It’s that time of year again: New Year’s Resolutions. (Actually, it’s the time of year when you check to see if any of the resolutions that you made a few weeks ago have stuck!)

I haven’t made an actual list of resolutions in years. My mom is a list-maker—not necessarily for resolutions, but definitely for everything else. When we were hosting a holiday dinner one year, my mom actually made a list of lists to make (I’m not kidding!). Then she had her To Do list, her shopping list, her dinner menu list…and possibly some others that I’m forgetting. We used to tease her about it, but I will wholeheartedly admit now that I am a fan of the list system. I make myself To Do lists at work, and it feels pretty darn good to check things off of those lists!

So, this year, I decided to make myself a list of goals (instead of generic “do more of this” or “do less of that” resolutions). I probably put way more thought into the list than was actually necessary, but my birthday just happens to fall on January 1, so New Year’s resolutions/goals and birthday-style deep thoughts always collide for me.

Anyway, it turned out to be a pretty simple list of 12 things that I would like to accomplish this year, but the process made me realize how important it is to consider the things that you’ve already accomplished in order to figure out how you’re going to build on that progress and keep the momentum going. It’s really, really easy to put a negative spin on New Year’s resolutions (to nitpick about the things that you want to “fix”—about yourself or the world), but it’s probably much more useful to pat yourself on the back for the things that you did try, the steps that you’ve already taken, and the successes you’ve already had (however small they may feel). Then, with that happy frame of mind, consider all the things you can do in the coming year.

This idea applies to Roots & Shoots, too. As a member, you’re part of a national network of youth creating change—but we need to hear from you (from each other, really) to learn about the projects that you’ve completed and the efforts that you’ve made to make the world a better place. As a member of Roots & Shoots, you already know that you’re not alone in your efforts—but isn’t it more fun to swap stories so that you can see that you’re not alone? Why not get inspired from one another, and connect the dots to see how working separately for the same goal has led to a greater impact?

We want to hear from you! Find us on Twitter, join us on Facebook, and feel free to comment on this blog.

If you’re already working with some New Year’s resolutions or goals of your own, why not add “tell JGI Canada about my Roots & Shoots project/moment/success” to your list? Did you have a particularly memorable experience with the What’s in your cup? campaign? What do you want to accomplish in 2013? Let us know!


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