How planning is sorting out my life

favouritepictureofcheryl-550x400_cBy Cheryl Fryfield

In the past five years now I have done two PATHs which focus on person centered planning. PATHs don’t have to be for just people with diverse abilities, it can be for anyone. PATH stands for Planning Alternatives for Tomorrow with Hope.

In a PATH meeting there will be important people there that you have invited. There is a facilitator and sometimes a graphic facilitator who does drawings. The facilitator will ask you two important questions:

  • Who are you, and how are these people you invited important in your life?
  • What can we do together to reach a better life for you now, and in the future?

At both PATHs I had some co-workers and my friends. I was very happy after I had done the two PATHs. My friends Aaron and Shelley helped with the two PATHS. My first PATH was about four years ago. Most of my goals came true.

One of them was to do a presentation at a conference, which I did. I am still doing presentations three years later! Another goal was to get healthy. I have had a rough time with my health, but now I am eating better, exercising and trying to sleep better too. This has helped me be healthier. Another long term goal I had was to get the proper papers for my Canadian citizenship. I was born in San Francisco, California. I am grateful that my mother is a Canadian. I did not have to take the citizenship test.

Instead, I had a friend who helped me with the papers. After many months I got my Canadian citizenship card. She is now helping me with the forms for my Canadian passport. Another one of my long term goals was to have a little bit of financial freedom. With the help of some of my friends my finances are in better shape and I feel less stressed.

I co-facilitated the Cheryl’s Star Raft Salon group. Most people in the group did a PATH, including me. On the second PATH, I wanted to get better in my writing skills, become more confident in public speaking and keep in touch with some of my SALON friends. I am doing all of these things. There are other goals, like wanting to volunteer at the “Bard on the Beach,” that I have not done yet. But that’s okay as I was busy doing other things. I hope to do a toastmaster’s session one day. Another one of my goals is to have something like a Stone Soup gathering that’s like a potluck. I hope to do that at some point this year with a few friends.

I think planning is important. So go for it. Trust me, it worked for me.

Cheryl’s top reasons why planning is important:

  1.  It helps people gain control of their lives.
  2.  Pictures help you see the actions you will take.
  3. It’s a positive booster.

This story was originally published on www.SelfAdvocateNet.com.

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