If you're like me, you may have already broken some of your New Year's resolutions (perhaps I can exercise every day once I get over this cold :) ), but there are resolutions out there which are easy to keep. Please take a look at the ideas below to help inspire yourself to commit to advocacy in the New Year (and thanks to the National Coalition for Literacy's 11 Ways to Recommit to Advocacy, which inspired me!)
- Remember what inspires you: 2010 was a hard year for many advocates, especially as we dealt with budget deficits, program cuts, and increased waiting lists for those in need. 2011 promises more challenges with new legislators coming into office and new budget cuts looming, but it can also be an opportunity. Take a moment to remember why advocacy is important to you, whether it is a sense of justice, a personal story, or a client's success, and share that story with legislators and with friends. And if 2011 starts getting you down, continue remembering these stories and the people that you care about in your advocacy.
- Commit to responding to 5 alerts this year: I stole this right from the National Council, and with good reason - it is a great idea. Many alerts take just a minute to respond to, but your response could make a real difference with a legislator, especially if you add a personal note. If you are looking for alerts to sign up for, PathWays PA has an enewsletter and an Action Center you should check out. You can find others by googling the advocacy issues you care about.
- Share important stories with friends, families, and colleagues: Social media has made it easier than ever to share information. Many websites (including our blog!) allow you to share stories directly through Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Take the time to let your friends and family know what is important to you.
- Learn about a new issue: When advocating, it is important to know how your issue interacts with other topics and needs. This year, commit to learning about a new issue and taking action on it. Looking for ideas? You can read our posts on earned sick days, education, health care, and Industry Partnerships.