How to Set Effective Advocacy Goals for 2018

Care2 is an active community of people creating real change. Entering the new year, you may be wondering how to continue your advocacy and step up your campaigning — from signing petitions to joining real-life marches and groups.

Here are four easy-to-follow tips that can help chart your course toward a productive 2018.

1. Pick Your Battles

There are so many worthy causes in this world that it can be difficult to know where to devote time and resources.

However, following your passion and giving yourself a focus can help make your advocacy sustainable. For example, I’m particularly passionate about LGBT rights and health policy, so that is where I place my efforts. While that doesn’t mean these issues are my only interests – I also support environmental causes and promote veganism — I’m able to concentrate my energy by narrowing the focus of what I write about and campaign for.

2. Get Specific With Your Contributions

The Care2 community is all about taking action, but it’s important to recognize that action comes in many forms and differs for each individual.

Some of us are happy to participate in marches, attend town hall meetings and take signs along to public protests. After all, these are great ways to support the causes you care about.

However, these kinds of actions aren’t always suitable for or open to everyone.

It’s critical to realise that there are no small contributions to a cause, and there are so many ways to help. For example, using the Care2 petition site to author petitions about important causes and promoting that campaign can create major change–just look at some of our great success stories for evidence!

3. Don’t Seek External Markers for Success

The frustrating thing about activism is that we aren’t going to win every battle. For example, we might want to fight President Trump’s rollbacks of environmental protections, but — in the short term, at least – his administration is simply too powerful and out of reach.

What we can do, though, is create a framework to cultivate change and measure success by evaluating our personal contributions to these causes.

An example of this might be:

  • Writing to five elected leaders per month to remind them of the dire situation facing us if we don’t take action on climate change
  • Reading at least one book a month on climate change science and politics to stay informed
  • Sharing relevant petitions with  10 like-minded people through social media or in person

By making these goals actionable, we can ensure that they aren’t just ideas but tasks that we can actually follow through on.

Then, at the end of every month we can evaluate these goals by looking at our performance. For example:

  • How many people did I write to about climate change? Can I increase my goal, or should I decrease it?
  • Do I need to talk to more experts about climate change because I don’t understand something I’ve read? How can I go about doing that?

Obviously, long-term success is the goal, but by ensuring that we regularly evaluate our performance, we can remain motivated to create the change we want to see.

4. Schedule Time for Self-Care

Advocacy can be very rewarding, but it also comes with a hefty emotional and physical cost. Long hours promoting a cause and trying to increase awareness can be exhausting — and that’s why it’s critical to take time for ourselves.

This can involve unplugging from social media, taking a vacation or keeping up with hobbies that nurture and enrich us. This will ensure that our passion for advocacy remains and that we don’t stretch ourselves too thin.

Over To You

What are some of your activism goals for 2018? Share with us in the comments below, and help give others in the community ideas about what they can achieve in the year ahead!

Photo Credit: Dmitri Popov/Unsplash

39 comments

Chad A
Chad Andersonabout a month ago

Thank you!

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson4 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson4 months ago

ty

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Jim V
Jim Ven4 months ago

thank you

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Jim V
Jim Ven4 months ago

thank you

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Jerome S
Jerome S4 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S4 months ago

thanks

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Freya H
Freya H4 months ago

You have to pick a few causes that arouse your passion, and make them fairly narrow - otherwise you will wear yourself out and wind up bankrupt in your spirit as well as in your wallet. Sign plenty of petitions, take part in plenty of marches and protests, but focus on one or two areas: environment, women's rights, homelessness, et cetera. Remember that each struggle is everybody's struggle.

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Janis K
Janis K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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HEIKKI R
HEIKKI R4 months ago

thank you

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