Goals, Resolutions, and Success
As we sit in the start of 2021, we recently held a conversation focusing on goals, resolutions, and how to be successful in the program, and in real life.
“Listen. And do what you listen to.” This statement was a recurring theme throughout the evening. Many Lifers mentioned the importance of listening to those around you who know better. Several Lifers reiterated the idea that for years they tried to do things their own way, and fell back into the same pattern of drug use and incarceration. Committing to learning how to live in a new, healthy way is the first step to recovery. Repetition of the good, to get over the bad habits that you once had can put you on the pathway to success.
As one REAL LIFE staff member stated, it takes patience to really begin to see change. Recovery does not happen overnight. It is an ongoing process. Following directions and seeing them through, believing in yourself, and never giving up are three key ideas in being successful. This applies not only to recovery, but at your job, and in anything in life that you put your mind to.
Some other words of advice on how to stick to goals and succeed is to plan. Scheduling, planning, and writing things down is key to staying on track. It is important to note that this will not always be as easy or straightforward as it sounds. One REAL LIFE staff member emphasized the importance of making time to find things you enjoy, that do not damage who you are. Finding and pursuing these passions can help relieve the stress of everyday life and keep you on track for your goals. Additionally, having a natural curiosity for life and wanting to learn new skills is a factor in striving for success.
Treating recovery as the most important thing in your life, and doing it for you, is the way that many Lifers say they have been able to create positive change. Having a routine, being consistent, and setting baby-step goals that you can look forward to is the best way to prioritize oneself. When things seem too hard to manage, it is important to remember: Do not be afraid to ask for help. As mentioned earlier, listening to others is essential. Other people may have wisdom to offer that you never would have thought of on your own.
Part of the goal at REAL LIFE is to help people find jobs – and then keep them. In order to be successful at this, REAL LIFE staff recommends that you do jobs and duties that others do not want to do. Taking the initiative to do these things will result in recognition and gratitude from supervisors. It is also important to focus on what you need to do specifically to succeed. Comparing yourself to others will only cause you strife.
We heard some wonderful words of advice, and strategies for achieving goals and resolutions from each of the house managers of in our houses. Many of the sentiments offered by the staff are shared by the house managers, who went through the program. One passionately talked about the importance of scheduling and planning and being patient while it all plays out. He went on to state something inspiring to many members of the group. “With patience, comes acceptance. Acceptance of what you went through gives you peace.” It goes to show that this program really does help people who actively decide to put in the work.
Another theme was the importance of loving oneself. Loving yourself enough to let go of toxic relationships. Loving your future self so you will be able to manifest the goals you have. Loving yourself even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. One beautifully stated that her resolution for 2021 was loving herself, because if you do, you will learn to do better for yourself, and be able to help others as well.
The night’s meeting was filled with stories of hope, achievement, and what one needs to do to be successful. Some final takeaways from the conversation are to let someone else lead, listen to their feedback, and use it to better yourself. When you stay in your comfort zone, and only listen to what you want to do, you are likely to become stuck in bad habits. Truly wanting change for yourself and putting in the effort is the way to be rewarded. As one said, his resolution is to work towards getting all of the ingredients he needs to better himself…by setting a goal to reach each one, he will soon have enough to make an entire mac and cheese.
We hope this advice also helps others as it has helped our Lifers!