[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Last year, I decided not to make any New Year’s Resolutions. After years of forgetting about my goals after only a few weeks and in some cases breaking my diet resolutions later that day on January 1st, I didn’t want to put myself through the effort of once again deciding on goals, planning for their success, and then breaking them soon thereafter.
Well, the thing about not having any goals to strive for is — I don’t feel like I accomplished much in 2017.
I mean, I kept busy. I worked a lot and feel like I did well in my job. I had fun going to music festivals and hanging out with my friends. I moved to a new place and finally bought my own furniture, but I feel like most of the year, I was just going through the motions. I don’t feel like I grew much.
In other words, I’m disappointed that I gave into my natural tendency towards laziness and didn’t set any resolutions last year. So, what have I been doing this week between Christmas and New Year’s Day? I’ve been thinking about the areas in my life where I want to see improvement and I’ve been planning on how I can achieve those improvements.
I’m not going to bore you with my resolutions for being healthier (I need to lose weight) or my dating life (it’s currently non-existent). But I would like to share a new category of resolutions I had never created before, with the hope it might inspire some of you to do the same. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”11247″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://unsplash.com/@nordwood”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
My 2018 Resolutions to Be More Civically Engaged
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Now, you may be asking: “Chase, you work for a nonprofit focusing on politics. Aren’t you already engaged in the political process?” I thought so too. But I’ve slowly realized that sitting behind a computer screen all day, researching policy, making funny memes, designing graphics, and sometimes going to meetings, has been great at allowing others to be engaged in their government. But at the same time, helping others isn’t the same as doing it myself.
1. Contact my Representatives and Senators
For someone who has told thousands of people to contact their federal and state legislators, it was a shock to realize I had never actually done so myself. Sure, I’ve signed petitions and I think that I may have once clicked a button that sent a form email to one of my representatives. But I’ve never actually taken the time to enter in that number on my own phone or draft a personal email expressing my views on an issue important to me.
2. Canvass for a Political Candidate
I made phone calls for the first time this past year for a candidate’s campaign. Let’s just say, I was proud of myself because I hate talking on the phone. But I still have never gone door-to-door for a campaign. I’ve always hid behind the excuse that I knocked doors for two years in Texas on my LDS mission and that was enough for a lifetime. However, it’s election year and I’m going to get out there for a candidate I really want to see in office.
3. Learn about and Become Involved in City Politics
I was on the Mayor’s Youth Council in Mesa, Arizona during high school for a few months, but let’s just say — I didn’t learn much. I focused on the federal government (specifically, Congress) during my political science degree at ASU and now my job focuses on state-level politics. But there are so many policies that are affected at the city level — zoning, affordable housing, homelessness, education, public transportation, the arts, and many more. I’ve already signed up to receive notifications from the Salt Lake City Council and my district councilman. I’m going to attend some meetings, send emails, and become more involved in the issues happening around me here in Salt Lake City.
What are your goals to become more civically engaged over the course of this New Year? For those who caught the activism spirit this past year, what are some suggestions or ideas you have for how people can become more engaged in their community and government? Comment below! [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]