Friday, January 23, 2009

What Are Your 2009 Have Fun Do Good Resolutions?

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 . . .
I didn't . . .
  • 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.
Clearly, I need to do less. In that spirit, I'm making only three 2009 Have Fun Do Good Resolutions
  • 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 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.
What are your Have Fun Do Good resolutions?

Flickr photo credit: Downtown Oakland 2 uploaded by ChrisDag.

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  1. I also took my bag with me everywhere, which is a small thing...but big things start small right?

    This year, I hope to do more online to spread goodness and also volunteer my time in my area to help others. My six-year-old daughter and I did meals on wheels this past Monday for our day of service activity - it was great! I hope to make that a monthly habit. of going out and making a difference together.

  2. I resolve to keep on making resolutions throughout 2009, and invite others to do the same. Makes a lot of sense as co-founder of a website that helps people keep their promises, with a charitable touch.

    In a nutshell, Pledgehammer makes a resolution easy-to-share and (nicely) asks to donate money to charity if one fails to keep it. So whether you keep your pledge or not, either way the world will be a little bit better.

    Would be great to get more people to try it out.

  3. Good to see that you will be writing about socially responsible investing in March.

    Before you write, have a look at

    It's one of the biggest and most popular sites on the web on socially responsible investing. And it also happens to be a site I created back in 2002, after following the subject for some thirty years.

    Best wishes, and good luck, Ron

  4. Volunteering with your daughter once a month sounds like a wonderful resolution, Christopher.


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