Fueling Hope and Triumph in the Final Stretch of 2023

In Mind, Body & Spirit, Pushing Forward by Nathasha Alvarez

Nathasha's sitting in her black wheelchair. Her back is turned to the camera. Her right arm is held up as a symbol of triumph. She sitting in front of black and white photos with arms extended in triumph.

Can you believe it? We’re just four months away from waving goodbye to another year. It’s the perfect moment to gather ’round, share stories, and soak in that radiant feeling of hope and inspiration. For us, the ones with audacious spirits and physical disabilities, the journey may take unexpected turns, but our mission remains clear: let’s wrap up 2023 with a pocketful of wins that shine like stars in the night sky. So, grab a cup of your favorite brew, get comfy, and let’s dive into some real talk about making these last months count.

1. New Wins, Fresh Perspectives

Think about it – every sunrise brings a new chance to embrace victories, both big and small. Let’s redefine the meaning of “win.” It could be mastering a complex recipe, tackling a new book genre, or even making it to the gym when you least expect it. Remember, the audacious spirit doesn’t dwell on limitations; it thrives on possibilities. Like my friend, Rich. He made it his goal to take a walk every day. Living up north in New York, he checks the weather for his safety. If it’s too cold or icy, he walks up and down the stairs. It’s a win in our book! Check out his Instagram. Click here.

2. The Power of “I Can”

Have you met our friend S.M.A.R.T. goals? They’re like little cheerleaders on our journey. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals – they’re the secret sauce to achieving what matters most to us. Whether it’s learning a craft, acing a test, or even just ensuring you get some fresh air every day, these goals are our compass. It helps us score another win! My friend, Mike Vardy is an expert in being productive. He has several techniques that will help us with our wins! Check out his words of wisdom here.

3. The Dream Team: Your Network

We’re not solitary heroes; we’re part of a tribe that has our back. Friends, family, mentors – they’re the ones who see our potential and keep us going when the going gets tough. It’s okay to lean on them; they’ll not only share wisdom but also be your accountability buddies. A win for you is a win for them too. Be sure to check out my friend, Lazaro’s Facebook page for a dose of positivity.

I have several tribes. My siblings are in one tribe. My Alpha tribe is made up of female entrepreneurs. I have Golden Girls tribe. Those are my close female friends who cheer me on no matter how weird the goal. I have my Covid tribe. Two friends with physical disabilities who made sure to check up on me during the pandemic. We laugh and hold each other accountable. Who is in your tribe? Do you have more than one?

4. Flexibility and Creativity

Life’s all about the twists, right? Let’s embrace those surprise plot twists and turn them into our own success stories. Tech tools, adaptive strategies – they’re like our sidekicks, helping us navigate challenges with finesse. Remember, every setback is an opportunity to craft something even greater. What’s your favorite tech tool for achieving goals? I’m loving Notion.so It’s my second brain! I use Goodnotes for my digital planners. Here’s a little secret. I have several planners. Physical and digital planners because they each help me achieve my micro goals. Just keep on adding those wins! Make this year end with wins!

5. Unshakeable Resilience

Let’s chat about resilience – that warrior spirit within us. It’s what turns a setback into a setup for a comeback. We’ll face roadblocks, sure, but we’re not the type to give up. Each hurdle we leap over is a testament to our unwavering spirit. My humble brag is that I have an unstoppable attitude when I’m faced with obstacles. Remember that sometimes people want you to fail because it’s a reflection on their own insecurities. Don’t let that feeling seep into your soul. You can do it!

I use my triumphs to keep me motivated. For example, I’ve gone up against people who wanted to see me fail as an educator, a consultant, and an advocate. Each time, I’ve proven them wrong. It’s fun to watch them slither away into the dark. Don’t ever give up!

6. Cheers to Self-Care

Ah, self-care – it’s our superpower. Our bodies and minds deserve some TLC. Whether it’s a cozy movie night, a leisurely stroll, or even a solo dance party, let’s celebrate ourselves. Because a refreshed spirit is a springboard for even greater wins. This past week at work, I thought I wasn’t going to make it to Friday. So I made sure to put self care into my weekend plans. It’s exactly what I needed. Be sure to put yourself first now or you won’t be able to help others including yourself later on. Here’s an article I wrote about enjoying a spa day for yourself. Click here.

7. It’s All About Progress

Life’s a journey, not a race. Even though we say we are collecting wins. There’s no race. But every step or push we take, every milestone we hit – they’re all part of our story. Let’s make it a habit to pause and celebrate. Remember the time you thought you couldn’t, but you did? Yeah, that’s a victory worth applauding. It’s one of those times when it’s freaking fantastic to hear someone say you’re an inspiration! Trust me! I get the side eye when I shout, “Woohoo! I’m proud of myself!” But I do it anyway! Because no one can understand our struggles like we do! I wrote about it here.

8. Gratitude: Our North Star

Picture this: the feeling of gratitude is like a warm, fuzzy blanket on a chilly day. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, let’s take a moment to be thankful for the journey itself. The lessons, the friendships, the growth – they’re all building blocks of our audacious adventure. On my personal Facebook account, I made it a daily habit to write one thing that I’m grateful for. I did it for myself, but I found out that others look forward to reading them. It’s a little nudge for them to show gratitude. Okay! Okay! You can check out my personal account. Click here.

When you think you’re on a losing streak because life happens. You know, wheelchair tire pops, bones ache, no accessible parking spaces, and managing medical situations. You have to stop yourself for one minute. Think of something you’re grateful for. Then place that in your win column. It makes a huge difference. Trust me!

9. Lifelong Learning and Growing

Guess what? Learning never stops. We’re like perpetual students of life, always absorbing new knowledge and refining our skills. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, every lesson shapes us into a stronger, wiser version of ourselves. I’m currently putting together a free writing webinar training for my subscribers. Are you a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to the newsletter.

I’m also a lifelong learner. I’m currently using Duolingo and Babbel to improve my Italian and French skills. And even though I was a student in the Gifted program, I’m taking courses to get an endorsement to teach Gifted students. Yes, it’s silly in my opinion to have to take a course on something I lived. But my goal is to learn something I didn’t know before about being a Gifted learner. That’s a win too!

10. Be the Spark, Find the Spark

Our stories are embers that ignite hope in others. Share your journey, your wins, your tactics – they’re beacons of inspiration for those walking alongside us. And while we’re at it, let’s seek inspiration from fellow audacious spirits. Their stories are like magic potions, rekindling our own fire. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter, so you know when the writing course opens up!

Your Story, Our Inspiration: From Wheels to Wings

Let me share a tale that’s as real as the air we breathe. It’s about how I set my sights on something audacious – pushing my manual wheelchair in the acclaimed Tropical Park 10K Turkey Trot. It seemed like a mountain, but I split it into little hills of achievement. Push by push, goal by goal. And you know what made it sweeter? The support of friends who’d been down similar paths. They not only shared tips but stood by me, nudging me forward, and reminding me that each push was a step toward triumph. My tribe! My people! My network is my networth!

Closing Thoughts:

So, here’s to these final months of 2023, a time where our audacious spirits shine brighter than ever. Let’s dream big, set our sails, and ride the winds of hope and inspiration. It’s not just about the destination, but the incredible journey we’re on – one filled with wins, challenges, growth, and a whole lot of audacity. May these last four months be a tapestry of victories woven with threads of courage, resilience, and that audacious spirit that defines us. Onward we go, my friends – together, towards a bright and triumphant horizon.

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