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Loving Action for the New Year

A few ideas for getting into (sweet, sustainable, meaningful) gear

For all that we blamed 2020 on, well, 2020, the joke's now up and it's clear (if. it. wasn't. already.) we've got some shit we still gotta take care of. But the vastness of social and environmental issues that need addressing can be paralyzing, and the ways to contribute seemingly endless.

If you’re feeling called to (re)engage in meaningful work for your fellow humans and environment in 2021 but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas to consider:

Plant one seed

Rather than waiting to figure out the perfect action or career move, focus on finding one small thing to do this week only, try it out, then see what you learn. Trust that momentum will build and lead to the unexpected.

Having trouble getting started with that? Vow to spend 5 minutes each day moving forward. ('Cause we know you can find 5 minutes!) Your action could be as simple as scheduling a chat with a friend who's active with a few organizations, researching a few volunteering options, or signing up for a virtual phone bank.

Embrace your natural role

I’m a huge fan of Deepa Iyer's map, Your Role in the Social Change Ecosystem. Rather than gnashing your teeth about all the ways you “should” show up, figure out what role fits your style, and then go for it. Go. For. It.

Start with values

Not even sure which issues to tackle? Rather than looking outside yourself, consider grounding your work around your core values and building from there. I’m a fan of the (free!) VIA Character Assessment. If you put your top few values at the top of your list, what opportunities would they naturally lead you toward?

Hire a coach

There's no better way to go deep into these questions than working with a trained partner. Most coaches (including myself) offer free sample sessions, so you can find someone whose energy complements yours. If that's not me, I have a great network of social- and eco-oriented coaches and LOVE providing referrals; reach out for a few ideas!

How are you showing up with loving action in 2021? Share more ideas in the comments below!

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