Happy New Year Prison Family!!! New years are kind of weird. Its nice because it’s almost like a universal fresh start, but also a reminder that time is ticking away. I suppose a lot of things are like that.
Personally, I do make resolutions, and write down goals for the year. It is a good way to keep track of things and, if you’re like me, you have a nice new planner to go with it! This year is all about gratitude and being healthier for me. There are some goals for The Visiting Room as well, like our newsletter finally becoming a thing, blogging with more regularity, doing a few YouTube videos a month and the podcast. I have it all scheduled in my fancy planer so the intent is there. Now its just about making it happen. From what I’ve gathered by speaking with other wives and inmates, the new year is hard for them. Its another reminder that time is moving and another year they spent in prison.
It is well known that a lot of people fall off their resolutions a few weeks into the year. I think the difference between those that do and the ones that don’t is having a plan and action. Its easy to wake up and say “I’m going to work out from now on” but without knowing when you’re going to fit it in everyday it might not happen. Then you miss a day, then you beat yourself up, then you miss another day because you’re feeling defeated, then after a few more days you decide you can’t work out or you forget you have a goal altogether. Here’s the thing, there are a few things working against you here, and you have the power to fix them both.
The first thing we did that is working against us is we didn’t clearly define what we want to do. The second is that we didn’t do is forgive ourselves and move on. Let’s handle the goal setting first, since honestly, that is the easier of these things.
Write down your goal: It doesn’t have to be in a planner, a simple notebook is fine, just write it down. This should be your end result. It should be clear and it should have an end date. For instance, instead of “I want to lose weight” your goal should look more like, “I want to lose 50 pounds by June 1.”
Break the goal down into smaller goals: This is helpful, because you can focus on smaller steps, which are less daunting and easier to achieve. You know what else happens when you hit these small goals? You feel fucking amazing! So, in keeping with our previous goal, our small goals would look like this: “Lose ten pounds by January 31″, “Lose ten pounds in the month of February” etc., super achievable, and, if you’ll notice, if you lose ten pounds a month for five months, you just hit your big goal. BAM!!!
The next thing we need to work on is forgiving ourselves. We are our own worst critics, we are the only person on the planet who knows all of our flaws and the excuses we make to ourselves. So if we have a goal and we slip up, of course, we are going to beat ourselves up about it. All of those negative comments from the past will pop up in your head reminding you of why you don’t deserve this and how you shouldn’t even try. Fuck them.
This type of self sabotage is the biggest reason why people don’t complete their goals. When you’ve done something that isn’t in line with your goal, its okay. You’re human. Even if you fucked off for a whole month, the nice thing is that you’re still here and you still have that chance to get back on the bandwagon (whatever that is for you). So, how do you forgive yourself and move on? I guess it really depends on the kind of person you are, but I like to write it out. I keep a journal and I write down how I was sidelined, what kept me there, and what I can do to get back on track. This also allows me the opportunity to explore and plan how to avoid it in the future, and you’re putting in a little work to make up for the guilt you have of not sticking with your goals.
Whatever you make New Years Resolutions or not, these tactics can help you stay on track with your goals. I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season, now let’s go kick 2017’s ass.
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