You can use this planner for any kind of activism, civic engagement, or change-making. I hope it helps you find focus and momentum! If you find it useful or if you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments below.
Why I made this spreadsheet
I’ve been more engaged in civics and politics in the last 5 years, but I don’t feel connected or effective. I’ve read books, listened to podcasts, attended meetings, joined marches, written letters, etc. I’ve learned a lot, but the actions I take are unfulfilling because I do them randomly and inconsistently.
So this year, I want to be more intentional and focused. I know it will help me have a more realistic perspective on things, and I’ll feel more hopeful as well.
Some other random thoughts activism & social change that I have to tell myself frequently:
- I believe that joining a community group is the best way to stay engaged & make change:
- You can get more done with others — social change takes lots of people!
- It’s more fun working with others!
- You will learn from others. They’ll guide you and help you understand the situation.
- You can’t work on everything:
- There’s no way to understand all sides of an issue. At some point you have to trust others, and the best way to build that trust is to get to know the group and their values.
- Trust takes time.
- Campaigns and social change takes time. It’s easy to forget what’s going on and what you’ve done. The action tracker will help you remember! Fill it out!
- Your actions matter:
- It takes many interactions & nudges for people to change. Just because your conversation with someone didn’t go anywhere doesn’t mean it didn’t matter.
- You will make mistakes. You have to be brave anyway, just make sure to listen and be humble.
- Think about influence instead of control.
- There is no “best” action to take is. Sustainable action is more important than high-visibility action. What is sustainable is personal to you & what you find meaningful, enjoyable, rewarding.
- Remember: the goal is to take action and to help consistently, not to read every book & blog post on the subject. That just builds anxiety. If you have to read, read more history and see how people applied values & principles to their activism. Then do the same.