Start the New Year with a Clean Slate – Tips to Get Organized
The new year is a time to reflect on the past and set resolutions for a fresh start. Common New Year’s resolutions focus on health and wellness, financial stability, and organization. Take the time to assess what you will focus on, particularly for your reentry journey, and create a plan to achieve your goals. It’s also helpful to be aware of criminal justice reform efforts in your area and see if you are eligible for assistance.
Review Your Priorities
Life is full of change, so it’s a good idea to continually evaluate what is important to you. Stay organized by making a list of your short- and long-term priorities. Maybe you feel overwhelmed because you have too many responsibilities, or you may feel that you need to take on more to keep you fulfilled. Priorities can change at any time, and if you stay organized you can adjust accordingly.
Create a Budget
It’s useful to budget not just your money but also your boundaries, time, and emotional energy. Self-reflection is a critical part of communicating and setting emotional and physical boundaries.
How to set boundaries: Identify five important values and reflect on how those may be challenged in ways that make you feel uncomfortable. Next, identify how you will deal with these challenges so you are prepared should they arise.
How to budget your time and emotional energy: Create a daily schedule that enables you to achieve your priorities and make time for yourself. It’s common for people to overlook quality time alone or with family and friends. The key is balance. Emotional energy is just as important as physical energy.
Set New Goals
Goals help facilitate new behaviors, guide your focus, and measure your improvements. Setting both short- and long-term goals keeps you motivated in the present and excited for the future. When you make SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based) you are more likely to achieve them. Download our worksheet to help you set your goals.
Follow the Clean Slate Initiative
2022 is expected to be a year of significant criminal justice reform. States across the nation are re-evaluating their policies that create both barriers and opportunities for the one in three Americans that have a criminal record. Recent legislation includes the Clean Slate Initiative, a coalition that works to advance automated criminal record clearance through technology. Sealing or expunging your criminal record may provide you with more opportunities with employment, housing, and government assistance. Visit our Get Started page to learn more and find out if you are eligible.