With the beginning of 2017, many of us are creating our New Year’s Resolutions. These resolutions are often focused on our individual welfare, benefiting our physical and mental well-being. So we may resolve to join the local gym to get more exercise, go to bed earlier to get 7-8 hours of sleep and commit to eat more fruit and vegetables. With these lifestyle changes, we hope to live a long and healthy life.
While personal resolutions are good, might we also add New Year’s resolutions that challenge our leadership abilities to benefit the health and long-term vitality of our community?
Engaging in Your Community in 2017
There are many different ways to engage in community and many different levels of involvement. For example, one can volunteer within a local organization, using their skills to help advance organizational goals. One may also resolve to involve the business, institution or organization they work for in bringing resources to assist local communities. Another possibility involves donating one’s work place technical skills to assist local governments, non-profits or faith-based communities to complete tasks they cannot fund. For example, if you have the skills needed to create or manage a website, you could contribute that skill to keep web-based information current and relevant. Another example is volunteering one’s facilitation skills to aid in goal setting, strategy building or other planning processes.
Call to Action!
Now is the time to get creative with your New Year’s resolutions that cause you to become more engaged in your community. Work with others if needed, to identify ways that you can benefit the health, well-being and long-term vitality of your community and its residents. And don’t forget to also keep those personal resolutions regarding your own health and well-being. Chances are, by accomplishing both, you will feel more empowered, realize you have made a difference during 2017 and your physical/mental health benefits will be multiplied.
Myra Moss is an Associate Professor and Extension Educator (Heart of Ohio EERA).