I think it's wise to make your New Year's Resolutions a few weeks into January. When you make them on January 1st, you're feeling rested and relaxed after time off, and may have unrealistic expectations of what you can acheive. Waiting a few weeks until your "real life" is in full swing can help you craft more realistic goals.
My six 2008 Activist Resolutions went so-so:
I did . . .
- Continue learning about why genocide happens and how I can take action by following blogs like the Genocide Intervention Network, ENOUGH, Stop Genocide on Change.org, Darfur: An Unforgivable Hell on Earth, and Human Rights Now.
- Carry my reusable shopping bag with me almost all of the time.
- Write to the Nigerian woman I sponsored through Women for Women International each month.
- Increase the number of people of color I interviewed for the Big Vision Podcast. It stayed about the same.
- Donate 5% of my income. It was closer to 3%.
- Have more fun while doing good, which gives me pause. Although I enjoyed a lot of the things I did last year, I still felt like I was trying to do too much at one time--which is exhausting, and stressful.
- Write each month to the woman from Sudan who I am sponsoring through Women for Women International.
- Participate in the 2009 Indie Resolution Challenge sponsored by my local paper, The East Bay Express. To get involved, I emailed my name and address to Indie@EastBayExpress.com. In February, they'll mail me an Indie Resolution Journal and information about how to find local businesses.
Each month they'll have a theme (i.e. February - celebrate local musicians; March - local, socially responsible investing). I'm supposed to write at least one journal entry each month about how I supported local businesses. At the end of the year, I mail it back to them for a chance to win $5800 in local gift certificates.
They chose $5800 because according to The Express, "Fifty-eight percent more of your money stays in the community when spent at local, independent businesses rather than out-of-town chains."
- Volunteer in Oakland outside of my home office, and away from my computer. I'm hoping to work with the Reading Partners program at a local public elementary school. Adult volunteers read once a week, one-on-one with two students for 30 minutes each.
Flickr photo credit: Downtown Oakland 2 uploaded by ChrisDag.