I’m not a New Year’s Resolution-setting kind of gal. If there’s something in life that needs improving or doing, it doesn’t seem right to me to wait until January 1 to get around to it. I love this quote from Anne Frank:
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Yet, as 2010 winds down I feel the need to assess what good (and perhaps not so good) I have done in the world this past year, specifically in the area of politics. I feel inspired to set higher standards for myself and to plan for positive political accomplishments. The fact that it’s New Year’s Resolution time is just a happy coincidence.
Here are five steps that will help me (and anyone who wants to join me) set new political goals for the new year:
1) Get creative! Want to change the world, but don’t know how? To help you select a political goal, brainstorm a list of your political interests and attitudes. Ask yourself:
- What is going well in politics?
- What do you think needs to change?
- What are your political passions and peeves?
- What issues interest you most?
- What level of politics interests you most (political party, school board, city council, state legislature, federal congress, etc.)?
- What personal strengths and weaknesses apply (Do you love networking? Does public speaking make you faint? Are you a good fund raiser) ?
- How much time do you have to spend?
- Do you want to play a leading role, or be a supporting actor?
2) Pick a target. Review your brainstorming list. Sift out the ideas and issues that stand out as being truly important to you. What do you want to accomplish? Would you like to:
- Attend City Council meetings regularly?
- Become a member of a board?
- Volunteer to work on a campaign?
- Become a delegate?
- Lobby on behalf of your favorite issue?
- Become more politically educated?
- Run for office?
Pick a goal and write it down — a goal not written down is just a wish. Be specific in describing your goal. Make your goal realistic (for example, “Run for President” might not be a realistic goal for most people).
3) Make a Game Plan. How are you going to accomplish your goal? Break the process down into manageable steps, and write down the specific steps you will need to take to achieve your goal. Setting timetables will help motivate you and move you through the steps of your plan.
4) Get Started! Now that you’ve got a goal and a plan, don’t procrastinate — get started! Every journey begins with a single step forward. Take your first step today!
5) Try and Try Again. As we work on any goal, we experience successes and setbacks. Reward yourself for successes, and don’t sweat the setbacks — pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.
As we work toward our political goals, it is important to remember to have a good attitude, always maintain integrity, and HAVE FUN!