Save more. Lose weight. Start exercising. Have you already abandoned your New Year’s resolutions? If so, you’re not alone. According to U.S. News & World Report, around 80% of New Year’s resolutions don’t stick, and most of us are back to our old routines by mid-February.
That used to be the case for the leadership team at Women AdvaNCe, until we shifted the focus from what we don’t like about ourselves and begin to focus on the CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD AROUND US.
The folks at Alternet have done some research about resolutions and why they fail. Their suggestion is to seek purpose “in three interrelated components: goal orientation, personal meaning and focus on something or someone beyond the self.”
We at Women AdvaNCe want to interrupt oppressive systems wherever we go. Nicki, Antionette and Jo have all articulated their social justice goals from a personal, professional and community perspective below. We hope sharing our social justice goals publicly will help us keep ourselves accountable and maybe inspire you to make social justice goals of your own
Personal Social Justice Resolutions
Antionette: I plan to do a calendar audit of where and with whom I spend my work time. And last but not least, I plan to evaluate my own ableism, which is important for my family and families across the state.
Nicki: I plan on creating a vision board that lays out things that I will commit myself to this year, including travel I want to complete in order to learn about other cultures, and social justice trainings I’d like to attend that will help me to understand others better.
Jo: I resolve to speak less and listen more to the myriads of voices within my family, social circles, work spheres and world in order to better understand perspectives and experiences which are not my own.
Professional Social Justice Resolutions
Antionette: I feel like learning about institutional racism is an important pledge for someone working in media. I want to look at data, thinking critically and analyze it for racial disparities.
Nicki: I plan on setting firm boundaries with myself about work hours.
My family often says, when referring to me, “she figured out she has five extra minutes in the day, so she’s going to get another job.” For the past decade, I’ve been set in my ways about having at least two jobs because I felt like I needed the income “just in case.”
This fear of going without came from growing up in the 90’s when eastern NC had plenty of manufacturing jobs. Three generations of my family all worked at the same mill, only for it to be shutdown, and their jobs lost, forever. Having more than one job has always made me feel secure, because no matter what happened, I knew I could provide something. I’ve gone weeks without a day off, working until 11:00-12:00 pm at one job, only to get up at 7:00 am for the next.
I found myself always with money in my pocket, but no time invested in learning about finance for the future. In 2020 I will continue to protect myself from burnout, and will only commit myself to certain work hours. There’s race equity training I’ve wanted to attend for years, but never “made the time” for it. Issues I’ve wanted to get involved it, but couldn’t. This year I will get involved!
Jo: I resolve to continue working with writers at Women Advance so every woman in North Carolina has the opportunity to add their voice to the chorus that influences policy in our state and in our world.
Community Social Justice Resolutions
From a community perspective, we turn to former Women Advance Summit speaker, MSNBC TV host and Wake Forest University professor Melissa Harris Perry’s piece in Elle Magazine. She calls for a focus on “Squad Care.”
For the sake of community, she shared, “What lifted me from the floor, locked the front door, helped me find a counselor, and initiated 20 years of bullshit-free friendship was not self-care—it was squad care.” While we don’t think the two are mutually exclusive, we also think MHP is on to something. #Squadcare reminds us there is no shame in reaching for each other and insists the imperative rests not with the individual, but with the community.
Antionette: I love the fact that Women AdvaNCe is dedicated to empowering a collective of women across the state who are willing to share their own personal stories. I look forward to what comes forward in 2020 from “What has me on the floor” to “What lifted me off the floor.”
Nicki: I commit myself in 2020 to getting more involved with my own culture and traditions. In the past I’ve been overwhelmed with other things, like work and family obligations. I haven’t been able to be as involved as I’d like to be. It’s important I learn this knowledge now, so that I can pass it on to youth later. There are also certain skills I have that are beneficial to youth that others in my community don’t have. I could teach these skills, but haven’t quite made it out of my shell to do so. This year I plan on being the student and the teacher when it comes to culture and customs.
Jo: I resolve to go to more marches, lectures and social justice events during 2020. I resolve to connect people who I think might do incredible work together. I resolve to build new partnerships and maintain current ones throughout the year.
Women AdvaNCe will continue sharing stories from women across the state and we always welcome new writers who want to talk about some of the personal, professional and community issues they are working to change. Let’s get shit done in 2020. Or to say it nicely, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Women AdvaNCe Leadership Team