How are you doing? What was the last action you took?
Maybe you’re feeling fired up and taking action every day. Maybe you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and disheartened by the news each day, making it hard to act. Maybe life has interrupted and your best intentions have taken a backseat to dealing with urgent personal matters.
No matter how many actions you’ve taken so far, know this: WE ARE IN THIS FOR THE LONG HAUL.
This is not normal. And we must never ever allow ourselves to let it feel normal.
There is no finish line. No future end date we are aiming towards. This is not a diet or a challenge or a campaign.
This is brushing your teeth. This is grocery shopping. This is paying bills. This is exercise. This is drinking coffee. This is weeding the garden.
This is a habit. This is you making a permanent slot in your regular routine for taking action to protect our rights, fight injustice and inequality, and protect vulnerable populations. You can do it. You must.
Good news! You already know how to start new habits. (And if your life does not allow you to commit to a new habit right now, work in actions as much as you can until you have more bandwidth.)
Tips for Sustaining Action
Set aside some time for your reading the news, researching, reading books, writing letters, making calls, and planning actions. Schedule it on your calendar just like any other appointment and set a reminder.
Remember to set up recurring, monthly donations, too.
Narrow Your Focus
There are so many actions to take and so much work to do. It can feel overwhelming. One way to fight this problem is to narrow your focus to your top three issues you are most passionate about. Follow groups that are organizing issues on those topics. Maybe you’ll branch out in the future, the most important thing is to keep acting and not get stuck at inaction. Keep this in mind, though.
Use a Cheat Sheet
People out there are doing the work of researching and selecting regular actions so that you don’t have to. Here are a few cheat sheets to follow that will deliver regular actions to you, along with the rationale and sources behind them.
Wall of Us
Join a Group
Thousands of grassroots groups sprung up immediately after the election with the purpose of organizing action against Trump. These groups are working online and in person. They are planning actions on a local level, state level, national level, and world level. Find one near you. (This list is not comprehensive, but a good round up.)
Form an Accountability Circle
This is simple. Find some buddies who also are taking and agree to regularly check in with each other to see how it’s going. Meet in person, do a group chat online, form a Facebook group, or however you want to go about it. Every (one, two, three) weeks, ask everyone to report in with their latest actions. Knowing someone is going to check on you can give you that extra motivation you need.
Or, simply post your latest actions on social media and ask what your friends have been up to. Use this hashtag: #actionaccountability
Celebrate, Reward, and Take Care of Yourself
Are you tired yet? I am. This work is exhausting physically and emotionally. Don’t burn out. Please take care of yourself. We need you and your voice. Take a break when you need to, but come back, refreshed and full of fire. Practice your favorite self-care. Reward yourself for taking action. And celebrate our victories! Because there will be victories. You can do it. You must. Remember, we are the ones we have been waiting for.
Missed step four? Read it here.