Updated: Dec 1, 2020
2020 undoubtedly has been a scary year. This year has had me at the edge of my seat, binging on sweets, and feeling like a post-apocalyptic society. So naturally, when October came around I was THRILLED! I finally felt like this disjointed year had a time and place.
Even though scary can be exciting, I know these issues won’t end on October 31st. So instead of coasting on fear for the rest of the year, I have been using this fun and spooky energy to inspire me to take charge and make positive changes.
So, while we are curled up with PSL, carving some pumpkins or even making costumes, I wanted to share my guide to making an action plan. I am not an expert, but I hope that together we can take control of what we can and let these chilly breezes carry us toward positive change.
A Brief Sample Guide for Turning Passion into Action:
Oftentimes we want to take action and make changes, but we just aren’t sure how. I wanted to share some ways I navigate through the big question of “How do I do this?”
Step 1: Evaluate Your Passion.
I know there is a LOT that needs to be solved, so please say it with me, “I am NOT responsible for carrying the weight of every world issue!”
After establishing this boundary, let’s try and figure out what change we want to see. Some questions to consider can be: What truly inspires us? What areas of our lives are causing us stress? Where do we feel a voice is not being represented or heard? After contemplating these ideas, It can be easier to see needs and opportunities for growth for a community.
Step 2: Determine the What and How.
Once you have decided on a few areas you want to accomplish, you need to ask the two biggest questions: What am I doing? How will I get it done?
I find at this step, once you are thrilled and passionate it is best to chat with a few trusted pals to brainstorm! In this step, I like to pinpoint what my goal is for my passion. Is it to educate? Is it to advocate? Is it to raise money? Is it a combination? Once you figure out which path you want to take your action, it is easier to pinpoint how you want to accomplish this. It is best to be specific for your goal. Maybe it is a performance to raise awareness and funds for your local homeless shelter. Maybe it is an educational workshop with a guest speaker to teach how to advocate for an accurate and inclusive history curriculum. This is a great space to be creative and innovative and allow it to benefit others as well!
Step 3: Using a Scope
Once you have pinpointed how you want to make an impact, it is time to look at the resources available to you. It is crucial to make sure you can accomplish your goal. If you can't, don't be afraid to adjust! These are listed in no particular order, but I usually like to consider and think through all my resources at once before settling on a final medium for taking action.
In times of Covid, this is ESPECIALLY CRUCIAL!
The biggest resource to consider is time. How much time do I ACTUALLY have to spend on this action plan (because let’s face it, we can be super busy!), and when do I want/need it to be completed? I find it really helpful to make a literal timeline and plot out exactly when I want it to happen. Is this a one time event like a blood drive, bakesale or performance? Or is it a constant plan that will require upkeep and consistent effort such as a blog, newsletter or subscription?
After setting your timeline, the next big thing to consider is MONEY. Do you have money to spend on this plan? Where will the money be coming from: your own pocket, a donor, will it be a mix of both or a partnership?
Step 4: STICK WITH IT
This by far is the hardest step. Whether it be self doubt, lack of support or any other obstacle, it can feel tempting to give in and stop whatever you are doing. It is important to remember why you are doing it. Maybe it’s to benefit others. There is so much hectic and craziness happening in the world, so anything you can do to bring people together and create positive change is so needed. Big or small, your action is appreciated!
If you get to a point where something causes an event to be canceled, or something happens to cause you to not achieve your goal, do not fret! Remember, you are not required to change all of the world’s problems. It is easy to get discouraged, but I promise your effort is important! You can take that moment, learn from it, and re-adjust your ideas or try a new strategy to bring an incredible and effective change that may be grander than you previously imagined!
In the midst of the fall weather, while we take some time to enjoy the fresh air, let’s not forget the need to grow and bring change. So the next time you start getting into costume or preparing to hide from trick-or-treaters, take some time to brainstorm areas in your community you want to improve. Afterall, we only want ONE spooky season next year.
Bentonville High School Senior