an excellent way to boost one’s self confidence and personal growth!

2. Get a Job or Volunteer

A job or volunteer position for an adult with disabilities can provide more than income; it can provide a safe environment for social participation, as well as open doors to other fulfilling opportunities. Getting a job is a huge goal for an individual who feels comfortable with the idea of employment.

For more information on jobs for adults with disabilities and employment resources, read our blog.

3. Learn a New Hobby

Tapping into a new hobby can be a wonderful way to relieve stress, have fun, and build self esteem. Whether it’s  joining an adaptive sports team, participating in an art therapy class, or learning to ride a bike, encourage your loved one to embark in a new activity.

Learning new hobbies takes practice, patience, and positive reinforcement. What better way to learn about adapting to and accomplishing your goals?

4. Move Out

Moving out on your own is a huge milestone—for everyone. When an adult has a disability, this step in life can come with even more obstacles. Keep in mind, this goal is not realistic for everyone, but can be a great aspiration for people who are able to do so!

Between Section 8 Disability Housing, Adult Family Homes, Assisted Living, and Supported Apartments, there are many housing options for adults with disabilities. These living quarters give individuals the opportunity to move out of their parents’ house, while also receiving the care and support they need.

Moving out is an extremely significant goal, and can be a very motivating and exciting adventure to work towards. For more information, read our blog, Finding the Right Housing for Disabled Adults.

5. Make New Friends

Perhaps your loved one could benefit from having a bigger circle of like-minded friends. Although socializing can be anxiety-inducing for many people, adults with disabilities should have someone in their life that they can talk to, relate to, and trust. Stepping out of their comfort zone and socializing with new groups is a great goal for your loved one to add to their list. Plus, there are so many opportunities in the community for adults with disabilities to build connections and meet new people!

Setting Goals with Covey

Located in the Greater Fox Valley of Wisconsin, Covey is a nonprofit organization devoted to creating opportunities that foster personal growth for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Among these opportunities is our Community-Based Day Services Program, where our participants create personal goals, tailored to their own desires. This program allows them to explore their interests and reach their fullest potential in life!

Covey also offers a safe space to explore new hobbies and build a social network of friends. Through Covey Connects, participants can learn new skills and build relationships with others in the community.

For adults who strive to feel more comfortable and confident in a restaurant, we’re happy to announce our new program, Meaningful Meals! Covey participants are able to dine out at local establishments while simultaneously advocating for themselves and educating restaurant owners and staff on inclusion, empathy, and understanding.

Meaningful Meals allows both Covey participants and local restaurants to create community connections. Adults with disabilities will foster personal growth by exploring different cultures, gain familiarity with the process of gratuity, and better understand the type of work that goes into running a restaurant. Overall, Meaningful Meals encourages growth and education for individuals with disabilities, restaurants, and the community as a whole. Together, we will make the community more welcoming and inclusive!

For more information about what Covey has to offer, visit our website!